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Hawthorn berries helping a LOT with sleep

Mary

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I started taking a Now Foods hawthorn berries supplement a few weeks ago in an attempt to lower my BP. I started with 2 caps 2 x a day (2 with breakfast and 2 with lunch) and almost immediately started sleeping better. After about a week or so I added in 2 more with dinner. The bottle says to take 6 a day but you never know - sleep, or, rather, lack thereof has been my bete noire for many years! This last year it's been particularly bad (at one time I had 3 or 4 days in a row of 2 hours sleep each night) so I was afraid initially to take the hawthorn at night.

And the hawthorn has helped my BP, together with a couple of other things it's gone down some 20 points overall.

But the sleep - it's incredible. At a few points during this past year I'd wondered if my body had lost the ability to sleep - I'm serious! It took a lot of detective work to figure out each time wth was going on with my sleep, for there were 4 or 5 different things that disrupted it severely at separate times - here's what I can remember, (that time feels like the Dark Ages): (1) taking fish oil at night; (2) msg or any of its iterations with dinner; (3) hyperthyroid (switched from hypo) (had to take herb combo for several weeks to counteract this); (4) too much calcium, especially taken at night; a few years ago I had doubled my copper dose (forget why) and was taking it at night and that kept me awake all night - I learned that copper helps produce adrenaline! I cut out copper for quite awhile and have reintroduced it but only a single dose and only take it in the morning. I think there was something else that gave me killer insomnia (killer insomnia is where I'm awake about 3/4 of the night or the entire night)

Also, I seem to be tolerating foods that have msg in one of its many iterations better - in other words it's not affecting me so badly. Msgand and its derivatives are found in almost everything - mustard, mayonnaise, horseradish, V8! So to entirely avoid msg and all its minions could be difficult. They add citric acid to canned tomatoes - I love the salsa I make with canned tomatoes so I had to specially order tomatoes from Italy on-line - pricey! And used them very sparingly. But I seem to be tolerating tomaroes with citric acid now, so this is huge.

Anyways, I'm shocked at how well I'm sleeping. I also have a stack of things I've been taking before bed for years - inositol, niacin, l-thianine, melatonin, glycine, 5-htp - I think that's it, and then coupled with the hawthorn it's working very well for about 2 weeks now. I also recently added in resveratrol and relora which are helping too, but the hawthorn is making all the difference. I hope to be able to cut down on my stack because it's expensive. This is just the stuff I take for sleep - you should see what I take for everything else!

I haven't found any good drugs for sleep - I tried trazodone, it made me feel like crap even at quite low doses, low dose amitryptiline likewise made me feel like crap the day after, I don't want to take ambien, afraid of DUI or cooking DUI! And I was on lorazepam for 11 years - I liked it, but of course I was beginning to need more and I knew that wasn't good.

Fingers crossed!
 

Mary

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@heapsreal - I'm tagging you here because I've read at least one of your posts about everything you have to take for sleep so hoped this might be helpful for you. I thought I had tried everything There was for sleep but hawthorn was new to me. Actually I did try a different hawthorn product a couple years ago for my BP and it didn't do anything for me, so as always the brand can make all the difference!
 

Mary

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It sounds like maybe the mechanism thru which sleep is better, may involve calming your heart.
I did read something very similar to this elsewhere some days ago - that the same mechanism which lowers your BP also is involved in helping with sleep. What I want to know is, why isn't this more commonly known, that hawthorn can help a lot with sleep? Everyone knows it's good for the heart but I've never heard before of its benefits for sleep -
 

heapsreal

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@heapsreal - I'm tagging you here because I've read at least one of your posts about everything you have to take for sleep so hoped this might be helpful for you. I thought I had tried everything There was for sleep but hawthorn was new to me. Actually I did try a different hawthorn product a couple years ago for my BP and it didn't do anything for me, so as always the brand can make all the difference!
What brand?
Do you have any interesting links on it's mechanisms of action??
 

Mary

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What brand?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009P8XZ0?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

I chose this randomly, and got lucky! I'd tried hawthorn for my BP once quite awhile ago with no results, but it was a different brand, can't remember what it was.

