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I need to sleep! Help !!!!!

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by warriorgirl, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. warriorgirl

    warriorgirl

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    I have desperately looking for some sleep. Nothing works. So far, I’ve tried:
    Natural supplementation:
    - magnesium
    - melatonin
    - Bach flowers
    - chamomile
    - lavender
    - going to bed early.. not early ..

    Medication:
    - immovan
    - Ativan
    - Rivotril
    - Trazodone
    And I am on Effexor for anxiety.

    I have not slept one minute since 2 months. Totally bad tripping right now.

    Something working for you ?
     
  2. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    @warriorgirl - first, insomnia is one of the effects of Effexor so that may be a large part of your problem. Google Effexor and sleep or insomnia, you'll find a ton of info. There are lots of remedies for anxiety that don't include drugs with bad effects - e.g., inositol can be very calming. If you google inositol and anxiety, there's a lot of info. Hip on the board here did this post on how he eliminated his severe anxiety with 3 supplements.

    If you want to raise serotonin to help with mood, 5-htp and tryptophan work well, without the negative effects of prescription anti-depressants. 5-htp also helps me with sleep.

    So I don't know how effective anything will be so long as you are on Effexor.

    Several things have helped me with sleep:

    Seriphos - for lowering high night-time cortisol. An adrenal stress index test (uses 4 saliva samples taken during the day/evening) showed my cortisol was quite high at night causing severe insomnia. Nothing would touch this insomnia until I got my cortisol lowered. Seriphos was very effective. I found it was very important to take it in the morning however; when taken at night it caused a weird horrible insomnia, but taken in the morning it made me feel calmer during the day and helped with sleep at night. I had to titrate up to get the correct dose, which for me was quite high - 8 capsules a day (took 4 capsules twice in the a.m., before breakfast and lunch). I don't recommend anyone start with that dose, it is very high. And after a few months I was able to cut it back.

    5-htp - 200 mg. before bed

    melatonin

    400 mg. magnesium before bed, 400 mg. more middle of the night. The form of magnesium is very important. Magnesium citrate caused insomnia for me and magnesium aspartate is not good either, the aspartate is excitatory. Magnesium glycinate worked pretty well although it ended up raising my blood pressure :aghhh: and magnesium malate did not work that well for me for sleep. So right now I'm using magnesium oxide, which I know is not considered the best form to take, but am running out of options. I am going to try a different form of magnesium glycinate (bisglycinate) and see if that affects my BP.

    glycine -3000 mg before bed, 2000 mg middle of the night
    inositol - 1000 mg before bed, 1000 middle of the night

    magnolia bark - this product from Bulk Supplements is very potent. I initially tried 1/4 teaspoon before bed and 1/4 more middle of the night, and was way too drugged the next day, though that was less than the recommended dose. Now I'm taking 1/8 teaspoon before bed.

    gotu kola before bed

    niacin - 500 mg before bed, 400 mg middle of the night. This is a fairly high dose but I do okay with it. But I don't suggest starting with that high of a dose. The kind that makes you flush works best. I'm used to the flush and don't mind it any more, it's relaxing.

    300 mg l-theanine before bed

    One more thing re magnesium - a few months ago hair analysis showed that my calcium/magnesium ratio was very badly skewed in favor of calcium, though I was taking recommended doses of both. So I stopped my calcium, and started taking magnesium only at night before bed and middle of the night and it was much more effective that way.
     
  3. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I don't know if it's ME related or if it's just age related, but my sleep has degraded over the last 10 years or so. I had to give up caffeine, and in the last year, sugar or easily-disgested starches. Those quick carbs give me insomnia. Trips to the supermarket are just plain depressing: all those goodies I can no longer tolerate. :aghhh:

    I deal with my sleep problems by trying to avoid what I know worsens them. If I absolutely need to sleep, melatonin or 5-HTP seem to work. I haven't experimented with herbal sleep remedies.
     
  4. warriorgirl

    warriorgirl

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    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you for the detailed answer. Do you take all of them every day ?
     
