Shamans believe that the best and most effective cure for any illness grows within 100 miles of one’s village. Having used Chinese herbal formulas for years I was skeptical of anything local being as effective but that is until I learned about the medicinal powers of hemp plant and its legal, non-psychoactive extract – cannabidiol, aka CBD.
When I say CBD is like magic I really mean it. Hemp is one of the best researched plants for a variety of ailments but my interest, obviously, is how CBD can affect sleep.
Insomnia has a variety of causes and I believe the main ones are a compromised gut, heart issues, poor methylation, HPA axis dysfunction, and mental stress induced anxiety. Any of these can send your sympathetic nervous system into an overdrive and seriously affect homeostasis – your body’s ability to maintain inner balance. On the other hand, anything that can help restore that balance is worthy of highest [continue reading…]
Do you feel that you take too many supplements? Do you only take the ones you absolutely need? Have you ever made your insomnia worse with supplements? If you’re nodding your head then welcome to my world. In my world – most supplements ruin my sleep even more and cause paradoxical reactions making me feel more poisoned rather than ‘cured.’
I have a mysterious condition that closely resembles adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, dysbiosis and autoimmune issues that leave all doctors scratching their heads. This leaves me to my own devices experimenting with various supplements.
I’ve learned many valuable lessons over the years. Much of it came from other people but most of it comes from my own painful experience. Here is some advice that will hopefully save you a ton of money and sanity.
It Will Work if You Need It
Supplement will only work if you need it. It must address the underlying deficiency which is causing your insomnia or any other health issue. If you are supplementing already ‘normal’ levels it will cause more imbalances. Whatever the effect you will get will be temporary, till your body restores the balance. This is so crucial to ‘get’ because many of us are way over-supplementing with things we don’t need.
The best thing to do before undergoing any supplement regiment is to [continue reading…]
Last week I visited an acupuncturist in a different town. As I far as I could tell he’s the only game in the entire country when it comes to Chinese medicine. After a short evaluation he was very confident that the cause of all my evils is Shen disturbance.
According to the classical explanation – Shen is translated as “spirit” and refers to the spiritual aspect of our being. It embodies consciousness, emotions, and thought. According to TCM: Shen resides in the heart and presides over activities that take place in the mental, spiritual, and creative planes.
The acupuncturist said that when the underlying condition is ‘Shen disturbance’ then treating or tonifying everything else won’t work and cause even more imbalance.
This may answer the question that has haunted me for years: why most supplements have a paradoxical effect and why most TCM tonic herbs help initially but then create more imbalance later.
He said it is true that [continue reading…]
Anyone who has a close relationship with adrenal fatigue and insomnia knows that the condition can be so complex, so mind boggling and so stubborn that it makes you question your own sanity. While studying this condition I’ve read about the most exotic diseases and a variety of causes leading up to them. Perhaps one of the most interesting and straight out of The Matrix is the so called Extracellular Matrix Congestion (ECM).
According to Stephen Christensen on Study.com:
Living tissues are not just accumulations of tightly packed cells. Much of a tissue’s volume is made up of extracellular space (‘extra-‘ meaning ‘outside’ or ‘beyond,’ as in ‘extraterrestrial’). This void is filled with a complex meshwork called the extracellular matrix.
Rather than being inert filler material, like the Styrofoam packing around a shipment of glassware, the extracellular matrix is a dynamic, physiologically active component of all living tissues. In addition to providing structural support for the cells embedded within a tissue, the extracellular matrix guides their division, growth, and development. In other words, the extracellular matrix largely determines how a tissue looks and functions.
The extracellular matrix is made up of proteoglycans, water, minerals, and fibrous proteins. A proteoglycan is composed of a protein core surrounded by long chains of starch-like molecules called glycosaminoglycans.
If a mere definition scares the bejeezus out of you then you’re not alone – this is complex stuff. In more simple terms ECM is biological glue that holds our cells into tissues and allows them to ‘talk to each other.’ ECM connects all spaces of our body and enables our organs communicate to each other.
I believe Dr. Lam was the first to associate EMC congestion with adrenal fatigue and [continue reading…]
Among many of my targets causing insomnia remains SIBO. I wouldn’t say I’m experiencing all the classic symptoms but SIBO is a mysterious beast that manifesting in a mysterious ways. One fact remains – my insomnia is caused by my gut issues. The quest to find the underlying cause remains on course and right now SIBO is in my biggest suspect.
Among many symptoms exhibited by SIBO suffering population is food sensitivities. When I started looking for simple solutions to eliminate SIBO from my suspects I came across FODMAP diet. I had heard of it before but never took it seriously. Once I looked at the high FODMAP list of foods it hit me – these are exactly the same things that I’m sensitive to and among the ones that contribute to insomnia. Honey, for goodness sake, would make me totally sleepless! Why oh why, I couldn’t figure out but now I think SIBO is the culprit. Last week I started the low FODMAPs diet – fingers crossed.
