Insomnia Help

Posted by Anonymous (Anonymous) on 08/07/2011

Dear Ted,

I saw your posts on Earth Clinic and I am hoping you can help me! I have been having insomnia for the past several months. My doctor prescribed Trazodone as a sleep aid, but it only puts me out for two hours. In fact, my doctor and I have also tried Ambien, Ambien CR, Lunesta, Restoril, and others. They all only work for two hours or so at night, no longer. I have tried taking melatonin but I still awaken after a few hours and am unable to go back to sleep.

I suffer from anxiety and depression. I get very anxious at night thinking about sleep. My doctor currently has me taking 60mg of Cymbalta every morning for this, but it doesn't seem to be working. I also have hypothyroidism, and my doctor has me taking 150mg of Levothyroxin for that. Could any of these medications be contributing to my sleeplessness?

I also am taking daily B vitamin supplements, a calcium/magnesium supplement, vitamin D-3, vitamin E, chromium picolinate, slippery elm, COQ10, selenium, omega-3, and 400mg of sam-E. I do not know if any of these things could be contributing to the insomnia as well.

I am very anxious and unhappy right now. Is there anything you could
suggest for my situation? I would love to hear from you!

Replied by Ali

First... I just want to say I LOVE YOU TED!!!! :0) So much great info.. Blessings to you. About insomnia... Ted's info. Is great as usual. A couple of other things that have helped me is Standard Process Organically Bound Minerals at night and also L-Theanine and a dark room with soft classical music.

Replied by Gert

I've emailed Ted several times regarding my insomnia issue and have never had a reply. I see that he is posting recently--is there any way I can check to see if he responded to me and I can't find his reply? I used the email address provided and set my antispam to allow his messages thru.

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
391 posts

You are taking what is called the kitchen sink approach, its not going to work. Well, calcium/magnesium supplement is not taken. Magnesium citrate helps. There is one person who had terrible insomnia helped with sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. That was a serious case, he's since been cured. I added the potassium carbonate as sodium carbonate alone causes kidney pain but was stopped immediately (less then a minute) with potassium carbonate. Most insomniacs are basically extremely acid.

The solution was mixed in 1/2 teaspoon of sodium carbonate and 1/4 teaspoon of potassium carbonate in 1 glass of water taken before sleep. That was a desperate solution. There is other avenues which will work safely too but the effects of it is somewhat less but is Sodium citrate (1/2 teaspoon) and potassium citrate (1/4 teaspoon) as the starting dose given before sleep. Now all alkaline products should NOT be given before meals, especially in the morning hours. But it works nicely in the evening.

The selenium you mentioned should be given in form of selenium yeast, and that's in morning and 200 mcg given 2 times a day. B3 niacinamide is given before sleep a minimum of 500 mg often works too. The niacinamide will help anxiety and depression, and in fact if a person takes any B complex supplements he will in fact not have enough B3 either. In a tissue of ordinary person, B3 takes up most of the supplement of the B complex, so its demands by the body requires a lot. The second one that was surprising in tissues of humans is selenium was unusually low, and required 400 mcg minimum divided dose of 200 mg x 2 is safe, it must be selenium yeast, all other selenium causes faster heart beat. Now if they do have faster heart beat I would check for homocysteine, which will likely be above 9, I believe it needs to be 6 to 7 to be acceptable or else these people will have anxiety attacks. The remedy I used is TMG (trimethylglycine), 500 x 3 should be sufficient to reduce homocysteine.

Let's review the list of supplements:
vitamin D-3, well this doesn't contribute to insomnia
vitamin E, suppose its 200 i.u. It gives you energy, but doesn't contribute to insomnia.
Calcium/magnesium this contributes to insomina, especially the calcium and if they got aspartate, that makes it so much worse.
chromium picolinate, this gives anxiety attacks, nervousness and sleeplessness. Contributes to insomnia.
slippery elm, helps sleeping
COQ10, this has more to do with energy.
selenium, this may help sleep, but selenium yeast.
omega-3, I have reservations about this, I much prefer hemp oil as it has a balance if essential fatty acid, I believe current dosages in market as 500 mg to 1500 mg a day is too much and causes weight gain. I prefer weekly dose, but may help sleep.
sam-E. This varies for different people and it's expensive.

The ones I will look into are these:

St. John's Wort for sleep and one drop to two drop of Lugol's iodine in evening. There is a history of Veterinarian use of iodine given to animals (such as dogs) to help there sleep. It's simple and cheap. The side effects of too much iodine, so I would keep it to 1/2 drop to 2 drop. 1/2 drop is easy, one drop in a glass of water, and pour off 1/2 glass of it.

