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Targeted vitamin C helping a LOT with sleep (some other things helping as well)

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Mary, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    A few years ago when I was tapering off of lorazepam I discovered that vitamin C can help ameliorate glutamate-induced excitotoxicity in the brain - in short, it helped a fair amount with sleep. Unfortunately, it made me acidic, causing aches and fatigue. So then I had to take baking soda and then discovered potassium bicarbonate to help with acidity. I eventually went on to try other things, including Chinese herbal combinations, magnolia bark, Unisom, trazodone, the list goes on, and stopped the C.

    I did try sodium ascorbate a few years ago to see if it would work for sleep without causing the over acidity of ascorbic acid, but it did nothing for sleep, and left me feeling flat.

    I restarted taking vitamin C at night several days ago - the dose is a work in progress, but one night I took 2000 mg with dinner, then 3000 mg before bed and 3000 mg more middle of the night. Last night I skipped the dinner dose, and still did well. I am still a bit acidic in the morning, but not as bad as when I first tried the C a few years ago. At that time I was taking it almost round the clock, but the withdrawal from lorazepam was pretty rough. So now I take some potassium bicarbonate when I first get up and it's great. The sodium bicarbonate was raising my BP.

    Anyways, it's taken me all this time (don't ask me why! :confused:} to get back to the Vitamin C. Here are a couple of articles showing the efficacy of vitamin C in handling excess glutamate. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25701025
    http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/vitamin-c/

    It feels too good to be true, but so far so goo}d. I also take several other things, but none of these were enough to ensure sleep, and I might eventually be able to stop some of them: niacin (the kind that makes you flush), glycine, inositol, l-theanine, lemon balm, melatonin, lots of magnesium at night.

    Re magnesium: many of you know this already but calcium can contribute to excitotoxicity in the brain, so have cut out my calcium supplement, and doubled my magnesium glycinate. I take the magnesium at night in 2 doses, 400 mg. before bed and 400 more middle of the night. This has helped a fair amount too, but on its own was not enough. Now that the C is helping so much, I'm going to try adding back a small amount of calcium (in the morning only!) and see how I do.

    And for those who are unaware, high cortisol at night can cause severe insomnia that I don't think anything will touch until cortisol levels are normalized. I had this many years ago and was given Seriphos (phosphorylated serine - NOT phosphatidyl serine which is not nearly as effective). The Seriphos worked great for normalizing my cortisol levels. I had to titrate up to find the correct dose, we're all different, and eventually I was able to pretty much cut it out.
     
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  2. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Have you ever tried buffered Vitamin C? Minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium are added to the formula. Sodium ascorbate is not buffered. I took buffered Vitamin C for a long time when I was first ill with lots of colds and flu. It made me feel better at the time.
    Various brands of buffered Vitamin C:
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...d Vitamin C&rh=n:3760901,k:Buffered Vitamin C

    Popular brand with supplement facts below:
    https://www.amazon.com/Thorne-Research-Buffered-Magnesium-Potassium/dp/B005IZIXC4
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Good suggestion but I was put off by the calcium, which has been implicated in excitotoxicity. ("glutamate is the gun and calcium is the bullet" or vice versa, I can't remember which) I did read that sodium ascorbate was quite alkaline which I believe is a form of buffering. I had no acidic reaction to it, though it did nothing for my sleep either and oddly left me feeling flat, without affect.

    Last spring hair analysis revealed that my calcium/magnesium ratio was very badly skewed in favor of calcium and I was told to stop all calcium supplements (at least for awhile) and I increased my magnesium on my own, taking it at night. I did start sleeping noticeably better right away, though not quite enough to get a decent night's sleep. I'm crossing my fingers that the vitamin C continues to help and doesn't stop helping, as so many other things do.
     
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  4. lafarfelue

    lafarfelue Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting this @Mary .

    I found a bit of the same issue re acidity when taking a lot of vit C, but I have never taken vit C before bed. I might try it out and see how I go. Glad that it's easy enough to regulate with potassium/bicarb soda. (I'm thankful that I can take bicarb soda, because it seems like potassium and I do not agree too well. The BP stuff isn't so bad for me, as I experience very low BP.)

