Insomnia with low dose Carnitine

bertiedog

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I was wondering whether others have had sleep issues with L Lcarnitine, even at low dose. I usually take 250 mg with breakfast around 8 - 9 am and it definitely helps give me energy along with Cordyceps, Astragalus and the active B vitamins (but don't take MB12 and folate cos they give me migraine) plus other basic supplements.

However my sleep has been dreadful, great difficulty getting off to sleep and even if I do manage to do this before midnight I can be awake before 5 and unable to get back to sleep.

I stopped it yesterday and because I was so exhausted from not sleeping till 3 am - 7 am I slept very well and I am still exhausted today. I also stopped the Astragalus cos not sure if that also interferes with my sleep but still taking one Cordyceps with breakfast.

When I read on PR what amount of Lcarnitine many members take I cannot understand why I am unable to sleep on such a small amount and wondered how common this might be. Its very frustrating because I did have lovely sustained energy when on the trio of Lcarnitine, Cordyceps and Astragalus but the insomnia is just too bad to continue in this way.

Pam
 

Carl

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I only use Acetyl L Carnitine which goes well with Choline bitartrate helping acetylcholine production and bowel movement. I have not noticed it affecting my sleep. I have not tried L-Carnitine.

You already take Cordyceps, maybe you could get some Cordyceps extract powder which allows a more variable quantity when used in combination with a mg scale. I have 100g Cordyceps militaris 30% polysaccharide extract powder from Amazon which I use after I read about it's beneficial effects against cytokines which tend to be elevated in CFS. When I first tried it, it kept making me fall asleep which is not wanted during the day. I have since worked out that the sleep promotion could be due to the combination of cordyceps and hydrolyzed collagen which I have now stopped. It seems like the collagen is not broken down sufficiently to not affect my immune system.

I usually only take 300mg of Cordyceps but have gone as high as 1 gram but that much tends to knock me out. The book I read about cordyceps does recommend high doses of the raw mushroom at least 50 grams but I do not know how that translates to the extract without investigating the concentration.

It might be worth you trying a high dose before bed. Lowering cortisol and histamine will also help sleep. Cortisol can be lowered with siberian ginseng, which also switches off the alarm reaction. I no longer use Siberian ginseng, I use Tu Si Zi (dodder seed) which lowers my cortisol levels and supports my kidney & hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenals.

I have briefly tried astragalus but stopped using it because it could shift my immune system in an unwanted way.

I doubt that taking cordyceps before breakfast will last until bedtime. You probably need it more an hour or so before bed. BTW I am not a fan of capsules due to poor value and fillers etc.
 

bertiedog

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Thanks for your reply Carl, I don't have to worry about having too high cortisol because my body doesn't make any and I have to take 6 mg Prednisolone every day and if anything I am more likely to be low in it having used it up during the day. Its something I always have to be aware of.

The Cordyceps I take is organic from the UK where I live and I think they are 550 mg. I have stopped it on some days but it didn't make any difference to my sleep so I know that my sleep isn't being affected by it. BTW I cannot tolerate choline supplements either because they also interfere with my sleep.

I think its possibly to do with the SNPs I have like COMT ++ and MAO ++ plus several others. I don't really have cognitive issues unless I have a severe migraine, if anything my brain has a tendency to be overactive very easily and both my sons are like this too having inherited my SNPs. We get easily bored! It's also true that when I am exhausted first thing in the morning before any energy comes through my brain won't work well at all.

I will try Astragalus again because I have a very poor immune system picking up many viruses but I will leave it many days before I do this to try and get a baseline of how things are without the Lcarnitine. Having looked back at my diary it would seem every time I have the bad insomnia I have taken 250 L carnitine or I have had very bad IBS/SIBO due to eating something like a curry for my evening meal so I can definitely do something to avoid having all that upset by eating a more suitable meal.

Pam
 

Wolfcub

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Hi Pam, I take 500 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine daily. I think it is helping me -maybe a little. My crashes are generally not as bad as they used to be, and I feel a lot better in some ways. In crashes my usual horrible symptoms came back, and though I still get some unusual tiredness, those symptoms during crashes are lessened greatly (fingers crossed)

But....the jury's still out as to whether it is causing me some mild sleep issues. I am falling asleep well....sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow 99% of the time anyway.
But I have found I'm waking earlier, which I don't like, as I'm not getting enough sleep and feel as if I'm not. I usually need 8-9 hours and I'm getting 6-7. The sleep-deprived feeling does get me down mostly in the first half of the day.
I don't know for sure it's the L-Carnitine, or just coincidence...
 

Pyrrhus

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I get disturbed sleep, among other symptoms, from even small doses of acetyl-l-carnitine. (ALCAR) Which is a pity, because I love the energy boost that it gives me.

I took ALCAR for quite a while before it became apparent it was disturbing my sleep. When the connection became apparent, I tried smaller and smaller doses of ALCAR, but the sleep disturbance only went away when I stopped the ALCAR completely.

