Sleep remedies & alternatives to prescription drugs

I am interested to know has anyone tried over the counter sleep remedies or maybe Acupuncture or herbs?

Posted 3 Jan 2012 at 7:56 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    If you live in TX, like me, I recently (this week) got reprimanded by my Dr for NOT consistently taking Zyrtec coz my allergies are so bad. I only wish it made me sleepy. I have heard of people abusing benadryl which I think contains the same active ingredient that is in zzzquil and some otc. sleep meds, but I haven't heard of issues w/Zyrtec – it has a different active ingredient I believe then benadryl which is what seems to be the most abused of the allergy meds. If you don't have allergies, you might want to reconsider taking it but I do and take a full pill daily for allergies from hell. It doesn't do a thing for me that I can tell for sleep so whatever sedative effect it has must be pretty mild but if it works for you, I'd definitely stick w/it if you have allergies that it helps with – and if you don't have allergies, well…then I'd probably venture away from it in my own time, but I wouldn't think half a pill as any big pressing deal. Of course, I was on a ton of prescription meds so to me, Zyrtec pales in comparison and I'm not a dr and not trying to advocate your using it for the sole use as a sleep aid but I wouldn't stress it. People get off their meds sometimes during sleep restriction and sometimes not. Most taper and are on stronger stuff from what I can tell (ambien/zolpidem is a biggie and hard to kick). Do what works for you. Don't stress it whatever you decide. It will all work out.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi ! Occasionally have the reflux but was told to put 2 cinder blocks under each bedpost at top of bed to raise head chest high enough . Also sleeping on your left side is helpful

  • Sleepio Member

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    That is one cinder block for each side not 2 stacked up btw

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    hi, I have used a number of herbal supplements to help with sleep (Passifor, Melissa, Holy basil, melatonin – mostly as herbal extracts). They all seem to work for a time and then have the opposite effect. I have just started using some chinese herbal teas recommended by my acupuncture doctor and they seem to be working for me (so far) – Reishi mushroom (team made from the dried mushroom) and Chrysanthemum tea. The great thing for me that they have no after effect. I think the important thing for Chinese herbs to work is that the ones you use need to be the right ones for your body needs (as defined by the Chinese medical model). Anyway, so far so good.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 2

    see a doctor (usually of chiropractic) that has special training in nutrition. Certain foods and drink is normally the culprit. Just have to be tested by a trained chiropractor in applied kinesiology. (muscle testing) to find out which foods are wrong for you.. Everyone is different…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    I tried 5htp with magnesium and vitamin b 12, I took it at night. Initially I slept better and definitely felt calmer and my mood lifted, with regard to sleep it seemed to loose it's effectivness over the month I took it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    For anyone who has problems sleeping due to digestive problems. I highly recommend looking into the FODMAP diet. I went through an elimination test with a nutritionist, identified foods that are harder for me to digest, and occasionally take digestive enzymes with I do eat these foods. Years of troubled digestive have been resolved almost completely.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am taking zodiac lone to help me sleep. Not sure if I should stop it now I have my sleep window. I am nervous about making my sleep worse rather than better

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Sorry that should have read Zopiclone

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am interested to know if you managed to stay off your zopiclone? I take it if I have had more then 3 bad night's in a row as I get cold sores.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    As another commenter mentioned, Melatonin always gives me these crazy strange nightmares…what's with that!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I've used 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg in warm milk. It works surprisingly well. It takes four hours to work and lasts 8 so you have to do a little math. Too much can be a bad thing but I think it's part of why we are so sleepy after the turkey dinners.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I use dr Stuart's Valerian tea, lemon balm and a small amount of GABA, along with magnesium oil before bed. I'm an anxious sleeper as part of my problems but this particular mix helps me quite a bit .

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    I have been taking a small spoon of inulin in water for the last 6 weeks or so and it really has helped.
    Watch The Truth About Sleep (?), Dr Michael Mosley,on catch up tv. He trials this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    Re inulin – it worked like magic for me. I kept a note on the calendar and only had one or two bad nights in 6 weeks. Decided to come off it with this Sleepio programme in mind, and immediately my sleep patterns returned to previous. If I can't get good sleep after this programme I will return to it, but would really like to know if there are any disadvantages to taking it long term. I've found it difficult to find more information about the use of inulin to help with sleep. I remember Dr Mosley saying on tv that it was something to do with fatty acid chains in the brain, but the science was a bit beyond me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Is there a recommended drink for bedtime example horlicks something that helps you feel tired if anyone has any ideas I would be happy to try them out

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Sleep seems to be affected by caffeine, alcohol, possibly even sugar – and many popular drinks contain these ingredients. Over in the Sleep and Alcohol thread, we've been coming up with suggestions of delicious non-alcoholic / low-caffeine beverages, see some below:

    What drinks do YOU enjoy, that still feel like a treat? Please feel free to suggest your own!

