T Nation

Insomnia while on TRT

Ive used roids in the early 2000’s and never had an issue with sleep whilst taking unto 1700mg per week (an absurd about I know, but hey I was young and less educated than I thought at the time). So with that in mind, I don’t believe the insomnia is testosterone or steroid related, I was using vet grade enanthate at the time but I used almost every roid under the sun in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

I stopped at around 2002-2003 and basically started using herbals for androgen support, DHEA combined with Tongkat was very good, so was DHEA combined with Tribestan. They both felt the same as been on gear and had all the same benefits, however I stopped using those and switched to TRT 2 years ago because they started causing pain in my liver/gallbladder region. I went into hospital for gallbladder stones at the time, I suspected it was the Tongkat and Tribestan at the time because i noticed prior to hospitalisation that my pain in that region would intensify when I used the herbs. SO I stopped using them a few years ago and found a doctor that put me on TRT in Sydney Australia.

Anyway, I will report back, I don’t have blood test results yet, still having trouble sleeping and I know that my body temperature is low after testing morning and afternoon temps. Now I did try Iodrol on several nights a few weeks ago and found that it made it more difficult for me to sleep. However because I want to eliminate the possibilities of iodine deficiency as been part of the cause I decided that Im going to take it to get my temperature up regardless, even if it means no sleep for the next month.

I took 8mg of Iodrol last night and 1000mg of Vitamin C (to keep cortisol in check) and slept like a baby. Now this was on top of my evening protocol of 3mg Melatonin and 25mg DHEA. I don’t think I have found a holy grail and am not convinced that I can sleep consistently before I get a month of solid sleep without interruptions.

I am noticing that the Iodrol feels like a stimulant, I get a buzz of it but somehow yesterday I felt like I was winding down in the evening and fell asleep without any issues.

I upped my dose to 32mg today because I want to get my temperature up into normal range, currently at 36deg C in mornings and 36.5deg C in the afternoon. After watching a 1 and a half hour presentation by Dr Brownstein, I have realised how critical Iodine is in the body. Now I don’t know for sure where my levels are at but I know that I don’t eat a lot of seafood which seems to be one of the few food groups high in iodine.

Irrespective of short term sleep results, Im going to try to maintain this dosage until my temperature rises to the normal range.

I will get a better perspective on Estorgen on the next blood test, libido is good at the moment so I may be ok now that I am using Undeconate every week (used to take it every 3 months).

I will post blood results once I get them.

Thanks for suggestions all.

I got test results back, testosterone was high, as was oestrogen.

Testosterone 44 (8-32)
Estrogen 250 (<150)

I took 1/3 of of an aromasin tablets last night after receiving supply, and I slept like a baby. I am thinking 1/3 of a tablet every 9 days as a starting point and scale up or down based on next test result in 2 weeks time. If anyone has some experience with Aromasin please share their thoughts or experience on dosage??

I was surprised to see testosterone level so high on 125mg per week, using testosterone undeconate. I do a single shot because of the very long half life and skipped 1 week of injecting before I did the blood test. So the last shot was 2 weeks prior to blood test.

Im going to reduce my dosage down to 80mg per week, even though I prefer to be running a higher level because I want to get everything balanced before I attempt to keep things stable above the normal range.

The last blood test was about 3 months ago, my oestrogen level was 16 (40-160), and I had the same insomnia symptoms. My current thinking is that both low and high oestrogen are producing insomnia, finding the sweet spot is not my goal. I hope that 25mg every 7-9 days works. Is doing blood tests every 2 weeks to find the right oestrogen level too soon?

Will estrogen stabalise in that short of a time frame as I adjust my dosage?

I haven’t taken a testosterone injection since the 7th Nov 2013, I know it sounds like a long time but this testosterone ester really does take long to drop. The information sheet inside the box quotes studies that rate the half life at 53 days, even 90 days. I can’t keep running blood tests, so Im trying to navigate a bit in the dark and base it on how I feel.

Once I do the next blood test in a few weeks I will be able to workout the rate at which my testosterone level declines whilst using Undeconate. If it drops from 44 to 25 (my target level) over say 5 weeks, I can determine the half life for myself with a bit of basic math.

