Can Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Help With Sleep?

Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric) has always been one of those wonder mushrooms for me. I’ve been fascinated with its beauty ever since I was a kid growing up in Lithuania. While not considered to be an edible mushroom, I’ve heard plenty of stories of using it as medicine (joint inflamation) or people pickling them for winter after careful preparation like boiling and pouring out the “toxic” water. Personally, I was interested in one thing only – can this queen of the forest help me sleep better tonight.

There are stories of shamanic use in Siberia, stories of inner journeys and strange dreams, stories of finding peace and tranquility, healing insights, etc. Personally, I didn’t experience any of them. The mushroom didn’t speak to me, didn’t provide any insights, all it did was induce massive insomnia for several weeks afterwards.

Why I Felt Amanita Mushroom Can Help With Insomnia

Amanita has two active compouds: muscimol and ibutenic acid. Muscimol is a very strong GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor agonist. Simply put it help the brain to calm down and relax. This is how various “GABAergic” supplements like L-Theanine, valerian, passioflower, skullcap and many others work – they increase GABA and inhibit the stimulating effects of glutamate and stress.

So muscimol is what got me curious. Muscimol is what made me so hopeful. Muscimol is what got me experimenting. There’s only one problem: muscimol has to be converted by our liver and it has to be converted from ibutenic acid, which is that second psycho-active ingredient of the Amanitas. Ibutenic acid happens to be a very potent neuro stimulant. As wikipedia says “It is a conformationally-restricted analogue of the neurotransmitter glutamate, and due to its structural similarity to this neurotransmitter, acts as a non-selective glutamate receptor agonist. ” Ibutenic acid is the complete opposite of muscimol.

The idea is simple: treat the mushroom by drying it, store it in some cool place for three months and then make tea. This is supposed to help convert ibutenic acid into muscimol. A process, otherwise known as decarboxylation. I figured once the mushroom is decarboxylated I’ll have nothing but pure goodness of GABA rich muscimol and it should knock me out at night real good.

Who Benefits, Who Doesn’t

I’m guessing that one group of people who feel the benefits of the mushroom the most are the ones that have rather turbulent minds. When they first try Amanita they may report a great sense of tranquility. I am guessing this happens because of the stark contrast between their “normal” self and the Amanita induced calmness. However, if one is an avid meditator or QiGong practitioner (induces GABA states), Amanita may do nothing for you other than make you feel a bit sedated. 

The second group are the ones that brave high doses. These are the ones that report some wild trips but you don’t hear about the rest of the 90% that either had a sleepless night, felt very sick or ended up in a hospital with symptoms of acute poisoning. 

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One Year of Mercury Chelation Lessons and Results

I have been chelating mercury for exactly one year now. If you are visiting this blog for the first time you need to know that it took me five years of hell and suffering to come to a conclusion that the root cause behind my debilitating insomnia and all the health issues is mercury toxicity.

Once I put all the dots together I researched for the best way to detox and learned that the Andrew Cutler method seems to be the safest and most reliable method up to date. So I had all my eight amalgam fillings removed December 2017 and started chelation on March 2018. You can learn about my initial symptoms and my chelation diary by following these links.

As of today I have done a total of 44 rounds. First five months was the honeymoon period, I mean it felt like a load of my shoulder and a naive thought crept in: “What if this was it? What if I won’t need to chelate because removing those mercury fillings was enough?” I was hardly visiting the ACC forum on Facebook, wondering what all the fuss was all about.

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Can Supplementing Too Much Vitamin D Cause Insomnia?

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 heck is going on with me – my vitamin D dose was too high and it was causing some serious sleep issues. 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.

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I Tried to Quit Melatonin Cold Turkey and Failed. Addicted?

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…]


Myth Buster: Why Milk Can Be the Worst Sleep Aid Ever

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…]


Top 10 No BS Things You Should Try To Sleep Better Tonight!

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…]


How Heavy Metals Like Mercury and Lead Can Be The Source of Your Adrenal Fatigue or CFS

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…]


Sauna for Sleep and Adrenal Fatigue: Dangers, Benefits and Correct Method

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…]


Adrenal Cortex Supplement Experiences: Sleep, Fatigue, Side Effects and How I Use It

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…]


Six Months on CBD Oil Report: Hype vs Benefits

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…]