There is OTHER causes of sleepless that I uncovered, your immune systems, the remedy for that is lysine. But is not given in the usual dose. It's taken 1000 mg of lysine hourly for 3 hours. That usually works too.

For depression I will get B3 niacinamie, 500 mg and amino acid supplements, it will have effect after you take within 1 hour. There are other people who won't take amino supplements, so Moringa 1 teaspoon of powder will work too.


Replied by Alicia
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Anonymous from Anonymous: I feel your frustrations as I too have suffered from terrible insomnia most of my life, and stress is most definitely to blame, but how to avoid it right? I personally feel that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds only make that worse. You wrote that you have tried melatonin but did you actually use it correctly? Here is what helped me: I bought Weber's Melatonin tablets that dissolve under the tongue. 3month supply costs about 10-13$ here in Canada. I took it religiously every night at the SAME time--very important as you're supposed to take it at whatever time you're wanting to be asleep by-- and when the feeling of sleepiness started I did not fight it. After about 10 days or so I started falling asleep at the same time --11 pm--and slept through the night. I stopped the M. After 3 months. To help me further relax during that time I was listening to a cd of thunderstorm--rain relaxes me--and also various breathing meditations that helped me focus on the breath rather than my erratic thoughts. Try to find a sound that you find pleasing and use it at night, you can download cd's with the sound of a purring cat--how sweet is that to fall asleep to--or any relaxing music or meditation. There are lots of lovely relaxing meditation / New Age videos / on sites like YouTube that you can stream for free.

But I would encourage you to try the Melatonin consistently. Add some massage before bedtime, or reflexology, candlelight etc. Good luck.

Replied by Jc
Boston, Ma

I suffer from insomnia as well and have had a host of experiences.

A study from MIT was done on Melatonin that found less is better. They concluded the optimum amount of melatonin was betwen. 5 and 1 mg.

I have read elsewhere that Melatonin does not cross the blood brain barrier very well and thus it does not work on many people.

This is why it seems to work better on older people.

The same it true of GABA.

This is why people take the precursors like Tryptophan and 5htp.

I have tried both GABA and Melatonin and neither worked. I could conclude this is a good thing because it suggests my BBB is working.

I have had some modest help with Tryptophan in the 1500 to 2000 mg dose range.

It is refreshing to see some of the ideas Ted has presented. More food for thought and approaches to test.

Replied by Aaron M
Chesterland, Oh

I read an article about how cherry juice can beat insomnia. The artcile taks about the results from a study done at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. Check it out here: Cherry juice can beat insomnia

Replied by Anon
Jerusalem, Israel

Hi Ted, I am having terrible trouble sleeping- I sleep maybe 4 hrs a night and the quality of the sleep is awful-this has been going on for years and esp bad for months.

I take trazadone for sleep, venlafaxine for depression and gabapentin for moods and the meds do not work-but I cannot sleep at all without them I take 125mg, 25 and 300 mg of the above repectively, and also deep sleep, a supplement with valarian, poppy, etc, but I still sleep horribly.

I often feel my head drooping but still cant sleep.

I am kept awake by a combination of stress, racing thoughts, worry, pain and digestive trouble-it feels like there is all this putrid stuff just sitting in my lower abdomen-i often have huge bowel movements, a ton of dumping many times a day and it really stinks. I burp and fart am bloated and have a crampy belly all the time. My breath smells bad.

I'm about 5'8" and way 126lb-should weigh 135-145

after I eat I feel exhuasted.

I have terrible pain esp in my neck and shoulders-under my skin it feels granulated the pain feels like lots of hot fiery needles- I have similar pain around my hip and all over my body under my skin its kind of gravelly and sort of lumpy.

I am tired even when I do sleep, I also am extremely itchy about the scalp and have neropathy in my left foot and lower leg and also I my right one.

I wonder which remedies you think I shoud start with for the insomnia, and which are not a problem to take woth the drugs-i eventually want to get off them, but not right now.

Is there anything safe that will just knock me out? Please help!!!

Replied by Christine
Bremen, Ga. Usa

Have you tried Kava? It may help because it helps to relax a person. It would probably be best to try it in tincture/extract form and take a dropper full in a bit of water. Taste nasty but does help one to relax before bed and to sleep longer. (read label)

Have you tried a good naturopath doc and or a chiroprator? The best to you!

Replied by Bob
Brunswick, Ohio

Along with 50gm Trazodone, 1/2 tab Clonazepam .5gm ( .25gm) and 15mg Mirtazapine before bed. Works well for me and I sleep good!!! Also 11 hrs. apart from the night dose the other half of Clonazepam. At one time I went 3 weeks without any sleep. Hpoe that helps