Anyway, I really do hope that last night was not a coincidence. In hinde sight, I think I have been running a very low oestrogen level for a long time, and I ruled out the oestrogen possibility when I stopped aromasin and I continued to have the same problem as it spiked high. I may have had some good sleep nights in between and just thought it was due to another variable where I have tried different things to induce sleep.

Goes to show his tricky and delicate balancing oestrogen can be.

Ok, I figured out my problem. This might be helpful to others that read this, so Im sharing.

Ive been sleeping fine now for over a month, so Im pretty comfortable in saying that I have sorted out the problem.

I was running high oestrogen levels for a long time, which caused insomnia.

I then took drastic measures to drop oestrogen down to the bottom of the normal limit by taking Aromasin, ( tablets per day). My oestrogen came back very low but my insomnia persisted. This had me puzzled for a long time, high was bad, low was bad, so I started looking into things like adrenal fatigue, which turned out to be just a divergence.

Anyway, after trying various testosterone dosages and even getting my oestrogen level 1/3 of the way above the lower end of the range (which is 80 in Australia, range been 40-150), I could not shake off the insomnia.

So I decided to clear testosterone from my system and hopefully get oestrogen under control at the same time.

I didn’t take testosterone for 5-6 weeks, and all of a sudden I started sleeping fine. Well at first it was good sleep but not spectacular, now I feel completely normal even after reintroducing testosterone and using 1/4 of an Aromasin tablet (6.25mg) per day.

so it seems that even though I managed to get my oestrogen level low enough using aromasin in the past, because the problem was triggered by oestrogen, I was only able to reset by insomnia problem by letting my oestrogen and testosterone levels to drop low and then reintroducing slowly whilst controlling oestrogen at the same time.

I hope this helps anyway who bothers to read it. I guess it goes to show, there is more going on than just testosterone and oestrogen lab results, something was stuck and only reset itself once I lowered testosterone and oestrogen naturally before ramping up again.

Whilst I was off testosterone, my readings still came back at 25 (8-32), however this was different to the lab reading I got from another Lab, which indicated my test levels where much lower at 16 (8-35) a week earlier.

I am still feeling like my energy is very low, I fatigue easily and have low energy but now Im sleeping. I suspect my oestrogen is too low by using 6.25mg of Aromasin per day, but Im not prepared to change it until I do another blood test.

I hope to do this in the coming days and will adjust the dosage accordingly. I think I can dial my oestrogen in from here now that Im sleeping again, I just need a ballpark of where I’m currently at to workout my dosage.

Melatonin puts you to sleep and when melatonin levels fall, you wake up. If you get a typical melatonin supplement, it gets depleted in 4-6 hours and you wake up. So you must find a time release product. Suggest 6mg.

Are you snoring? TRT increases snoring. That may be part of the issue.

Trazodone Rx is effective and when dosed right, does not have and drag over. Start with 25mg, expect to get to 50mg soon and later 75mg. Comes in 150mg tabs that are scored for 50, 75, 100. Very inexpensive.

Inject T twice a week for steadier levels:

Read these stickies:

  • advice for new guys
  • protocol for injections


  • are your body temperatures OK? That is the bottom line for thyroid function

You have to fix the estrogen problem. That is mission critical. We work with E2 estradiol here, not total estrogens.

KSman, I know where your coming from, just keep in mind that I’m using Reandron, the shortest documented half life I can find online anywhere 16 days. I even did 2 blood tests 3 weeks apart and worked out the half life based on my test results was 14 days. (I have an excel spreadsheet that does this).

Because I got the blood test results and not relying on documented half lives in scientific journals, I think testosterone levels are fairly stable. From memory, it took me 21 days to drop from a testosterone reading of 44 (8-32) to a testosterone reading of 16 (8-32) using the same pathology lab. No injections were administered during this time frame, I was over as you can see and needed to get back into range and more importantly I wanted to see if it affected sleep, which it did.

I have changed my protocol slightly and am feeling much better today. I reduced Exemestane down to 6.25mg E2D, what an instant difference that made, I feel like the lights have turned on today, lets see if I can stay here. I am also reducing my Reandron injections to every 6 days so that I can administer HCG one day before the testosterone on every week and maintain a E2D protocol for HCG.