CBD and SIBO – Fiends or Foe?
Having recently discovered CBD oil I immediately got to work – can CBD oil help or hurt with SIBO issues? Is CBD [continue reading…]
Have you ever tried to sink a volleyball in the sea? No matter how many times you jam it down underwater it pops right back up. In this video I share one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned – you’ll never be able to cure insomnia if you try to drown it under water. That is because insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. It is merely a manifestation of our poor health, therefore we must look for the underlying cause. Once the root cause is addressed insomnia will be resolved, kind of like the ball would sink once it is pierced.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars on supplements in order to treat my sleep disorder and it took me way too long to realize that treating symptoms is futile. In fact, I am sure that many times I made my condition much worse with supplements. You read some promising article, you order the supplement and you wait full excitement – “This is going to be it! This will be my cure!” It seemed like no matter what I tried I was experiencing paradoxical reactions. This was insanely frustrating. [continue reading…]
This blog should really have been called “A thousand hopeless days and thousand hopeless nights.”
Any serious insomniac will attest – not being able to sleep, walking around half dead the next day, counting minutes to get to bed but dreading you won’t be able to causes an immense amount of frustration, anger, and sadness. Lying there awake, starring at the ceiling when everyone else around is snoring deeply, you realize that another day from hell is coming and this is where hopelessness sets in, this is where you wonder whether you will ever survive this.
It is so easy to see how some people just give up and and jump off the bridge. There is no sense any more, the body feels totally spent and your mind is broken.
Sometimes I wonder that if I didn’t have my spiritual direction before all this mess started I don’t know whether I’d be alive or what sort of narcotic drugs I’d have to be [continue reading…]
In this video I share some peculiar facts and experiences that I’ve discovered over the years battling insomnia. You’ll learn about proper dosage, dependency dangers, best type to take for you (regular, sublingual or time release) and so on.
I had a good night sleep last night on melatonin… and probably five other supplements that I took. Interesting thing is that I usually have no clue what part of my night stack is working to help me sleep. Melatonin has been with me since my insomnia’s debut but I’ve learned over time that it’s not as harmless as you might think, unlike what you’ve being led to believe by some doctors or online resources.
The are three main issues I see with malatonin. First is that there is no clear agreement on what seems to be the correct dosage. Second issue is that for hardcore insomniacs it just doesn’t work, mainly because malatonin helps regulate the circadian rhythm but may not affect the quality of sleep itself. Third, you might have heard of melatonin being referred to as a “natural” hormone but I seriously question how natural it is [continue reading…]
If you haven’t been sleeping well for years, then you’re very familiar with this poison “sent from above” called Zolpidem (aka Ambien or Stilnox). Tt really comes in handy when the shit hits the fan and you desperately need to get some sleep, any sleep at any price. I probably would have lost my career multiple times if I didn’t use some of these sleeping meds like Zolpidem, Benzos or sedating antihistamines. They do, however, come with one hellish challenge – withdrawals. Everybody has different experiences with withdrawals, largely depending on how long one has taken the pills and at what dosage. The longer you go the more severe your withdrawals would be.
Luckily, I did quite a lot of research when I started taking Zolpidem so I knew that anything beyond one week is starting to create dependency, two weeks will produce mild withdraws, a month will certainly create nasty withdrawals and anything above will be guaranteed hell. Anything more than half a year pretty much guarantees [continue reading…]
5HTP vs. L-Tryptophan. If you’ve been dealing with insomnia for quite a while then you’ve read that these two heavy lifting supplements dominate the insomnia conversations in forums, supplement reviews and so on. Experiences with them seem to be all over the board and people react to them differently. But in general these supplements are helpful when you’re dealing with low serotonin levels. This is usually accompanied by depression. Serotonin is a happy hormone, so if you’re low you are feeling a bit blue, a bit sad and it could certainly be contributing to poor sleep patterns via a chain of events inside your body. How does this happen?
The Serotonin and Sleep Connection
You need adequate levels of serotonin to help you calm the mind and invite restful states before you go to bed. Your central nervous system (CNA) can be either activated or deactivated; be stimulated or inhibited. Serotonin plays an inhibitory role in your CNA. However, someone who’s done some serious night clubbing can attest that MDMA (ecstasy) which releases a massive store of serotonin is anything but inhibitory. The experience is very intense but what happens 2 to 3 hours later? You move into a chill room, right? The experience becomes very relaxing. As a footnote: if you have done your share of MDMA then keep in mind this could very much be affecting your serotonin levels, leading to insomnia and depression. [continue reading…]