I did it again! I managed to aggravate my insomnia
with another supplement. What seemed like a very beneficial and benign vitamin
turned out to be a sneaky sleep killer. Worst part? I unknowingly suffered for
almost a month until I figured out what the hell is going on with me – my vitamin
D dose was too high and it was causing insomnia! Let me explain.
About six weeks ago I started feeling more down than usual. Figured this was the winter blues again – no sunshine here, cold, wet – nasty business. This was the time to listen to science and start supplementing with Vit D for better mood and sleep. And initially it helped – a gentle pick up in mood, less lethargy, more sense of wellness. Good to go!
Two weeks into it I felt like I was doing so good that I could try and quit melatonin altogether (you can read about my experiment here) but I couldn’t fall asleep and it was getting worse and worse. That sense of tiredness and sleepiness never came at 10pm as usual. The little sleep that I got was very fractured and the dreams were insane: violent, paranoid with deep plots, I mean Hollywood would pay big buks for this stuff.
I waited two weeks to allow my body to adjust but things weren’t getting any better so I started back on melatonin but my sleep didn’t improve a bit! Something was wrong but I didn’t know where to look so I had to do what works best – think what new supplement I recently introduced. There were only two suspects – Vitamin D and K2.
Five years on melatonin is not a joke. I tried quitting it before and noticed that after a few nights of initial sleeplessness my body caught up with its natural rhythm and I was able to fall asleep without it. Not this time. I’ll share what happened and my speculations for the reasons that I failed so miserably.
My insomnia recovery is progressing steadily but slowly. I finally hit a point where I feel that most nights I get enough rest and my sleep pattern was “normalizing.” There was only one thing that was bothering me: I still wake up briefly around 2 or 3am and I wake up too early before that sense of refreshing sleep takes place.
I know for a fact that melatonin not only forces on the body a circadian rhythm (often lauded as a benefit) but also messes with it. Think about it, our body has a circadian rhythm of its own but by taking melatonin we tweak that clock and tell it to go in the direction it is not naturally set to go.
Additionally, I read that melatonin disrupts our cortisol rhythms. While we fall asleep easier we can wake up too early because we supply our body with an unnaturally high amount of the hormone and the body needs to compensate for it somehow. Since cortisol is very related to blood melatonin levels (cortisol levels fall in the evening and rise in the morning, while melatonin does the opposite) it is quite possible that a drop in high melatonin levels can give rise to high cortisol in the AM.
I figured it was enough messing with this melatonin/cortisol rhythm so I decided to turn things loose and see where the cards fall. It was time to allow the ‘natural’ circadian rhythm to take over and re-calibrate itself. I was hoping that [continue reading…]
I could bet a hundred buks that upon the onset of your insomnia the first idea that popped into your head was – glass of warm milk! I don’t blame you. Ever since our early years we’ve been told that nothing has a reputation for sending us into deep slumber quite like milk.
But is milk really that effective and are there cases where it can make insomnia worse? I listened to an Ayurveda practitioner and tried a glass of milk before bed but it backfired and sent me into a fiery hell of discomfort and sleeplessness. What I share with you here took me years to figure out.
Two Cases Where Milk is an Effective Sleep Aid:
First, is where drinking milk before bed is eliciting memories of your mother, childhood home, makes you comfy and relaxed and helps you to convince yourself to fall asleep.
Second case where milk would make you sleepy is if you’re a baby calf who’s sucking on the actual tit!
This is pretty much it because it only gets worse from here.
Science Does not Support It
According to an age old myth, milk’s effectiveness as sleep aid is due to a sedative amino acid called L-tryptophan. It is the raw material for our ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin, which converts to our ‘sleep well’ hormone – melatonin.
Perhaps you’ve already heard about Tryptophan when others speak about getting real sleepy after stuffing themselves with roast turkey meat. It is believed that turkey too is rich in Tryptophan. According to this logic, [continue reading…]
Over the years I’ve experimented with a ton of supplements in order to find a solution to my persistent insomnia and fatigue. As a result of having no clue as to what I’m dealing with, I often made things much worse. It was a hellishly frustrating experience but every experiment pointed me in one direction or another and eventually towards piecing the puzzle together.
The advice below is for hardcore insomniacs so I’ll spare you from all the obvious suggestions you find online relating to melatonin, EMFs, pillows, mattresses, magic nightgowns, “happy thoughts” and the rest of the BS.
Setting the Ground
First things first: quit all of your current supplements unless you deem them to be life saving for you. If you don’t know what and why you’re taking it can be causing you more harm than good. Especially cut out all B vitamins and any stimulants, including all herbal formulas, before you try any of the tips below.
I invite you to do this because you need to have a baseline to measure your improvements. In addition, you might be already experiencing paradoxical reactions to supplements, resulting in decreased sleep quality. If you have any doubts [continue reading…]
Last night I had a dream: I’m in a car, behind the wheel but I’m not in control. The car is violently rolling back down hill and the breaks aren’t working. All I can do is steer it a bit but I can not stop this terrifying downward spiral. This dream always means one thing in waking life – some crap is about to hit the fan when it comes to my health. Today, I woke up more fatigued than I have been over the past half a year.
While I’m seeing vast improvements in sleep, my fatigue remains a major issue and I believe it will get worse for the next few weeks, perhaps months. That is because I’ve hit the dump phase. The latter is a term describing a process where one’s body starts dumping heavy metals as a way to cleanse itself. This happens anywhere six to nine months after removing the source of intoxication. In my case this source was the amalgam fillings that were full of mercury.
On one hand this sucks as I know that all of my past symptoms are about to come back but on the other hand – once I exit this phase I should be on the home stretch to recovery and putting this madness behind me.