Once Estrogen stabalizes, I will try reducing exemestane to every 3 days, at this point Im taking it on the same day that I use HCG to stay on top of Estro sides.

Body temps are good, at 37 deg C. Im still taking Iodrol 8mg per day, even though I probably no longer need it.

HCG is taken SubQ, Test sites are alternated also using a insulin pin.

I will report back in a few weeks whilst on this protocol, too soon to say much about Libido other than that I had morning wood this morning. I feel more alive and my vitality is good today, I feel strong, energetic, and very awake which are all unusual when I contrast myself with how I have felt over the last 12 months.

It takes a while for E2 levels and then the effects on the brain to reach a new balance after a change.

KSman, I have read the stickies mentioned several times, I think I have the protocol covered. Its not always as easy to implement as it is to read but I think Im getting close to where I need to be now.

I have always snored heavily, I think its because I broke my nose several years ago and although the nasal passage is open, I don’t think its as clear as it used to be, I checked with my wife and she said that she noticed I have always been a heavy snorer. I met her after my nose was already broken so I can’t confirm my broken nose theory. My brother used to say I snore when we were living at home but not sure how loud or bad compared to now.

I don’t think I need sleeping pills anymore because Im sleeping now but I will keep your suggestions of time released melatonin and Trazodone in mind, I know you do comprehensive research and have a lot of experience when making suggestions.

On a slightly different note, my prostate started to enlarge last week, I noticed on friday that I needed to urinate every hour or so. Now at the time I was using 25mg DHEA every day. I stopped using it after I noticed those symptoms and started 300mg Beta Sistoral every day and pumpkin seed oil daily, the problem seems to have gone away but ideally I would like to stop the Beta Sistoral and Pumpkin seed because I don’t want to suppress my DHT.

I have used proscar in the past for hairless (several years ago before I started TRT) and it caused all sorts of issues.

I don’t have lab results but based on my transition from 6.25mg Exemestane ED to E2D, I think my Estrogen level was very low during this period when my prostate started to enlarge.

I recognised the prostate issue instantly because its happened to me once before and was a lot worse, I eventually treated it using the same Beta Sistoral and Pumpkin seed protocol (alongside stinging nettle which I didn’t have anymore of on this occasion).

Anyway, I will phase them out in a few weeks to see if the prostate issue returns, I want to make sure that my estrogen level is stable first and my results with sleep, vitality and energy remain good on my current protocol before I make a change.

If my Estrogen level was low, why would I get a prostate issue, I thought that estrogen was a contributing force to enlarged prostate and it was not exclusively related to DHT?

Any information about this would be helpful. I tried doing a DHT blood test on my last lab, the doctor requested it but it never came back on the results so I don’t think its available to see where my levels are at.

KSman, based on your feedback about changes to E2 and the brain, I will wait a minimum of 4 weeks before I make any changes. But so far I have noticed an extreme improvement and am feeling really good, perhaps the dramatic change was due to extremely suppressed E2 levels?

KSman, based on your feedback about changes to E2 and the brain, I will wait a minimum of 4 weeks before I make any changes. But so far I have noticed an extreme improvement and am feeling really good, perhaps the dramatic change was due to extremely suppressed E2 levels?

Tabman, what is your situation? I’ve been reading your account and would like to hear how the whole thing worked out.

I have tried everything over the past several months with little progress so on the 9th Feb '14 I decided to stop TRT because when I did so for 2 months in the past I noticed that my sleep improved. I started using HCG at 125iu per day 3 weeks ago and have almost fully restored testicular testosterone production (based on size). I did a blood test 3 weeks ago, just before I started HCG therapy and my level was still at 17 (8-32), and my estrogen was at 100 (50-150), so it’s taking a very long time for this ester to clear. I plan on stopping HCG on the 9th May (my doctor said it takes 3 months for this ester to clear the system). I also introduced 6.25mg of exemestane EOD at the same time as HCG (3 weeks ago).

I plan on upping the exemestane to 6.25mg ED once I stop HCG therapy to stimulate the HTPA to produce LH and FSH. My libido has not been too bad because I’m also using 25mg of Proviron 3 times a day. The proviron does not seem to agravate my insomnia, however HCG at 250iu’s does which is why I’m dosing it every day.

