• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Looking for suggestions to help with insomnia  RSS feed

 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any suggestions of foods, teas, tinctures, anything to help with insomnia. I've been going through bouts of it since I was a child and am having a particularly bad spell. I've never had success with valerian or chamomile, maybe not combining them with the correct things. Thanks!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple of friends have insomnia, and they both found pretty major improvements with changes to diet and more exercise.
Meditation and yoga made a big difference for the friend that was into that kind of thing.
Limiting/timing alcohol really helped the other one!
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Leila. Yeah, I've made changes to my diet in the past couple years, cut way back on wheat and sugar. Gave up coffee, limit myself to a couple mugs of tea in the morning. My physical activity wanes in the winter, may have something to do with it, now that spring is upon us I'm doing work outside again. Still many sleepless nights though.

I used to meditate every day for years after spending a couple months at a zazen monastery outside Kyoto. Didn't help with insomnia then but did make me feel more... rested. Maybe it is time to fit it back into my daily routine.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Iodine supplements may do the trick, they help your thyroid which regulates a bunch of stuff. That's what was lacking for me when I had insomnia. Because things like deficiencies are individual, what works for one person may not be what the next person needs, tho. Another thing to try would be magnesium - you could try soaking your feet in epsom salt water before bed and see if it makes a difference.

If you've recently started adding fermented foods to your diet, we've found many of them are stimulants that keep us up especially when we're not used to them (the effect tapers off with more use). Kimchi/sauerkraut and umeboshi plums are the worst culprits for me. They give me such a wide awake, lasting energy and alertness that I can happily stay up for hours past my normal bed time, but I do regret it the next day. :/
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Renate. Soaking my feet in epsom salts in the evening has become something of an addiction . I'll give iodine a shot though. I tend to only use kosher or sea salt when I cook, so iodine may be lacking in my diet.

I've noticed that about fermented foods, kimchi in particular. My body feels like a furnace for hours after eating just a couple forkfuls.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You better start meditating, cuz you are stressed, and not sleeping with your mouth open !

Relax your body, my favorite one was the " imagine you had fallen off a cliff, and are just a puddle of bones like Wiley e. Coyote"

Part your lips, and breathe over your upper teeth and roof of your mouth.

They did a study last year (ok, 2007), and figured out yawning was the way the brain was trying to cool itself down, so you would fall asleep....

Is working for me

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The empathetic yawn when seeing another person yawn is one of my favorite human behaviors. Hadn't heard of that cooling mechanism though.
 
Rion Mather
Posts: 644
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Try different herbal and decaffeinated teas. Warm milk. I started listening to ambient music. They are pretty cheap off of Amazon. I prefer the Nature Sound Library mp3s and Marshmellow on Fire by Technomind.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Did you just get a new LCD tv too?
The blue should be toned down after dark.
The strong blue triggers stuff that stops melatonin production

For laptops, find the f.lux program, that does it automatically.
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, never had much luck with teas but maybe this year I should try growing the plants they use for them. Perhaps fresh would be more effective.

Hah, I haven't owned a tv since the nineties, not on my shopping list

I've been using f.lux for years too, great little application. All these white background websites get a bit blinding at night so I also started using Stylish with the Night Shift style a couple hours before bed time.
 
Rion Mather
Posts: 644
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have started growing mint for that very reason. I am excited to experiment this summer.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mixed with homemade yogurt or buttermilk/sour cream (same culture, make sour cream with half and half), salt, pepper, lemon juice and cucumber, mint makes a wonderful salad. It's also good instead of parsley in tabbouleh.
 
Ben Plummer
gardener
Posts: 345
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That sounds good even excepting any potential sleep benefits, thanks Renate.
 
John Master
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i am thinking I have an enlarged thyroid and need to supplement iodine. Found a great article telling me to get iodine tincture (red color) and nothing else. Apparently there are a whole bunch of different types of iodine. Applying topically until the red blotch takes longer than 12 hours to disappear will give me the indication that I am no longer deficient. I have been feeling choked for the past few days and would like to get a full nights sleep soon.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1826
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
91
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Quality of life depends on quality of sleep!

a tea of lemon balm, passionflower vine, borage, with a touch of lavender flowers and rose petals has been a life changer for many.  this mixture can be tinctured as well.  The tincture is the fast fix, but part of getting to sleep is in getting ready to sleep.  The time it takes to make and drink (and enjoy) the tea is part of getting ready to sleep.