Do you have any interesting links on it's mechanisms of action??
Not really. I started taking it for my BP and there are tons of studies and articles about this, but the help with sleep was totally unexpected. But when I now google hawthorn and sleep, I get a lot of hits. So I don't think it would be hard to get more info.
 

hapl808

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Interesting. I have a different brand, but I've only tried one or two during the day - never took it at night or monitored the effects on sleep. Will have to try that out.
 

LINE

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Thanks for sharing. Hawthorne has strong polyphenol content. Looks like Hawthorne suppresses NF-kB cytokine that is quite inflammatory and likely activated in CFS/ME. Hawthorne also activates the SIRT1 pathway which is another important pathway.
 
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Judee

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I think I asked you this on another thread about another supplement you talked about but do you think Hawthorne has lowered your heart rate at all?

The beta blocker I'm on helps my heart rate wonderfully but it makes me more tired...I didn't think I could get more tired...and so consequently a little depressed.

I have tried Hawthorne but another brand so I'm interested if you have noticed a difference in heart rate.
 
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Hip

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There does not seem to be much information online about hawthorn's effects on the central nervous system, but apparently hawthorn's traditional use includes treating stress, nervousness and sleep disorders, according to one study.

A quote from the study:
Apart from the cardiovascular disorders, hawthorn fruits have also been used as a cure against stress, nervousness, sleep disorders, heart ache, stomach ache, and sore throat in folk medicine.

In spite of the knowledge about folkloric use of the fruits, there are few reports indicating the anxiolytic and sedative activities of the plant extracts of Crataegus specie.

Furthermore, some constituents of hawthorn fruit extracts have also been demonstrated to exhibit certain effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Amines, flavonoids (vitexine, vitexine-2″-O-rhamnoside, chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, quercetin, isoquercitrin, rutin, etc.), procyanidins, organic acids, tannins, and triterpene derivatives have been reported as the major constituents of hawthorn fruit extracts.

Among these compounds, several flavonoids, procyanidins, tannins, chlorogenic acid and various plants containing these constituents have been previously demonstrated to have anxiolytic, sedative and analgesic/antinociceptive activities by many investigators
 

Mary

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do you think Hawthorne has lowered your heart rate at all?
I'm not sure - I've been on a beta blocker (nebivolol) for several months and recently cut my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg because my heart rate was getting so low - e.g, 48. I don't know if the hawthorn contributed to that but it might have.

Today it's been in the 50's so I feel more comfortable with that. It is possible I could cut out the beta blocker altogether, it would take more experimenting.

The beta blocker I'm on helps my heart rate wonderfully but it makes me more tired...I didn't think I could get more tired...and so consequently a little depressed.
Yeah, the last thing we need is to get more tired! :aghhh: I'm sorry to hear that. Some things that have boosted my energy are thiamine, methylfolate, l-citrulline. Ironically, the l-citrullline was supposed to increase nitric oxide and lower my BP - instead it raised my BP a lot and also gave me amazing energy! I felt really good on it, but unfortunately it caused my BP to go way too high - dang! It did the opposite of what it was supposed to do. If your BP tends to be low as it is for many people with ME/CFS, perhaps l-citrulline might raise yours. I never understood how or why it did what it did to me.
I have tried Hawthorne but another brand so I'm interested if you have noticed a difference in heart rate.
It is possible the hawthorn might lower your heart rate such that you could cut back on your beta blocker - I think you'd probably have to experiment, carefully.
 

Judee

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It is possible I could cut out the beta blocker altogether, it would take more experimenting.
Ooh, please be careful. My beta blocker has to be weaned off very slowly or can cause heart attacks...another reason why eventually I still would like to wean off of it.
perhaps l-citrulline might raise yours
When I tried this and another time beet, I think they made my Reynauds worse, I'm not sure why. I'll have to see if I can try again sometime.
 

LINE

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Beta blockers work via suppressing adrenaline (aka epinephrine) that is secreted from the adrenal glands. As we know, adrenaline is a necessary hormone since it has strong medicinal values but high levels of adrenaline can create problems.

Since the BB block high adrenaline, this keeps the cardio system in check.
 

Mary

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Ooh, please be careful. My beta blocker has to be weaned off very slowly or can cause heart attacks...another reason why eventually I still would like to wean off of it.
Don't worry, I would be very careful and only do it with my doctor's approval and guidance. We did just cut back to 10 mg from 20 mg and I'm doing okay.
 

