International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
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Sleep quality

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by melc23, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. melc23

    melc23

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    Hi there,

    Can anyone help me to improve my sleep quality. I rarely get enough deep sleep or REM according to my fitbit. Sometimes I'm aware of restlessness but mostly not.

    I don't get insomnia and drop off really easily though I do wake up between 4am and 5am most days and am unable to get back to sleep.

    I use an eye mask and have tried Valarian but nothing else.

    Thanks.
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  2. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

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    Have you had a sleep study? Are you willing to try prescriptions? I take REMeron and it has helped me a lot, waking up feeling better, not great like when I was healthy! But better :)

    Gg
     
  3. melc23

    melc23

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    No I haven't had a sleep study. I'd rather avoid meds where possible although I may be open to antihistamines as I take non-drowsy for hayfever in the summer anyway though not all year round. So would be happy to give benadryl or piriton a go but don't really want to become reliant on anything.
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  4. IThinkImTurningJapanese

    IThinkImTurningJapanese Moderator

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    I have experienced improved sleep with CBD oil, Cannabidiol.
     
    *GG* likes this.
  5. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    @melc23, if you are waking up around 4:00 or 5:00 and can't get back to sleep, maybe your cortisol is too high during that time. I have that condition, but am helped by some supplements.

    I take Gaia Herbs SleepThru before bed. Also, when I wake during the night, I take 1 cap. and am able to get back to sleep.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Herbs-S...1-1-fkmr0&keywords=gaia+herbs+sleep+thru&th=1

    There are tons of supplements for lowering cortisol, but this is the one that works best for me. You might have to experiment. A nice thing about this one is that they are liquid caps., so they absorb quickly.

    Good luck!
     
    CFS_for_19_years likes this.
  6. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    A couple of years ago I started getting that sort of insomnia and discovered that it was caused by having sugar or quickly-digested starch during the day. Maybe that's a disorder unique to me, but it's easy enough to test in case sugar might be affecting your sleep too. Complex starches with lots of fibre don't trigger the 'waking up a x AM' effect. I also have to avoid fats late in the day, because I wake up in the wee hours feeling like my inner furnace is going full blast and I need to toss the blankets off and cool down.

    Walking past all those sugary/rich goodies in the stores is depressing... :(
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  7. Sundancer

    Sundancer Senior Member

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    ah, @Wishful , you can still walk in the stores, would that I could.

    But I do have the same sort of waking up that you have. And even though no sugars/quickcarbs helps, It has'n yet put a stop on it.

    for my own body I have come to the tentative conclusion that those carbs feed the baddies in my gut ( I'm pretty sure I've SIBO) then these baddies produce stuff that leaks through the gutmembrane into my blood. Then my liver has to get it out. And liverphase 1 being too fast ( ot phase 2 too slow) I wake up. When I'm lucky I only wake up. the I start sweating, first only the head. then the heart starts going up in frequency. If I'm unlucky then get nausea, sweaty allover and heart starts racing....

    But lately it stops at head sweating thanks to dietary measures.
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  8. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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  9. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

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    @melc23 - here are some things that have helped me and others I know

    niacin - it helps sensitize or stimulate GABA receptors - I started sleeping better immediately after I started taking it. My sister loves it too - it's improved her sleep lot. But - I only take it at night before bed and in the middle of the night. If I take it during the day, it makes me tired as it slows down methylation. I can take a pretty high dose, 500 mg before bed 300 - 500 mg more in the middle of the night. Many people can't take that much, so I'd suggest starting with 100 mg and see how you do. I get the kind that causes flushing - it makes you feel sort of hot and your skin gets red - it's temporary, but I've gotten to like the sensation because it generally means I'll be falling asleep before too long. and I sleep deeper with it. Don't get the non-flush kind, and do not get extended or time-release niacin as it has been associated with liver damage. Also, it helped lower my cholesterol! (an unintended benefit)

    melatonin - this might help you. I take 3 mg. sublingually before bed and 1.5 mg more in the middle of the night.

    l-theanine - I take 300 mg before bed and 200 mg more in the middle of the night, I think it works well with the niacin. It helps the brain produce GABA.

    magnesium - you might need more. I recently learned through a hair analysis that my calcium/magnesium ratio was very badly skewed in favor of calcium - So I've been experimenting. and am cutting my calcium dose in half, which I take during the day, and now take my magnesium at night and have increased that dose some. It's a balancing act. The hair analysis report said that if you have trouble falling asleep, it can indicate a calcium deficiency, whereas if you have trouble waking up and being unable to go back to sleep, that can indicate a magnesium deficiency, and that was my huge problem. Although it's usually recommended to take 2 parts calcium to one part magnesium, my former doctor and others believe it's okay to take up to 1:1 ratio, and I do better with that, or even a little more magnesium than calcium.

    glycine - this helps too - I take 3000 mg before bed, and 2000 mg more middle of the night

    These are the main things that have helped me (I've tried even more). but I may be able to cut back on some of it now that I am getting my calcium/magnesium ratio sorted out.
     
    jesse's mom, adelheid55 and Learner1 like this.
  10. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Things that have helped me stay asleep:
    • Progesterone
    • 5-HTP (tryptophan)
    • GABA
    • Taurine
    • Glycine
    • Citrulline
    • Ornithine
    • Magnesium glycinate
    • Phosphatidyl serine
    • Kavinace
    An amino acids profile, RBC magnesium test, and hormone testing might help you uncover what your body needs.
     