 
Heather Johnson
Posts: 2
Location: Mooresville, United States
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I highly recommend LL's Magnetic Clay Nascent Iodine. The iodine did have detox symptoms for a couple of weeks, but after that I had so much more natural energy during the day I did not know I didn't have! This extra "day energy" helped me sleep deeper at night. I have heard putting organic (hexane free) castor oil on eyelids before you go to sleep helps. If your low on magnesuim transdermal magnesium on your feet before bed will knock you out big time. Once you get your levels up it won't have as strong an affect, but it is a good way to know your getting enough. I also take a magnesium glysinate supplement during the day as well. Good luck!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 4212
Location: Missoula, MT
393
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heather Johnson wrote:I highly recommend LL's Magnetic Clay Nascent Iodine. The iodine did have detox symptoms for a couple of weeks, but after that I had so much more natural energy during the day I did not know I didn't have! This extra "day energy" helped me sleep deeper at night. I have heard putting organic (hexane free) castor oil on eyelids before you go to sleep helps. If your low on magnesuim transdermal magnesium on your feet before bed will knock you out big time. Once you get your levels up it won't have as strong an affect, but it is a good way to know your getting enough. I also take a magnesium glysinate supplement during the day as well. Good luck!


I've been taking kelp for the iodine, I hadn't heard of a clay nascent iodine - interesting!

I'd recommend being careful with castor oil on the eyelids. I had a blemish on my eyelid near my eyelashes (sort of a stye, but not sure) and I put castor oil on it. Then the castor oil got in my eye. OW. My eye burned for days. I do not recommend getting castor oil in your eyes.

I've had stress or excessive mental activity that has kept me from sleep, or wakes me in the wee hours, and this article that Paul happened across helped me:

73% of insomniacs cured after 1-hour therapy session



It uses a 3-D method:  Detect, Detach, Distract.



 
Heather Johnson
Posts: 2
Location: Mooresville, United States
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Haha you would have to be careful about rubbing your eyes after you put it on. I definately agree with a previous comment about bringing in a daily meditation. It helps me be less reactive to thoughts.
 
Rita Vail
Posts: 63
Location: Northwest
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Watch out for electro-smog, wifi, smart meters, cell towers, etc. Find out if your electrical box is on the other side of your bedroom wall for instance.I unplug every single thing from all outlets, except refrigerator or heater, and sleep some distance from those things. That makes a huge difference to me. In fact, I now always sleep in the back of my truck rather than a motel - so I can get to sleep. Also, you can take melantonin supplements if your room is not dark at night. Most of us need iodine anyway, what with all the radiation. And magnesium. I do even though I eat a lot of greens, nuts and seaweed. It also helps to spray lavender on your pillow and rub it on the bottoms of your feet. Also, you could quit caffeine completely. If you can't meditate, try deep breathing and self-massage.
 
Maria Brown
Posts: 15
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few things that have helped my lifelong insomnia:

Attention to thyroid issues from a naturopath (who treated me when my family practitioner didn't think it was a problem)
Kelp for trace minerals
Avoidance of dairy products and any caffeine after noon

A couple products that I keep on hand, just in case I can't sleep after an hour of trying:

Rescue Remedy Sleep (homeopathic)...mild
Tranquil Sleep (melatonin, L-theanine, tryptophan)...this comes in a chewable/breakable tablet so I can adjust the dosage easily. Totally effective and yet gentle.
 
Jamie Chevalier
Posts: 61
13
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I find that skullcap, because it is a tonic nervine rather than just a sedative, helps the brain to normalize its activity appropriately, which results in not only falling asleep but in a more restful sleep. It is extremely helpful in breaking mental "loops" as well.

In addition, many have found relief from cannabis tea or tincture. A very high CBD strain will help relax muscles and decrease anxiety. (The more common THC, which is the cannabinoid that gets people high, can cause anxiety in some people. CBD is non-psychoactive. It is the one that is currently being used for epilepsy and other serious conditions.)
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2124
69
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Drs common tips:
only sleep and romance in bed
read 30 min before sleep books no screens
very dark room
develop a calmer lifestyle
some sort of prayer before sleep

john s
pdx or
 
Larry Pobiak
Posts: 10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Ben, I like to think of insomnia as unspent fuel in the system when you need it the least.  With that in mind, everything is about going to bed with little left to inspire the furnace and the mind.  I like to stop eating at least 6 hours before bed, 8 is even better.  Second, for about 5-15 minutes right before going to bed, especially on days when you have not done enough physical activity to burn the food you ate, exercise enough to get your heart rate up (if you have a good heart) and third, stretch all the major muscle groups, thighs, quads, calves, back, chest.  This literally burns out the remaining fuel that keeps the mind active and lets you drift off all night.  The rule for eating centuries ago, when people were living in the "real world" of eating to survive was; "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper".  The idea was having the "fuel" there when you needed it to do the physical work, and having very little "fuel" there when you needed rest.  If you already live like this, try Celestial tea "Sleepytime Extra" and time it so that you are ready to lay down within 15 minutes of drinking it.  Timing is everything.  The chamomile is active for about 45 minutes to help you initially "drift off" to sleep, then the Valerian root is supposed to be there long enough to usher your brain into REM sleep while relaxing your muscles.  Hope this helps. 
 