BrightCandle

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I was recently quite surprised how much better slept eating some blueberries or blackberries on an evening as well. I saw it on a fitness yt channel and surprisingly it does seem to help. Generally despite all the advice otherwise eating before I go to sleep helps me sleep longer and berries is the way to go so far. Shall have to give Hawthorne a go.
 

Hip

Senior Member
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17,785
I've been on a beta blocker (nebivolol) for several months and recently cut my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg because my heart rate was getting so low - e.g, 48. I don't know if the hawthorn contributed to that but it might have.

I read that hawthorn can potentiate the action of beta blockers.


What dose of hawthorn are you taking that gives improved sleep, @Mary? And any particular brand?

You say 2 capsules x 3 times a day is your dose, but how much hawthorn is in each capsule?

A family member has insomnia and sleep issues due I think to their Sjogren's syndrome, so I might order some hawthorn and see if the same dose helps them.

Do you think it is advantageous to take the hawthorn at in the evening or before bed for sleep purposes? You mentioned that to begin with you took it in the morning and afternoon only, and even then it improved sleep.
 

Mary

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I read that hawthorn can potentiate the action of beta blockers.
Very interesting - I think my heart rate was getting too low (down in the 40's) and with my doctor's approval cut my beta blocker from 20 mg. to 10, and heart rate went up to the 50's.
What dose of hawthorn are you taking that gives improved sleep, @Mary? And any particular brand?
This is the hawthorn I'm taking: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009P8XZ0?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
I take two 540 mg. capsules (total of 1.080 g.) with breakfast, two caps with lunch and two with dinner. I initially started with 2 capsules with breakfast and lunch only, skipping dinner dose, because I was afraid it might cause insomnia. I did start sleeping better almost immediately with just the breakfast and lunch doses, and after a week or so decided to add in taking it with dinner also, thinking it might help even more, and it did. I'm sleeping like I haven't in years, starting to have dreams. I still take the stack of stuff I wrote about above (won't repeat it here) but hope to be able to cut out some of it to save $.

I still have a bit of trouble after 2:00 a.m. awakening, but not too much. And if I take 1/4 tab of unisom (doxylamine succinate 25 mg.) it ensures I go back to sleep within 30 minutes or so. I try not to take this every night because (1) afraid of building up a tolerance and (2) don't think it's good for me, though it's not horrible either, and it doesn't leave me feeling awful like benadryl does. It's an old anti-histamine and very powerful. I've never taken a whole tablet, recommend it be cut at least in half and preferably 1/4 when first starting it.

Do you think it is advantageous to take the hawthorn at in the evening or before bed for sleep purposes?
I don't really know the best time to take it. I started it to help lower my BP and was surprised when my sleep suddenly improved. I'm doing well with the schedule I'm on, taking it with each meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is usually around 6:30 p.m. I get into bed to read about 9:30 and before I know it I'm struggling to stay awake and finally give up - This is a new experience for me! And this is taking it with dinner and not at bedtime.

I suggest your family member experiment and see what works best for them.
 

Hip

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I still have a bit of trouble after 2:00 a.m. awakening, but not too much.

Did you ever experiment with time-release melatonin? In my experiments, I found this tends to keep me asleep better than regular melatonin, as it is released slowly in small qualities throughout the night.

Whereas with regular melatonin, you get a spike in blood concentration soon after you take it, but it's half-life is only 30 minutes, so it leaves the blood quickly, and does not last all night.

I find time-release melatonin is no good for getting you to sleep though, as it is released too slowly; for that I need regular melatonin.
 

Mary

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Did you ever experiment with time-release melatonin?
No, I haven't. It might be worth an experiment, though I am curious to see how things go with the hawthorn - if its effect is cumulative somehow, i.e., if the longer I take it, the more stable I become as it were, and continue to sleep even better maybe? Who knows! But I'll keep the time-release melatonin in mind, I'd never considered it before and probably is worth an experiment -
 

Rufous McKinney

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My beta blocker has to be weaned off very slowly or can cause heart attacks...another reason why eventually I still would like to wean off of it.

when I get severe gastroperesis flu, I can't swallow any pills abruptly for: at least four days. (oversharing).

I know my BP got down to 90/70 at one point during one of these events. I stopped the b blo0cker for over a month last time.....until the high BP worked its way back up again.