    Learner1 likes this.
  5. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I do. It's a lot, I know, but it works pretty well. I can't tolerate trazodone - I hated how it made me feel.

    If you haven't done so already, I strongly suggest you get your cortisol levels checked - again, the adrenal stress index test is best because you need to know what your cortisol is at night, and a blood test in the morning (which most doctors do) won't tell you this. If your cortisol is high at night, then I don't think hardly anything else will help until you get it normalized.

    I have no idea how any of these things would help in the face of Effexor either.
     
  6. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

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    mirtazapine/REMeron has been helpful to me for years now :)


    GG
     
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  7. warriorgirl

    warriorgirl

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    What kind of doctor can test that? I am in Canada and it doesn’t seem to be an available option.? I am pretty certain that it would be high in my case. It all started after a period of great stress partly job related (I am a transactional lawyer and some deals can be stressful) as well as in my personal life.

    I hated how Trazodone made me feel as well so I stopped taking it.

    I feel like I am unable to just calm my nervous system down. When I go to bed, I have racing thoughts that U can stop and my heartbeat is always elevated.
     
  8. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    @warriorgirl - generally integrative or functional medicine doctors are the ones who order the adrenal stress index test, although any doctor can order it. You might do a post on the board here asking for names of good ME/CFS, or integrative/functional doctors in Canada. I believe chiropractors can order the test also.

    Again, inositol is very calming. I don't think it will lower high cortisol but can help calm you down.

    eta: I was a legal secretary for many years - I know all about how stressful law can be!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  9. Judee

    Judee Senior Member

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    I think this was the cortisol test I did last year and some of the product questions seem to be about shipping to "ca" (hope they mean Canada and not California) and whether you need a doctor's order to get this. I would confirm with the company one more time to make sure I'm reading that correctly before ordering. I've called them with questions and they are very helpful.

    Also I would find out about shipping since I'm not familiar with costs to ship to Canada.

    Oops :( Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0087US47Q/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

    I should add that they said you don't need a doctor's order if you are from "ca" but again make sure that means Canada. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  10. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    For my extreme anxiety, supplements don't do the job, so I take prescription Ativan. Other benzo class meds may be more helpful; everyone is different and reactions may differ... so finding the one that fits one's personal needs may be experimental search.

    For extreme insomnia like we have, I just take Ambien 10 mg, as nothing else seems to touch the problem. That is what it finally came down to, as supplements just do not get anything accomplished for me.

    I would really prefer not resorting to pharmaceutical solutions, but 'it is what it is' at this point. By all means, I would exhaust other possible solutions first.

    Best wishes.
     
    soxfan likes this.
  11. Sundancer

    Sundancer Senior Member

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    funny, I've tried that ( long ago) but when I take it before bed i cannot fall asleep. But I do take it in the daytime.

    it reduces muscletension ( at least in my body it does...)
     
    Mary likes this.
  12. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

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    overtheedge, Mary and Learner1 like this.
  13. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    There are competent Bastyr-trained naturopathic doctors in Canada - I've been to one in B.C. or you can try to find a functional medicine MD or DO through the Institute for Functional Medicine or Genova Diagnostics.

    Lack of sleep is not a deficiency of a drug. It is an imbalance in your biochemistry and a call for help.

    In addition to a 24 hour cortisol test, have you had your progesterone level measured? Lack of progesterone will lesd to insomnia (and estrogen dominance ehich csn lead to female cancers).

    Ive been helped in the past by some of the things on @Mary 's list, but these things are helping me sleep through the night now:
    1. Ornithine and citrulline
    2. Glycine
    3. Melatonin
    4. B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    5. Magnesium glycinate
    I found that my body matches what Fluge and Mella found about female ME/CFS patients burning amino acids - I was short of many, including those on my list above. I also have had help sleeping from these, but don't take them any more for sleep after uoping my general protein intake:
    • 5-HTP
    • GABA
    • Taurine
    • Theanine
    If all else fails Kavinace is a nootropic that works. I fiund it effective, but it csn be addictive, so I used it ehen I needed it and got off it as soon as I could.
     