Heavy Metals and Fatigue
I’ve had symptoms of total adrenal fatigue (completely exhausted, heart palps, unable to function) that kind of improved and morphed into a state of chronic fatigue (CFS). Initially, I thought all this was due to my mitochondria being affected by years of insomnia but I’ve been sleeping much better since I started QiGong and even better after starting chelation with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) but my fatigue just lingered. Over the years I’ve accumulated some research and ideas as to why my energy levels have been so messed up. Here are a few hypotheses [continue reading…]
On my path of search for better sleep I’ve experimented with a ton of supplements and methods. Living in the Northern European climate one would find it impossible to avoid sauna. Used for centuries as a social and health promoting activity saunas are touted as one of the best ways to detox and relax. Naturally, I had to ask: will a sauna help me sleep better or make things much worse because of my adrenal fatigue?
As experience showed it will all depend on a variety of factors.
First: why would a sauna be a problem in the first place? Answer is one and only: heat. Heat means stress for your body. It also means a massive dehydration. We all know much too well that any type of stress on our organs will exacerbate insomnia and fatigue so why even bother? Well, it looks like the right amount of heat will relax our nervous system and sweat will remove many toxins that stress our body in the first place.
Second: Your experience with a sauna will largely depend on the stage of your adrenal fatigue. If you are advanced where you crash easily from supplements or any illness then you would be smart to forget about saunas entirely and enjoy warm baths instead. When I was at my worst I couldn’t even think about sauna: it was way too taxing and way too depleting. However, if your state of health is a bit more stable then read on.
The following advice is all about managing heat and dehydration so that you can make sauna the healing experience that you wish [continue reading…]
I had heard many times about people using animal adrenal glandulars to improve adrenal fatigue but what got my attention was that many claim to use it to improve their digestion, reduce insomnia and give them a boost during a detox or heavy metal chelation. In this post I share with you most relevant research, my experience with adrenal cortex extract (ACE), the benefits I experienced, as well as side effects, and finally I’ll give you some advice whether you should try it or skip it.
What is Adrenal Cortex
Adrenal glandular supplements are derived from organs of either cows, pigs or sheep. As an organ adrenals are involved in hormone production and various regulatory processes.
When you search for adrenal glandulars you often find claims such as: “the glandular tissues used in our product have been processed to remove the hormones and steroids that may be naturally present in these glands. The supplement provides natural building blocks that support optimal adrenal function so that the adrenal glands themselves can produce healthy amounts of the adrenal hormones as needed.” One producer claims: “bovine adrenal cortex supports healthy adrenal function by improving stamina and promoting an energetic feeling.” Some people on forums call ACE simply “food for adrenals.” So, energetic feeling, food, eh? We’ll see about [continue reading…]
Half a year ago I discovered CBD oil from a friend on Facebook who successfully recovered from insomnia and Lyme disease. Once I started researching this supplement I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. People all over the boards were claiming to have discovered relief from insomnia and improved health from CBD. I had to jump on it and try it so I could see what all the hype is all about. Being in Eastern Europe I figured I’d have to have it shipped from US but little did I know that it was available at a local pharmacy! I waited about no minutes to go get it.
Learning Curve – Why is There No Manual For It?
I took my first dose of a few drops during a day and didn’t feel much. Next day I took it in the evening and bam! – hardly any sleep that night. You should have heard me cuss at this “crap” in the morning. I was livid. 30 EUR down the toilet for another supplement with a paradoxical effect. As I researched it further I found out some people do, in fact, experience stimulation rather than calming effects of CBD.
Thanks goodness, there was an explanation for this… As I detailed in my previous research article on CBD benefits for sleep, I had to master CBD oil’s bi-phasic effect: small dose is stimulating, big dose is calming. So I experimented with both and definitely felt the difference. This gave me enough confidence to try CBD at night again. When I did I had another bad night… What’s up?!?! Even larger doses were alerting enough to keep me [continue reading…]
Poria Five Formula, aka Five-Ingredient Powder with Poria has been so helpful to me that I believe more people should be aware of its wonderful properties. This review is based on personal experience and my particular symptoms set.
While studying my condition from the Chinese medicine perspective I could not help but to be constantly led to conclusion that I have a serious spleen deficiency. Now, for those of you who haven’t delved much into TCM just keep in mind that ‘spleen deficiency’ is a wide encompassing term for various digestions issues, while ‘kidney yin deficiency’ is adrenal fatigue/hyper thyroid issues.
Spleen deficiency for me manifests as sluggish digestion, distention, bloating, inner coldness, strong preference for warm and cooked foods. Raw salad eaten in the evening was almost a guarantee for a sleepless night with multiple bathroom visits to urinate. Raw and cold foods induced either heat in my abdomen or chills in my core. On top of that I would feel stressed and restless. How is this even possible?
In Chinese medicine this points to both spleen and kidney deficiency. The two are very interrelated and you know this because adrenal fatigue is usually accompanied by poor digestion and various gut issues.This made me study and test various herbal formulas like [continue reading…]
This week I’m ripping out my last silver (amalgam) fillings. I want this toxic garbage out of my body for good. This is the most expensive experiment yet but knowing what I know now I just couldn’t ignore this potential hazard any more.
If you have any amalgam silver fillings (they are 40-50% mercury) in your mouth or suspect you’ve been exposed to excess mercury from your environment or food then read on, perhaps this will stir up enough curiosity in you to investigate this issue further. Perhaps your mouth too, might have been slowly poisoning you for years!
Why am I suspecting mercury toxicity? Because as I observe my body, test supplements and educate myself about heavy metals it always leads me to this advice: multiple health issues that nobody can figure out suggests mercury as the root cause.
The key indicator that heavy metals could be at play is when your symptoms either closely resemble or perfectly fit a host of various health issues like [continue reading…]