T Nation

Insomnia/Sleep Aids


#1

I've been suffering from insomnia for nearly a year now. All the doctors I've seen consider it to be psychological, and have seen several psychologists. The one that I'm currently seeing is not above enlisting the help of a sleep aid.

I've done all the ZMA, melatonin, valerian, etc. to try to treat it myself, and they never seem to work too long. I just wanted to get opnions on sleep aids and possible side effects. Is the sleep quiality worsened in relation to REM? Any knowledge would be appreciated.


#2

Well talk to the doctor and get soem thyroid tests taken up....I am an insomniac now more then ever, and usually i have been pretty good with sleep but nowadays being hyperthyroid i feel burnt out and not sleeping much and putting on fat....

yeah talk about dieting issues...
...but seriously consider your thyroid it does regulate a lot of hormones that can effect ur sleep patterns as I have come to feel...good luck pm if anythin


#3

5HTP works well for me - takes a few days to kick in.

Failing that - the drug Stilnox is pretty good also without leaving you whacked in the morning.


#4

You should also consider adrenal fatigue


#5

I actually suffer from insomnia big time. I seem to go through bouts of it here and there where it's like my brain will just not shut off. I take this stuff called diphenhydramine HCL. You can find it at target for fairly cheap. It's the active ingredient in Sominex and Benadryl I believe. I usually take 2 about 2 hours before I want to fall asleep. It works pretty well but be careful because if you take it too late, it can make you groggy the next morning.


#6

Here is a handy chart breaking down adrenal insufficiency and thyroid disfunction:

http://www.drrind.com/scorecardmatrix.asp

Taking sleep aids whether they be pharmaceuticals or "natural" supplements is a band aid solution. I tried this for years with some working initially and then not at all. Instead of wasting your time and money hunting for the magic bullet, find the root cause. It could be many things including:

Endocrine disorders (see above link)
Food allergies
Excessive stress
Electromagnetic fields in bedroom (ie. alarm clocks, television etc.)
Emotional issues
Blood sugar disorders
Late night computer usage (suppresses melatonin production)
Not sleeping in total darkness
Dehydration
Excessive exercise too close to bedtime
Parasites
Candida albicans
Lack of adequate day time sunlight
Overuse of stimulants (caffeine, ephedrine)


#7

Definately find the root cause, supplements and drugs will work in the interim, but eventually those will fail you too.

Two things that helped me:

Getting enough sunlight, especially in the morning.

Meditation before bedtime.

Don't forget "sleep hygiene", that is, going to bed a regular time and waking at a regular time. It would help to keep a journal for a few weeks of what you are ingesting and how you slept .


#8

I will second the thryoid check. When my thyroid med is too high, I have trouble sleeping. I also find that having an orgasm works tremendously well if I'm having trouble getting to sleep.

DB


#9

Try this... http://www.imusicseries.com/v6/


#10

You know, you had me believing for a moment that that was going to be a serious post.

I second that, though. I get sleepy right after busting one also. Unless it's in the morning, then it has the opposite effect.


#11

I never tried sleep aids myself but the stress(gf cheating/breakup) is killing me these days, i cant sleep for any more than 3 hours in a row. And sad part is i am in bulking phase so sleep is severly vital for me.

For simple insomnia due to high stress levels what would you guys recommend?


#12

It actually was a serious post, on both accounts.

DB