I worked out that all aromatising hormones affect my problem, specifically dhea, testosterone, HCG, even Nolvadex after 9 days of use caused major sleep disturbances (probably because it stimulated the piturity to release aromitising hormones). I’m happy with the non aromatising proviron and I’m hoping that it does not disrupt my recovery of the HTPA. Please share information on this if you have any, I’ve read mixed information online but based on my 9 days of Nolvadex experiment (20mg per day), I’m assimg it won’t interfere because I was on proviron at the time and believe that I stimulated the HTPA to release hormones based on more severe insomnia after day 9.

With all that said, I just started sleeping this week, I guess my test levels are low enough for what ever reason to not agravate or cause insomnia. It’s taken a bit longer than it did the last time I stopped TRT but I think the introduction of a low HCG dose is the reason behind this.

I’m going to do bloods after in about 6 weeks to see I’ve stimulated the HTPA to produce enough natural testosterone. Because I have secondary hypogonadism, I may be able to get my natural levels high enough using exemestane to not require TRT. If this is the case then I will just run exemestane at maximum comfortable dosage which does not cause low estrogen sides. I will continue with proviron for extra androgens. I’ve heard good things from guys running exemestane alone,non of them had a condition but the great benefit of it is that it does not cause libido issues like adex, or SERMs.

If it does not work and I can’t get my test levels high enough then I’m going to try a high dosage of a much shorter ester. The purpose of this is that I have a theory that I need to prove. I believe that stimulating natural testosterone production once I clear the ester will somehow reset my endocrine system and I will be able to start TRT again.

This is a last resort and as I said I will only go down this path of exemestane does not stimulate enough natural testosterone. I will report back in several weeks once I have done bloods. I will follow up with another report on how high I get natural testosterone on exemestane and the dosage I’m running. If I’m not happy with results, I’ll report back after I reintroduce testosterone and let everyone interested know if resetting the endocrine system resolved my testosterone sensitivity problem.

So stay tuned for a minimum of 2 more reports and possibly a 3rd.

I stopped the HCG early, possibly prior to full restoration because Im so anxious about restoring sleep, I think the HCG helped as my testicles probably doubled in size over the 3-4 weeks that I used it daily at 125 i u. In my mind, that was enough, I needed to know if I can restore sleep after I restore the hypothalamus function.

I tried to increase exemestane to 2 days on and 1 day off at 6.25mg so I can stimulate more pituitary hormonal release . But I found that it caused a lot of strain in my back due to an old injury. so backed off again to E2D and introduced 5mg of Nolvadex daily. I thought I would start low on the Nolvadex and increase it based on feedback from the effect I sense, I have a pretty good feel on how well something is working with me. With that said, I am finding that 5mg of Nolvadex is amazing in combo with the 6.25mg E2D. Im getting morning wood every day, my libido is surprisingly high, especially in the evening that I took exemestane (in the morning).

My wife has been having her period so I will see how sexual performance is in the next couple of days, I find that when my hormones are good that I last much longer during sex due to harder erections.

I also stopped using Proviron on Monday 28th April, I thought this was going to have a real back effect on my sense of well being and libido, but surprisingly it did not. As a matter of fact, have slept the last 3 nights like a Zen Monk, my wife reported that the kids woke her up a few times, normally I would attend to these events because I was always awake, but I heard nothing in the last 3 nights and woke up feeling refreshed.

I also changed my bedtime protocol, I upgraded my daily Vitamin D intake from 400IU (which Ive been using of years) to 800IU. I introduced TMG (1g a day) which helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, and consequently lower the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline function). I had a bit of science to back this decision, I did a morning and afternoon cortisol test and my afternoon cortisol level was higher than it should be according to the doctor.

I also started drinking a cup of chamomile tea (no sugar) each night and I put dim lamps on once the sun set to stimulate melatonin and sleep bodily functions.

