T Nation

Cortisol Control & Sleep

Hey guys, so I’m a highly stressed out person in general and in addition to a very, very stressful career. I am generally in good shape per my last physical (my good cholesterol was a tiny bit low, that was all), but I have stubborn body fat on my stomach and the constant stress seems to be increasing cortisol. Additionally, I have trouble sleeping. While I’m prescribed Xanax and Lunesta for sleep, I don’t want to take the former over 1x a week and the latter over 2x a week as I don’t want to get addicted.

I’m trying to take the following for sleep: 5-HTP, Glycine, KSM-66 Ashwaganda, ZMA, and meltaonin (occasionally valerian root and benadryl as well).

For cortisol control, I take Glycine & KSM-66 Ashwaganda.

I am thinking of adding Taurine for sleep as well as potentially Reduce XT (though I understand the latter can only be used 4 weeks at a time). My questions are as follows:

  • I do not take any of these supplements prior to lifting on training days, as I know that cortisol is needed for training. I pop glycine/ashwaganda like skittles immediately after training. On off days, I begin taking these once I wake up and a few times throughout the day. Is this the right approach?
  • Has anyone had experience with Taurine helping with sleep and/or cortisol control? If so, in what doses for each?
  • Has anyone had experience with Reduce XT?
  • Does anyone have other recommendations for supplements to help with cortisol control/sleep?

Thank you all in advance for your help!

It sounds like maybe you are taking too much stuff, you can’t even know what is working and what isn’t.

I took CBD oil before for some aches and pains, made me sleep like a baby and I woke up feeling very well rested. If you have sleep issues that might help. But you could have something else going on like sleep apnea.

I have heard stories of people taking melatonin regularly and eventually having more and more issues with sleep, some basically turning into zombies. It’s a hormone that your body produces naturally, if you take exogenous melatonin it can reduce you own body’s production plus you can develop a tolerance. I would stay away from it except maybe for occasional use,

CBD does nothing for me, it’s a good point about melatonin. I actually bought that up with my doctor and she said it’s no big deal to take regularly.

How much CBD were you taking though? An effective dose is at least 30mg. I know a guy who got some prescribed for other issues and he said the same thing, but he had the spray and was only taking 1-2 sprays of it. When I used that stuff I was taking about 6-8 at a time. Nothing works if you don’t take enough.

Oh I took a ton, having previously been a heavy pot smoker :wink:

Not all weed is high in CBD, most of the good stuff is actually very low in it. There is other weed that is high in CBD but usually very low in THC, and that is what they use to make the oil. I looked into this before, even with the high CBD weed you would need to smoke at least half a gram to get close to 30mg and probably more because you’re not going to get everything out of it and into your system. I’m not in the business of selling CBD oil, but it really might be worth trying.

I’m well aware of high and low CBD weed. Let’s put it this way - I bought the strongest, most concentrated CBD oil, it said take two drops, I took between 6-8. Did absolutely nothing for me.

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Hey man sorry to hear about your situation because I am an exact mirror image of you and know how stressful it is to not sleep. I am also trying to keep same meds as you to a limit.

I’ve tried everything you have but cycled through each one individually to determine which supplement did what for me, and to be honest none worked.
The amount of glycine I needed to be effective (as recommended by Thibs in his threads) sent me to the bathroom or made me nauseas and didnt work anyway.

Melatonin works mildly but only for an hour or so after taking it but not enough to knock me out. The 5 htp was also too mild but more effective with the melatonin. The one thing that Thibs mentioned was trying small doses melatonin earlier like at dinner and then at intervals until bed. That really worked but too good. I kept passing out after dinner after my first dose and waking up an hour later shot out of a cannon. Then couldnt sleep all night. Maybe you can try that.

The ashwaganda KSM- 66 only increased libido on occasion lol. Theanine did nothing and neither did taurine though I do feel that taurine made me more relaxed.

Right now my objective is to learn as much as I can about neurotransmitters because I believe this is where the problem and solution lies. My plan is to purchase one of CT’s plans for type 3 neurotype since this is what I tested out as twice,( either his combo online Training/Nutrition or the Fat Loss Plan) since I believe he is the most knowledgeable person I know of at this time regarding this area and I believe I can learn the most from him and possibly solve my issues.

My present protocol which is the best I could do for now @ 30 mins before bed is 800mgs of magnesium glycinate along with 3mg melatonin and 200 mgs of 5htp. Also a bunch of high glycemic junk carbs right before bed (which for some reason is when I crave them), almost feels like I get hit with a tranquilizer dart at times.
I’m gonna give the CBD that others mentioned a shot since thats all thats left. Good luck and let me know if you come up with anything.

Alot of guys get benefit from Magnesium Glycinate. It’s different than other magnesium forms for some reason. I had intermittent benefit, but I sleep like a stone anway so it’s hard to gauge with me.