T Nation

Sleeping pills

Hey, I have a hard time most of the week falling a sleep and when I do I wake up often throughout the night. I don’t want to purchase ZMA, because I had bad experience with other brands (couldn’t sleep at all). So…I was wondering if I could take sometype of sleeping aid pill to help me sleep deeper. I’m currently using MAG-10, 2nd day. Thanks for any help.

Charles Poliquin said he had the same problem & it stopped when he startedd taking magnesium. I’ve never tried it though.

Ambien is an excellent choice among the pharmaceutical sleep aids.

Among over the counter or herbal aids,
kava kava, valerian, and diphenhydramine HCl
are all effective. There’s a brand of valerian by the name of I think “Alluna” which comes in tablets which are pleasant to take (unlike the usual capsules which result in the bad valerian taste coming back up on you.)

If combining all three, reduce each to 1/2
the usual dose. This can be quite effective.
However, I’m not sure that the quality of sleep is as good as normal sleep. (Just don’t know either way.)

A lot of people use melatonin. I’ve tried it, and found I felt more groggy in the morning, plus, the idea of messing with the hormones that way didn’t thrill me. Chamomile works for a lot of people, as does passionflower. You may be exhibiting signs of overtraining, however.

Never heard of real, plain ZMA doing that. Most report far better sleep while on it. Odd.

I like melatonin, between 1.5 and 3 mg. Unlike most sleep products (OTC and drugs), melatonin allows you get more REM sleep. Other products cause you to sleep, but get more NREM. This leaves you waking up feeling unrested or even slightly hung over. REM, by the way, is the state in which you dream. That’s why melatonin causes a lot of wild dreaming.

Side note: For those that say they don’t dream, well, that’s like saying you don’t breath. Dreaming is a side effect of REM sleep. If you did not dream you would not be getting REM sleep and this would eventually fuck you up. Chronic alcoholics, who usually pass out every night, get very little REM sleep (one reason why you feel like crap in the morning after drinking too much). They often hallucinate while awake as the body forced a waking REM period. We all go through waking REM periods. Ever catch yourself staring off into space and day dreaming. That’s a REM period.

Anyway, try melatonin. I took it for three years straight at one point in time with no problems. Good stuff. Don’t take it if it’s 1AM and you have to get up at 6AM though. It’ll still be “in your system” so to speak and you may feel groggy.

I had a similar experience with another brand of ZMA but I gave Biotest’s ZMA a day in court and it works fantastic. That’s not to say you will have the same response but its something to think if all else fails.

Eas’s ZMA HP kept me awake as well. They added some additional ingredients and actually reccommend taking it before a workout, which would indicate it not to be a sleep aid. With the Biotest version I feel I get the same quality of sleep in 6 hours I would get in 8 without it. About 30-45 minutes after I take it I can barely stay awake.

The above suggestions are all good. I also recommend St. John’s Wort and Ashwaganda.

I couldn’t sleep for shit the first week i started my mag-10. i waited until the second week and bought some melatonin. its been working like a charm for me!! i do feel a little groggy, but only when i FIRST wake up. after that i feel great! try taking the minimum 1 mg first. i found that taking 2 mg’s works great for me. it’s dirt cheap too!!

I should have mentioned melatonin also. That
was an oversight.

It’s probably best to take melatonin somewhat before wishing to go to sleep. I don’t know the exact best time interval but I guess 2-3 hours.

Take it from me, the ultra-insomniac; Meletonin is the way to go. I’ve tried every over the counter “pharmaceutical” sleeping pill and none of them would work for me. I’ve literally taken 5 at a time and stayed up all night never losing any semblance of an edge. When I check out at a certain time that I normally wouldn’t, I take Meletonin and fall quickly into comfortable uninterrupted sleep. It works better for me then Valium. I’ve noticed two side effects. 1. -I- have the tendency of sleeping upwards of 12 hours if I don’t set an alarm with the stuff, and on a couple of occasions sleeping 16 hours. 2. While I do feel rested mentally, I typically don’t feel completely rested physically while taking Meletonin. But that just might be me. Back when I was studying psychology I read that when your body is in REM sleep it isn’t concentrating -as much- on healing the body and -vice versa-. It goes in synch with what Chris’s point about alcoholics and how they don’t really dream when they sleep. The body decides that ridding the body of the “poison” of alcohol is of a higher priority then processing the day’s events into the subconscious (dreaming/REM). The bottom line is that if your body is beat down enough, the body will spend more time fixing the body then dreaming. Goes back to more primitive days of a strong body being of more importance then a tired mind.

does anyone know of the names of the specific melatonin supplements?

I’ve taken 3 different varieties and gotten the same results from each. I bought all at different supermarkets. Manufacturer doesn’t matter with meletonin. Buy the mid priced one if your sceptical.

Brand doesn’t matter. I’ve never purchased “bad” melatonin. I usually get cheap brands at Wal-mart or the grocery store. Twinlab has some tiny little capsules I like. Works the same as cheap tabs though.

Don’t buy anything but plain melatonin if you want to try it. Often, some supplement companies tend to screw up a good thing by adding unnecessary bells and whistles. This drives up the price and can sometimes screw up the effectiveness, as we’ve seen with some ZMA products.

great advice thanks…I’ve experienced the same sleeplessness. Last night from 10 to 3 I lay awake-its no fun (especially when your wifes asleep) anyway, zma kept me awake as well. I’ll try melatonin- is it a sleeping pill or a supplement typr product where the bottle says melatonin?

If you want a ‘low-tech’ option,try consuming some tryptophan-rich nuts like sunflower seeds or walnuts along with some carbs, after you are done eating your protein for your last meal. A while later make yourself a cup of chamomile tea. Works nicely. Also dim the lights as it gets dark outside to get the melatonin flowing. There’s a good article at the mercola.com website ,‘Getting a Good night’s sleep’ that you might find interesting, has some good tips.

What section can you find melatonin in? Would it be in the over the counter medicine section?

Two points guys, I prefer the sublingual, put it under the tongue and let it dissolve melatonin, seems to get into the system more quickly and is more effective for me. Second, studies I have reviewed show that nonalcoholics who drink heavily and then go to bed have bigtime REM sleep disturbances, alkies make the adjustment and can knock down a pint or so of Old Crow and still get plenty of REM sleep, just an academic point.

How much melatonin do you guys use? I have tried up to 5 mg and it still didnt work for me. I cant remember the last time that I have had more than 3 or 4 hours of straight sleep.

Brian: I’ll typically take just one 3mg tablet. I’ll fill my mouth up with water, crunch the pill up in my teeth like a flintstones chewable, anf chug the rest of my water. I’ll usually feel sleepy within 15 minutes. The more I think about it, during times of mega-stress it was harder and I resorted to taking 9 mg once, but slept very late and had some -really- funky dreams. I’d honestly recommend seeing a doctor. If your big time stressed out, low doses of valium will chill your mind. However it can be addicting so I wouldn’t use it (valium) for more then two weeks. Have you been really stressed out lately?