I started having a very hot shower every night before bed to relax my body (seeing I don’t have a bath tub) and I started listening to Biorecharge’s signature sleeping track (by Grasshopper Entertainment) on my bedroom surround sound system in my bedroom. This stimulates the body to release HGH and puts the user into a very deep sleep simultaneously, you can google it for more information, there is lots of science to prove that the human mind tunes into the environmental frequencies and that certain frequencies cause the secretion of HGH.

Anyway, I think its all working after sleeping pills failed. I can’t credit this to a particular part of my protocol without going through an elimination process so Im happy to just be sleeping now and will maintain the protocol for a few months before I do a hormone blood test.

As long as I feel good, I don’t feel the need for change, I would like to introduce ZMA and will try so tonight because I used it for many years in the past and it helped with even deeper sleep and more energy the following day. Ive held off it for a while now because it contains Vitamin B6 which can be a bit stimulating.

I will report back,Im very curious to see how high I can get my test levels using this Nolva, Exemestane protocol, especially seeing that my libido is good now (which I hope it stays this way).

I will report back any other significant changes. I doth feel like I want to change much else ATM and feel very relaxed after 3 nights of sleep. My last testosterone shot was 83 days ago so hopefully my synthetic levels are fairly low now. I donut think my body has had enough of a chance to produce much of its own yet so Im hoping that my current vitality improves further with time.

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Damn… Sounds like an epic battle.

I had just the opposite experience. Struggled with Insomnia since childhood. Started TRT and almost immediately started to sleep like the dead consistently. I didn’t realize how hard it was on me until I experienced normal sleep.

I’m on TRT. If I do my shot in the evening, forget about sleeping. I’ve had insomnia for years. I took Ambien for a couple of years then it started making me feel a bit loopy so I stopped. Now I just take two Benadryl. Sleep like a champ everytime. I understand finding the root of the issue, but for me…I just want to sleep. We give Benadryl via IV as a sedative. Works very well. 2 cups of coffe in the morning knocks out the hangover. Or 10mg Adderall. I’ve asked several Docs if there was an issue taking it all the time and the answer was always no problem (I don’t trust most docs, but in this case what the heck)

I might keep that in mind, I’ve been sleeping since the beginning of May but my libido is officially gone. At this point zero libido and good sleep if fine with me. I’m hoping libido will return in the coming months.

I have an appointment with a new Specialist on Monday, let’s see how that goes.

Make sure to buy the generic, diphenhydramine. Cheaper.

Doxylamine is the strongest over the counter. It’s the main medication in Unisom. It’s also the medication in NyQuill that makes you sleep so well. Works very well as a sleep aid, but the hangover is really bad. You’ll want to sleep anytime you sit down for 2-3 days.

“Doxylamine is a member of the ethanolamine class of antihistamines and has anti-allergy power superior to almost every other antihistamine on the market, with the exception of diphenhydramine (Benadryl); it is also the most effective over-the-counter sedative available in the United States and is more sedating than some prescription hypnotics.[4] One study found that doxylamine succinate was more effective than the barbiturate phenobarbital for use as a sedative”

Personally I’d stay away from the ZMA. Nothing wrong with dosing with Zinc and Magnesium, B6. It’s the Aspartame I’d be concerned about.

As I type this I’m up not sleeping because of TRT therapy again.

For something more natural to control E2 try Astaxanthin. (BioAstin is a good brand)

You might want to check where you blood pressure is. On/near shot days my blood pressure goes up alot and insominia too.

I take test every 4 days (40-60mg) , rather than once a week. This seems to help keep the e2 from skyrocketing.

PT-141. Not a permanent solution for libido, but its nice to be able to pleasure the Mrs. from time to time. The coughing sucks, but it passes. (Much better than viagara)

I wish you well, keep us updated. Thanks for sharing.

I get resistant to antihistamines within days, and then I can take bucketsful and stay wide awake. Maybe the best is to have several different sleep medications so that you can rotate them. You just need discipline for it, though - I end up taking all of them on the same night: first the benadryl and wait and wait with no results, until finally I break down and take the max dose of ativan and wait some more, so after another hour or two when I realize the ativan is doing nothing I take some nyquil, etc., etc. Not a good habit to get into. And then after all that I still wake up at 4 am.

Tab you may have dropped E2 too low - too low and you get no wood/libido.