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  14. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Kavinace did not touch my insomnia & anxiety. I think for the extreme cases (which we apparently have), unfortunately the healthy approach isn't so effective. Not a "severe" case of ME yet, but severe symptoms of no sleep and bad anxiety call for a response that is equal to the symptoms.

    best wishes that you find an answer other than pharmaceuticals. it's the better way to go if possible. . .if possible.
     
  15. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    No one has a deficiency of a sleep medication. The sleep medications have drawbacks.

    It is likely that several natural biochemicals are out of balance. For a long while, as in Mary's case, it took a cocktail of several of the above to work. Lab testing amd finding tbe drivers of my insomnia were the key. I slept horribly for 18 months, now I sleep through the night.

    Persistence and labwork pay off. It is possible to use natural substances even with a difficult case.
     
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  16. overtheedge

    overtheedge Senior Member

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    About looking for a place to get cortisol stress tests, I have found this site to be very helpful in getting whatever lab testing I need done done.
    https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/


    I haven't used them for the cortisol test but have bought Genova's SIBO breath test through them and thanks to my insurance I was able to get a Nutreval done for under $200, although, I had really good insurance at the time and integrativepsychiatry.net makes you go through a phone consult if you want to use insurance to pay for your test so really I had to pay another $70 or so for that consult but It would have cost me far more without that. Don't get the wrong idea though, I don't remember the cortisol test I had being too expensive, it's just that the Nutreval test I mentioned is a massive test and therefore costs more. You should probly check with your insurance to see if they will help you pay for these tests first if you end up hoping to use it for aid in payment.

    Here is their section on cortisol testing: https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/adrenal_fatigue_test.html
    I've had cortisol testing done through genova, I don't see the genova cortisol test there but during that phone consult I had to get insurance they mentioned that they could get any genova test done so if you wanted that one then calling and asking about it would probly get it for you. I only mention the genova one cause it's the one my functional medicine doc trusts and I have no experience with any of the others.

    Probly would be best to work with a functional/integrative doctor as has been suggested by others in this thread and simply use the website I've mentioned when it serves some specific purpose, ie. It saves a lot of money over what your doc might charge, it would save you time getting the test done before your first appointment with doctor if the wait time is long, it lets you get tests your dr cant offer, etc.

    Now I have been seriously aided by my functional medicine doctor. We patients only have ourselves to experiment on but these doctors have probly seen many cases similar to ours and hopefully gained the collective wisdom from working to fix those patients and learning from the many successes and failures therein, getting a better idea of what's really going on, what works, and avoiding dead ends. Unfortunately though, functional/integrative doctors typically cost a good bit since insurance often doesn't cover visits with them and/or many of the medicines they offer. Their visits being costly since they can often take a while. It takes a good bit of time to communicate all the details of a case as complicated as CFS usually is and it's most likely best to flesh out the ins and outs of your case for them in order to give them an understanding of what they are dealing with. That's my take on it anyway

    I wish you the best of luck
     
  17. Kenny Banya

    Kenny Banya Senior Member

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    I cycle between amitriptyline (endep), benzodiazepine, (temazepam), zolpidem (Stilnox/ambien) & doxylamine.
    That way I don’t get addicted to any (although I believe drug addiction is conditional on personality - it’s very difficult for me to get addicted to anything)
     
  18. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    You should tell your doctor about this
    How much effexor are you taking and the trazodone as well
    Effexor can be stimulating working on three neurotransmitters depending on dosage
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
    5150 likes this.
  19. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    @Learner1 Perhaps you will share the specifics of the"lab testing" that found the drivers to your insomnia? and the resulting program you are using to bring an all-night sleep? Thank you.
     
  20. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    A Genova Diagnostics NutrEval and a DUTCH test of comprehensive hormones trapped 90% of the problems. I sleep pretty well now that we figured out what was going on after 2 years of a plethora of sleep problems.
     
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