    'BitterKas'; Bitter Lemon; Ginger Beer; Bottled Kombucha; Sparkling Water with Elderflower Cordial, lots of ice and slices of lime!

    Milky Chocolate Drink (recipe courtesy of Doodle) a cup of 1/2 oat, rice, coconut, almond or cow/goat milk, half water, heated with 2 sq dark chocolate stirred in until dissolved…..extremely nice!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Sleepios! Recently, I have done a few sessions of acupuncture, which I have found quite effective for calming anxiety and lowering stress levels overall. I had scheduled a treatment when I was in the middle of a recent long-term blip (3 weeks of crap sleep--a record for me), but the blip had abated for the most part by the time the first session came around, and I went anyway. I had never had acupuncture before and I was admittedly curious about it.

    I have to say I've been surprised by how gentle and effective the treatments have been thus far. They are very relaxing too--each time I have lain comfortably on a recliner in a darkened room for about 40 minutes with very fine (and painless) needles stuck into my forehead, my ears, my wrists and my feet. I could feel tingling and pulsing in various areas of my body throughout the experience, and afterward I was left with a very calm, focused feeling (which then lasted most of the day). My insurance doesn't cover acupuncture, but the treatments are reasonably affordable even without insurance. I'm going to do a round of eight treatments total (I've had three so far) and then take stock of the situation. So far, I would say there has been an uptick in my energy and lessening of the anxiety that came on during the recent blip and has been taking its time abating even after sleep had returned. I'd be interested in other Sleepios' experiences with acupuncture as it might relate to sleep and sleep-related anxiety.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Lisa, I hesitate to tell of my experience with acupuncture in light of the positive experience you've been having. Three years ago, long before knowing about Sleepio, in desperation because of my poor sleep, I sought the services of a highly trained acupuncturist and naturopathic physician. He assured me that he could help me with my sleep, so I was quite hopeful. He also prescribed traditional chinese herbal supplements known for their holistic benefits to the body and for promoting good sleep. He worked with me for three months. I regret to say, none of it had any lasting effect on what I needed. He told me I was one of the toughest cases he'd dealt with for improving sleep.

    For me, I've now discovered, without the disciplines in place which Sleepio has enforced for me, there was no way the acupuncture or herbs were going to be of benefit. It may be that if I were to get some treatments now, it would be more beneficial, but at that time, it certainly wasn't. I think also, that I wasn't dealing with any significant stress in my life, and acupuncture may very well be worthwhile for aiding the effects of stress, and the poor sleep it causes. I think my needs were different than what acupuncture was able to provide.

    I've had other brief acupuncture treatments via a chiropractor for tennis elbow and frozen shoulder at different times several years ago, and alongside with other treatments he used, those problems were healed.

    So, all this to say, acupuncture has its place and helps people with various situations, but sad to say, it didn't help with my sleep. I'm glad you are so far having a positive experience with it, and I hope it continues. The fact that you've been with Sleepio beforehand is a big bonus. Keep me posted on how it goes : )

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Yes you are so right, Chickatee, I absolutely think it would not have been effective for me had I not already been using the Sleepio tools. I think the effectiveness of the acupuncture so far for me is more about stress and anxiety reduction than it is about sleep. Of course sleep and anxiety can be a chicken-or-egg conundrum, but in my own case I don't think it was anxiety that made me an insomniac. I believe my insomnia led to my sleep anxiety. I didn't mean to suggest to anyone that acupuncture should (or even could possibly) supplant Sleepio--but I figure anyone on the forum is already using Sleepio so another holistic tool might be something to keep in mind as a possible add-on. I really do think that Sleepio is by far the BEST remedy for insomnia that I have ever found (it's the only one that has worked for me over time that is without pharmacologic perils, and I thank my lucky stars for it on a daily basis. :-)

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