    Mary and adelheid55 like this.
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Ive found tryptophan much better for sleep than 5htp. Usually about 2 to 3 grams a couple of hours or more after eating any protein. Thats about it for natural substances.

    Not a sleep initiator but baclofen does improve sleep quality. Its a gaba b agonist and different in that respect to sedative benzos. Its classed as a muscle relaxer and said to have much less abuse and withdrawal issues than traditional sedatives. This medication has been around for many years. There is research showing it increases deep levels of sleep and increases natural growth hormone levels which are commonly found low in many fibro and cfsers.

    My opinion is i think it would be more effective and less side effects than sedating antidepressants which are commonly prescribed for sleep in those that dont want to take traditional sleep meds. But comes down to personal experience.
     
    *GG* likes this.
  12. melc23

    melc23

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    This looks interesting and there is sense in your theory. Thanks for he recommendation.
     
  13. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

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    See my signature (at the bottom of this post) for a link to my blog post about the many methods and techniques I use to get better sleep.
     
  14. melc23

    melc23

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    Thanks so much for sharing - definitely think I need to have magnesium for more reasons than one. Lots of food for thought.
     
  15. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    My recommendation is to try dietary or activity changes to try to identify what worsens your sleep quality. If that doesn't identify something to avoid, then experiment with supplements to identify possible deficiencies (magnesium or whatever) that might be causing it. Only after that would I suggest trying sleep inducers. Maybe you don't have any choice but to artificially induce sleep, but I think it would be healthier to avoid triggering insomnia if possible, than to overwhelm it with chemicals (natural herbs contain chemicals too).

    I could have used sleep inducers, but avoiding sugar seems healthier, and I wouldn't have discovered that if my first response was sleep inducers.
     
  16. melc23

    melc23

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    This is exactly my thinking, Wishful. I don't really want to use chemicals if I can help it. I have a very low sugar diet already but would be interested to know if there are any specific activity changes you would suggest? Thanks.
     
  17. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I'm not sure of specific changes. I know that I'm more likely to have insomnia after driving to town or socializing. It feels like those activities rev my brain up, and it doesn't ease off quickly. Mostly I just try to be aware of patterns: if I get insomnia, I check my food/activity/symptoms diary and see if anything the previous day might be responsible. If I keep having insomnia following something specific, I avoid it. One problem is, it might be something so common or unlikely that you don't bother noting it, or it's something early in the day so you don't connect it. Playing 3 hrs of intense computer games before bed would be an obvious cause, but maybe doing your online reading at a certain time of day triggers 5AM insomnia. Maybe it's the artificial flavouring in your toothpaste.

    Some of the difficult things to test or even consider are things so common that you don't think of them. I wondered about a foam mattress, possibly outgassing (nope, wasn't that). Carpets, furniture, building materials: I wouln't be surprised if someone in the world gets insomnia because of chemical sensitivity to something like that. Maybe something in your home generates a sound or smell that triggers brain activity. Of course, maybe it's nothing external, but an internal problem instead. Checking foods, activities, and household stuff are just something we can do ourselves.

    One simple test is to try sleeping somewhere else for a few nights, to rule out the household stuff and normal daily activities. That might be convenient for some people, and very inconvenient for others; I'm just offering that as a possibility. If the lack of good sleep is a major problem, and you've ruled out the simple possibilities, there are sleep clinics. However, I think it's likely that the sleep experts won't take ME/CFS properly into account.

    For myself, I try to find things that might be harming my sleep quality, and avoiding them. When I get insomnia before 4AM and just know I won't fall asleep if I stay in bed, I get up, have coffee (decaf) and read for an hour or so, then go back to bed and maybe will fall asleep again. After 4AM, it's not worth trying. If I absolutely need more sleep, I'll take melatonin or 5-HTP, but if I take it after 4AM it really messes up the rest of the day. Benadryl makes me groggy and confused, but not sleepy.

    Hopefully you'll be lucky and realize that you just need to stop playing three hours of intense zombie shooting games before bed. :wide-eyed:
     
  18. melc23

    melc23

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    Thanks so much there is so much good stuff here!

    I really identify with the driving and socialising thing and hadn't really thought about connecting certain activities with my sleep problems before.

    I have just set up the Nomie 2 app today after reading a recommendation on PR which helps track anything you want. So this might really help to identify patterns.

    Oh and I'll put the zombie shoot em up games away too
     
  19. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I'm afraid baclosal is addictive. You can read about people who are addicted to it in some benzo type forums. I always have major insomnia the next night after the night I took it...I can feel it is addictive. However it is fantastic for sleep.

    I only take it occasionally
     
    heapsreal likes this.
  20. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I wouldnt use the term addictive for most people, more so relient on them for sleep. Weigh up the individual benefit to risk. My choice is id rather be reliant on meds for sleep then really poor sleep and lower quality of life. Depends on how the individual functions on their current sleep pattern.
     

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