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Vitamins/supplements/herbs for sleep. What works for you?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Ocean, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I've tried a ton of sleep meds and they are not for me. Now I want to try something more natural. I've tried melatonin and valerian a while back and didn't do well on them either. I get the feeling I need something that either just calms my system down so that I can try to sleep rather than something that makes me groggy or knocks me out. Or I could use something that helps my circadian rhythm somehow. I"m actually sleeping okay, only I'm doing it in the day rather than night and that is not working for me. At night I become extremely excited and energized. I "wake up" basically. I feel overnight as if I've drank a pot of coffee.

    For now I'm trying vitamin D, as I remember it seemed to somehow help with my circadian rhythm issues in the past. I began sleeping earlier and waking early after some time of taking it and am hoping it will do the same thing again this time.

    What herbal, vitamin, or supplements help you with sleep?
  2. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    I suggest 3g glycine before bed.
  3. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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  4. Lala

    Lala Senior Member

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    tryptophan plus gaba
  5. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Not much helps me. I would like to find something that does.

    Used to use melatonin sometimes. More than 2 days in a row, it lost effectiveness on me. Sometimes I would take it and still not fall asleep, but it could help reset me for the next day. A month ago I read something bad about it. I can't remember what, but it makes me want to avoid it.

    I tried a new sleep supplement last week. It has a mix of things. I think the valerian root was bad for me. Any depressants don't work for me, and valerian had the same bad results. I was surprised. I thought I had tried valerian before. I think I've tried the other herbs before.

    GABA helps a little.
  6. Calathea

    Calathea Darkness therapy

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    Melatonin tablets didn't do a thing for me, but darkness therapy did, so it can be worth trying that if you haven't already.
  7. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    A good meal just 3 hours before bed :)
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    withania, kava, phosphatidyleserine if night time cortisol might be an issue.
  9. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    sounds like an adrenal problem, a reversed schedule like that with night-time agitation. We need adrenal energy to sleep, and I have found that supporting the adrenals during the day helps reduced the wired sense at night. Even resting during the day to help the adrenals can make sleep easier for me sometimes.

    Some natural supplements that help me at night include olive leaf extract and Klamath blue-green algae. Also goji juice helps and taking a good rehydration drink before bedtime. I believe with exhausted adrenals, dehydration is a major cause of sleep problems for CFS patients (adrenals manage hydration levels).
  10. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Passiflora (passion flower) herb is one of the best natural remedies I've tried for sleep. It hits some of the same receptors as the benzodiazepines, and is like a weak xanax, but is definitely different than valerian, which personally I don't tolerate b/c of the grogginess you mentioned. Think valerian probably hits different receptors - I also get severely depressed on valerian for more than a couple nights, while the passionflower is much "cleaner" and has none of those effects. If your issue is that you're getting too ramped up but you don't want to be groggy, the passiflora can calm things down and allow your natural sleep to kick in.

    You said natural, but I've found benadryl can sometimes really help ramp down. Claritin, also, surprsingly, which is supposed to be non-drowsy, but definitely makes me sleepy. I buy generic loratadine and it's much cheaper than claritin. Usually only takes half a tab. If I take it more than two or three nights in a row I tend to get nightmares, but that might just be idiosyncratic to me, some liver issue I'm guessing, and might not affect you the same way.

    Also, back to herbs, combinations of herbs like skullcap, hops, lemon balm, chamomile can help. One I've used that seems pretty good is called Melissa Supreme by Gaia (no affiliation). Think that has passiflora also, and a few other things, it really seems to calm the system down.

    I've suffered sleep issues & severe insomnia for a couple years now, at first totally dependent on benzos, trazodone, & the occasional seroquel to sleep at times. I still take benzo here there, but try not to take too many days in a row. Usually the passiflora is enough now, until I hit a bad patch and need benzos for a couple days. I also take 10mg time-release melatonin, often augmenting with 3/6/9mg. of regular melatonin, which definitely helps - noticeable when I ran out and sleep got a lot worse.

    King among all sleep aids, though, has been EEG neurofeedback, which is either ironic or understandable depending on how you look at it, as it was neurofeedback which first turned off my sleep to begin with. But sometimes a new protocol will trigger the insomnia again, and then adjusting it with more training over the next few days will adjust it back. Eventually I'm hoping it will fix it completely again, it's just a matter of finding the right protocol. If you can find someone near you who provides it, it's definitely worth looking into. Sometimes even a session or two can reset things that have gotten out of whack and restore your sleep again.
  11. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Kurt, when you say supporting the adrenals during the day, what specifically can be done for that?
  12. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I will be looking into every single one. I really want to turn my sleep cycle around and meds are not an option right now, so these suggestions are very helpful.
  13. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Be careful with benadryl. It works fabulously well for me, but I was recently alerted here that it's a bad idea to take it long term for sleep. I looked it up,and it can cause memory problems.

    Guess who's had significant, bizarre, new memory issues the past few months?

    I stopped taking it 2 nights ago, and my memory is back, but my sleep is awful.

    I am following your thread with avid interest!
    Sallysblooms and taniaaust1 like this.
  14. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I do very poorly on Benadryl and other anticholinergics. I do poorly with any meds for sleep, which is why I'm looking to supplements and herbs now. I'm eager to try some of these suggestions. I hope we'll both find something useful here Madie.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    maybe that thing you read about Melatonin was .. it can worsen POTS (I think there was some study done on that). I havent ever thou noticed it affecting my POTS badly. (but i only take 3mg of it).
  16. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    What's been helping me with sleep cycle lately has been vitamin D and getting sun. I wasn't having much trouble sleeping, my problem was sleeping in the day instead of night. Since taking vitamin D I've been waking earlier in the day and falling asleep earlier at night. Still not keeping normal sleep hours but much improved compared to before.
    taniaaust1 and anne_likes_red like this.
  17. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    My sleep and energy pattern follow my cortisol circadian fluctuation almost to the hour. Unfortunarely, my cortisol is rising to it's peak at 2 p.m. in the afternoon and that's when I'm at my best. I have a sleep moment around 8:00pm, but I cannot go to sleep then due to my son and his activities. So, at 10:00 or 11:00 I can take Ambien, Xanax or Xyrem (in normal dosage) and I will not go to sleep. 12:30 to 2:00am before I can go back to sleep again.
  18. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    August, so the xyrem isnt the magical sleep med they sold it as??
  19. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    N-Acetyl cysteine. Within days of starting NAC my insomnia dissapeared, even during PMS week (usually I get 3-4 hours if I am lucky).
    I take 500mg late morning or early afternoon & then another 2 hours before I want to sleep, as soon as I mess with the timing & dosage my insomnia is back.

    I would like to sleep longer than I do, my bladder is a huge problem :(

    I know it doesn't have this effect for everyone, this is just my experience
  20. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Its so good to hear when such a simple thing is helping someone. Im happy for you.

    Its so hard thou finding out the simple things which help each individual.

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