Tara Sanders
Posts: 37
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with the comment on EMFs.  It can be EMFs in your home or in your neighborhood that can cause severe insomnia.  I lived with severe insomnia for years until I got away from all the wireless.  An EMF meter can help you test if you can't personally feel it.  Cornet ED78S is the one I have.  The videos below show how to use it and it reads RF and LF. 

Our government just voted to increase the wireless again in the US and is voting to increase again after that soon.  They voted to remove all wired landline phones, etc and are planning on putting in 5G sprectrum up to 71 GHZ across every utility pole in America.  There is already a huge worldwide epidemic of people getting extremely sick or disabled from EMFs.  We are the only country that keeps increasing the power and amount.  Other countries are removing wifi and wireless completely from public places and Russia had standards that can't be raised due to all of the extensive studying they did on its dangers.  They keep warning the US that the amounts are too high but the US refuses to listen.

Removing land line means no access to phone/internet in emergencies.  Wired phones are the only thing that work when there is a power outage.  Wireless is not only extremely toxic to our health (it is a neurotoxin, genotoxin, and carcinogen and increases mold and biotoxins more than 600 times) but it can easily be tapped into or turned off.  It is also used to track data and people and can be used to send frequencies out as the military already uses it as a weapon.  Also, Global Wifi is being beamed down in areas as experimentation by Google and the FCC and they plan on beaming that 24/7 across the world but other countries don't want it.  The UN is holding a meeting on the epidemic of wireless and Global wifi.  The US will not listen to the scientists or doctors that keep speaking to them on its dangers.  It is also the number one killer of bees and pollinators so a famine will be a real issue.  I have experienced Global Wifi personally.  It increased the mold in our house, killed my dog and almost killed me.  I was down for many months from it.  I have severe sensitivities to EMFs and mold and can't handle either of them and I was double whammed.  It gives me severe neurological damage and abnormal chronic fatigue with a long list of other symptoms.  Rapid/irregular heart beat, tightening/jerking, and stops my heart.  The list goes on.  Contact your government expressing your voice on this matter.  If anyone wants more info on this, I can send many links, videos, etc.  Just email me at mustobeyacts2_38@yahoo.com

Video:

Building Biologist showing how to meter for EMFs in the home with the Cornet ED78S:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D64sr4kkbm8&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=geovital+typical+bedroom
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2124
69
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Larry,
If you don't eat for 8 hours before you sleep, do you go to sleep at 2 am, or do you never eat dinner?
John S
PDX OR
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1826
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
91
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are all kinds of theories about what people did before technology and civilization provided food several times a day.  I find I don't sleep well on an empty stomach.  I eat my main meal in the evening.

To encourage me in this practice, there is the fact that digestion itself is physiologic "work", and the wonderful function of fat stores and their purpose, and "research" reported in a few TED talks about the benefits of fasting.  I am certainly not a strict follower of this schedule, but I have tea and milk at the start of the day (sometimes butter tea), don't eat anything substantial until well past noon.  (It's a form of daily or intermittent fasting).  Then I have a good dinner of "what ever I want" meat cheese eggs salad this time of year. 

During the morning hours I do hard work, and mostly drink water, kombucha and after the great switchel thread that when I have not kept up with the kombucha brewing.

I have not been a very competent sleeper for most of my life, and also was taught not to eat after ~ 3pm, so I am glad to have found that the empty stomach thing does not work for me, and back up information to allow me the confidence to pursue it.
 
Larry Pobiak
Posts: 10
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John, I try to skip the evening meal.  Early American literature is full of discussions bearing witness to a struggle to warn society not to engage in the evening meal as "lunch" or the midday meal was regularly the last meal of the day.  Soceity at one point was moving towards adapting the evening meal, and as we all know, that happened.  This is why the first meal of the day was named "Break-Fast".  Each person has an opportunity to test the benefits of skipping the evening meal.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.   Man survives on a 1/4 of what he eats, the doctors survive on the other 3/4.
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2124
69
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for explaining Larry,
I am going to agree with Thekla that different strategies in these areas work for different people.  I also sleep better when I have some food in my stomach. There are many doctors who have seen this effect and steer people toward their particular style.

I agree that 100 years ago, most people lived on farms.  Very few had electric lights.  People rose at dawn and went to bed because it was dark.

It is an interesting task for us to try to adapt strategies from that era to today.

John S
PDX OR
 
Larry Pobiak
Posts: 10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My Pleasure John,

I agree with what you wrote.  Being sovereign over our choices of how to live is a wonderful, terrifying and lovely way to live.  I was mentioning these ideas for Ben to try hoping they might open a door of sleep opportunity.