(edited for clarity)
 
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bertiedog

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took ALCAR for quite a while before I realized it was disturbing my sleep. The sleep disturbance came on so slowly that I did not at first link it to the ALCAR. When I finally realized the connection, I tried smaller and smaller doses of ALCAR, but the sleep disturbance only went away when I stopped the ALCAR completely.
That's interesting and something I can definitely relate to. It's very frustrating when we find something that helps with stamina and energy but has such negative effects on sleeping. When I was taking it regularly I was lucky to get 5 1/2 hours sleep and on so many nights would fall asleep for 30 minutes around 11.30 pm have a dream and be wide awake for hours even if I took a bit of clonazapan. Every night was taking 25 my Lyrica and some Melatonin but that stopped working.

Two night's ago it was 3 am before I could eventually sleep and it took huge effort on my behalf to meditate myself to sleep with very soft boring music playing in my ear plus the meds taken 3 hours previously!

Pam
 

bertiedog

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But....the jury's still out as to whether it is causing me some mild sleep issues. I am falling asleep well....sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow 99% of the time anyway.
But I have found I'm waking earlier, which I don't like, as I'm not getting enough sleep and feel as if I'm not. I usually need 8-9 hours and I'm getting 6-7. The sleep-deprived feeling does get me down mostly in the first half of the day.
I don't know for sure it's the L-Carnitine, or just coincidence...
I am pleased that you are having benefits but just caution on the sleep stuff because as mentioned in the previous post I was lucky to get 5 or 5 1/2 hours sleep on many days. My Fitbit tracker kept trying to come up with suggestions as to how I could get more sleep. Normally I would have 7 hours before the Lcarnitine.

Of course just because it has happened to me it doesn't mean it will happen with everyone else who benefits in other ways.

Pam
 

Wolfcub

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I have no experience with Cordyceps, but took Astragalus last year, for two sessions.
When I first started to take it it helped quite a lot. Last year was when my illness began, and for months I was feeling very unwell indeed.

Astragalus really helped (1st session which lasted about a month of a decoction (tea) 3 x a day.) For the first time I started getting remissions that lasted longer than a few hours at a time. I had a 3-week remission, where I was not 100% fighting fit but feeling a great deal better.

I had no sleep issues at all on it. But during that period was going through a time of sleeping long and well anyway (as if my body was desperate to heal itself through sleep !)

Then I had a gap in taking it. Basically I ran out of supplies and the re-order took a week or so to come in.
So the second session with it, it did not have such a marked effect, though I did feel it was a "good" herb for me and suited me.
But still I noticed no interference with sleep at all.
 

bertiedog

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I have no experience with Cordyceps, but took Astragalus last year, for two sessions.

Then I had a gap in taking it. Basically I ran out of supplies and the re-order took a week or so to come in.
So the second session with it, it did not have such a marked effect, though I did feel it was a "good" herb for me and suited me.
But still I noticed no interference with sleep at all.
Yes I am pretty sure it doesn't interfere with my sleep either but will only take 1 with breakfast when I restart but if I do get any sign of a virus I will up to 2 daily along with the Cordyceps and other supplements that I take (addition of Echinacea Augustifolia when I have a virus).

Pam
 

gbells

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The only use I've found for L-Carnitine is as a supplement to give up red meat addiction. When people eat red meat frequently it causes the body to stop producing it. when you give up red meat the body has to transition to making it. This takes a few weeks so using L-carnitine in the AM reduces red meat cravings. I still eat red meat occasionally (1 serv per week) but excess is unnecessary. This saves me a lot of money and is much better for the environment since it reduces climate change.
 

Wolfcub

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In a way that might be similar to me @bertiedog My midday is probably equivalent to your 9am.

And last night, for the first time in ages, I could not sleep. I didn't feel bad -just couldn't sleep. I had to get up, read a book until 5am. Today I haven't had any L-Carnitine to experiment.
I am still unsure if it IS that, or if it's the heat here at the moment....or some other thing, like one of my "phases" that happens from time to time anyway.
 

bertiedog

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And last night, for the first time in ages, I could not sleep. I didn't feel bad -just couldn't sleep. I had to get up, read a book until 5am. Today I haven't had any L-Carnitine to experiment.
Yes I can relate to that, I don't feel ill with the insomnia just completely being unable to sleep and hugely frustrated because naturally it has a big knock on effect to my energy the next day.

Haven't had any Lcarnitine since Wednesday morning and the past 3 nights have been a lot better though still waking up at either 4 am or 5 am but I have taken a small amount of valerian tincture and been able to go back to sleep till 7.30 which is lovely.

Today I have added in one Astragalus with the Cordyceps at breakfast so will see tonight if I sleep ok. I think I will because I have had 2 short sleeps today anyway, probably because of the heat as you say and I have done 10 K in steps somehow. However I definitely miss the effect the Lcarnitine has on me, I lack the sustained stamina and instead get periods throughout the day of feeling tired bordering on exhaustion.

Pam
 

Wolfcub

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There might be something in this business with Acetyl-L-Carnitine,
I haven't taken it for 2 days now, and last night I got normal sleep (my usual sleep)
I did like the benefits of it, but disturbed sleep is not a good thing to happen every night.
To do a proper experiment, I think I will give it a few days, see what happens without it, and then start it again, and see.

I even found I was acting out my dreams while on it. Fortunately, nothing serious, but something that has never happened to me before.
I might be wrong....but aren't we supposed to be in a temporary paralysis while dreaming??