    Will update with my experiences here if anything good (or overly bad, in case it helps others figure their own 'stuff' out!) comes of my experimentation.

    Also, following along with your supplement testing and regimen has helped me figure some supplementation out for my own symptoms over the past couple of years. I would probably not have figured out BCAA without your regular updates about your own experiences, and BCAA have been so extremely helpful for me!

    I appreciate the background and additional pieces of information (such as the cortisol insomnia issue, which is a major one of mine that I'm still trying to get a handle on). I've seen you post about the Seriphos and have it on my (absurdly long! :rofl:) list of things to try. I'm bumping it up higher because I had an ultra bad few weeks of insomnia recently that had me in so much pain, fatigue and bordering on (trigger warning) suicidal ideation :(

    Thanks again! :)
     
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  5. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    You're right, sodium ascorbate is buffered, not acidic. I can see why you'd want to control calcium now - I didn't take in everything that you wrote at first.

    Nevermind.:oops:
     
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  6. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I'm so glad to hear this! :thumbsup: and that my do-it-yourself lab experiments have been helpful! :nerd:
    I might bump it to the top of your list - that's quite rough. Have you had your cortisol levels checked? and not just in the morning. The adrenal-stress index test uses saliva samples taken 4 times during the day/evening, and it's what showed my high night-time cortisol. You've probably seen me write this but I will repeat: (1) Seriphos is phosphorylated serine, NOT phosphatidyl serine - I keep stressing this. Someone asked me about Seriphos recently and I explained and then they started talking about "PS" meaning Seriphos, but PS usually refers to phosphatidyl serine so I had to stress again to not go looking for "PS".

    (2) It worked best for me taken in the morning - I read this had to do with the circadian rhythm. Taken at night it caused a weird awful insomnia, but in the morning, no bad effects, and I just felt calmer and better able to deal with things, and started sleeping better

    (3) I had to experiment to find the dose that worked for me, I ended up needing 8 capsules - quite a high dose and I don't recommend anyone start with this. I took 4 first thing on an empty stomach and then 4 more late morning (with my amino acids) and after several weeks or a few months (it's been 14 years so can't remember that well) I started getting extra tired and realized my cortisol was going too now so just cut my dose gradually. And now I only need it if I have been under severe stress, which doesn't happen very often.

    Absolutely - great idea! :thumbsup:
     
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  7. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    It all gets so complicated! I started trying to explain why I was doing certain things once to a doctor and their eyes just glazed over - they didn't want to hear about it.
     
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  8. lafarfelue

    lafarfelue Senior Member

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    Great notes to have on Seriphos, thanks heaps! :) Gonna source some of the correct type for my next supplement order.

    No, unforutnately not. The GP I discussed it with seemed to think it wasn't worth checking (or maybe it's not something that's readily available in Australia, I don't know). Still looking into it, slowly slowly...
     
    Mary likes this.
  9. junkcrap50

    junkcrap50 Senior Member

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    If you take that much Vit. C, how do you prevent diarrhea?
     
  10. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Tolerance to vitamin C is very individual, before diarrhea or other gastrointestinal discomfort sets in. Most tolerate a 3 gram dose just fine. In my case I get some flatulence whenever going above 30 g per day - which I do whenever rhinitis symptoms overwhelm me, and where it works like any other anti-histamine for me (sort of a much smaller evil) - and only get the classic vitamin C flush once crossing above 50 g per day in divided frequent doses (only did that once).

    Titrating to bowel tolerance is a method to get pharmacological effects out of vitamin C in cases of very serious illnesses, as described in this paper.
     
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  11. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    See what @pamojja said above. You can titrate up to bowel tolerance. And I seem to have a fairly high tolerance for vitamin C - the amounts I'm taking don't cause diarrhea for me. The only bad effect is the acidity - achey and extra fatigued, but it's pretty mild, and I just take some potassium ascorbate when I get up (1/4 tsp. = 400 - 500 mg. potassium) and maybe another dose later (or not) and I'm fine.
     

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