It is an intriguing challenge to adopt the practices of yesteryear (except the leeches!).  The breadth of knowledge that people used to live by 200 years ago was immense and common to all country homesteaders.  It is likely true that homesteaders from the 1700's slept well.  Generally, healthy food choices were basically, usual fare.  Fresh fruits, berries, nuts, unpasteurized milk and dairy, no EMF's, no noise pollution, cleaner water and air, no GMO's, pesticides, vaccines, time wasters (TV, Internet).  These are all of the things we strive for, for health.  As you mentioned, 200 years ago people got to bed earlier and had the sleep benefit of "slowly diminishing light"  (sunset) which works wonders on melatonin expression for a great night sleep.  I personally use artificial lighting then abruptly turn them off and wait for my mind and body to drift off.

Signing out, hope everyone sleeps well.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1320
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My grain of salt, as I think I cam precise a few things....
I used to sleep well, and then got some stress those last years, and my sleep got worse of course.
The 1st thing is about the state of the nervous system.

About hyper sensitivity to electricity: it is a kind of stress, and some people are more sensitive to it.
If you do not bother, just know that your body resist, BUT that you take a lot of energy to deal with it.
So this is 1 point among others.

If sleep has been a long time issue, then look for a very early big stress iin life and try to find a way to deal with it at a deeper level. Some methods allow to look for the origine of stress through the felt sense of body reactions, so that you do not need to look for the Deep reason with your brain.

About food and timing: noone mentionned the difference according to WHAT you eat in the evening. Most people eat successfully sugar stuff for sleeping, like dairy. According to some informations I found, what is difficult to digest at night is protein. And if you lack glucose at night, it can wake you up. I think it has to do with cortisol levels.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1320
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Now my main personal tip to fall asleep: breathing.
It was mentionned not to mouth breath, and this is true, but how can you control it? I was ill and got the problem, and I will have to lightly tape my mouth I think!
You can also sleep on your side and adjust your pillow for help. If your mouth stays dry when you wake up, you mouth breathe, bad.

Relaxation power of CO2: increase it and it will help.
I just breathe in, out, pause.
I count seconds and increase. 3-3-3 , 4-4-4 , 5-5-5 , and even more. It has to stay comfortable, never be out of breath of course.
Do it again if you wake up later!

Yawning was also mentionned, and it is good. It is just a sign a change of state in the body, activation is settling and para-sympathic state is coming. Only this state allows to sleep, digest, have a good immune system....
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 750
Location: USDA Zone 8a
53
bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tara Sanders wrote:I agree with the comment on EMFs.  It can be EMFs in your home or in your neighborhood that can cause severe insomnia.  I lived with severe insomnia for years until I got away from all the wireless.  An EMF meter can help you test if you can't personally feel it.  Cornet ED78S is the one I have.  The videos below show how to use it and it reads RF and LF.  ...
Wireless is not only extremely toxic to our health (it is a neurotoxin, genotoxin, and carcinogen and increases mold and biotoxins more than 600 times) but it can easily be tapped into or turned off.  It is also used to track data and people and can be used to send frequencies out as the military already uses it as a weapon.  Also, Global Wifi is being beamed down in areas as experimentation by Google and the FCC and they plan on beaming that 24/7 across the world but other countries don't want it.  The UN is holding a meeting on the epidemic of wireless and Global wifi.  The US will not listen to the scientists or doctors that keep speaking to them on its dangers.  It is also the number one killer of bees and pollinators so a famine will be a real issue.  I have experienced Global Wifi personally.  It increased the mold in our house, killed my dog and almost killed me.  I was down for many months from it.  I have severe sensitivities to EMFs and mold and can't handle either of them and I was double whammed.  It gives me severe neurological damage and abnormal chronic fatigue with a long list of other symptoms.  Rapid/irregular heart beat, tightening/jerking, and stops my heart.  The list goes on. 


I had read about EMFs but never thought much about it.

On May 7th, we had Hughesnet Gen 5 with wifi installed.  I did not get any sleep that night and most nights since then only a few hours.   I also have had diarrhea starting on May 8th also, though I don't know if EMF can cause that.  For the diarrhea, I started probiotic yesterday and it seems to be working.  I plan to turn off the hughesnet when DH is done for the day, I hope that will help.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1320
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also found this:
http://www.fixlowbodytemp.com/

If body temperature is low, then we produce too much adrenaline to warm up.
Of course it influences sleep.
Also give symptoms of hypothoid even if thyroid is normal, or it can also be the cause of hypothyroidism.
The body react to anything viewed as a danger, and stay vigilant.
Below low temp and low pulse, there is often an unfelt but true nervous problem due to surgery or birth trauma.
Just think that anesthesia is a chemically induced sleep!
 
Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Seuss. Tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!