Help for Insomnia

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Help for Insomnia

Postby melissa7 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:45 am

Hi...I've had problems with MS fatigue and out of the blue the last few nights it has went the total opposite way and I can't sleep.

Does anyone have any suggestions for over the counter sleep aids? The pharmacist suggested melatonin, but having MS I didn't know if that was a good idea or not. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks...
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:39 pm

you could try a serum magnesium test - perhaps your levels are suboptimal. ensure levels are at least 0.90 mmol/L. 'normal' range is 0.70-1.10 mmol/L - too broad for optimal health.

you can try boosting magnesium rich foods first, http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=75 and then perhaps think supplements, but if you go the supplement route ensure a form like magnesium glycinate. very important to ensure proper absorption and avoid unpleasant GI side effects.

ideally you should not have to take melatonin, your body *should* be making it.

unfortunately this is a rat study not humans, but still:
Dietary magnesium deficiency decreases plasma melatonin in rats.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17172005

magnesium does a lot more than facilitate melatonin production - it's also required to cart ATP around your body (key info wrt fatigue) and a few hundred other jobs too :)

hth
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby gibbledygook » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:04 am

Hi, I've used melatonin before and it was fine with my symptoms but that was when I was relatively lightly burdened with MS (I was given an EDSS of 4 at diagnosis so I've always had moderate to severe MS). I should imagine you would be fine to use melatonin supplements. In fact I'm about to get a prescription for melatonin myself as for some reason I've stopped sleeping so well too!
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby CureOrBust » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:42 pm

I once bought melatonin many years ago. I did notice on the side of the bottle it said it was not recommended for anyone suffering an auto-immune condition.
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby tzootsi » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:09 pm

Valerian is a natural, harmless herb that is quite effective for helping induce sleep. Camomile is another herb that helps with relaxation, it's usually taken as a tea at bedtime.
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby tedhutchinson » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:15 am

F.lux: software to make your life better Free software download to automatically reduce monitor brightness at night and restore it daytime.
See also MERCOLA and SLEEP HYGIENE. Mercola has several articles on improving sleep quality.
Circadian rhythm depends on BRIGHT LIGHT exposure early morning and through the day. So getting outside midday and ideally combined with moderate exercise helps to reset the system.
Melatonin secretion also depends on Zinc status. It may be worth taking a small amount of zinc daily. (Zinc is toxic in high amounts so don't think more is better)
Our ability to create melatonin declines as we age (Vitamin d production also is less in older people) While of course it's important to improve as much as possible our ability to create naturally as much melatonin and vitamin d as possible it would be unnecessarily cruel and heartless to allow people to remain vitamin d or melatonin deficient simply because they are unable to make sufficient due to ageing.

Time release melatonin is both cheap and safe. It may initially cause more vivid dreaming (unfortunately this doesn't last) so start with a very low amount and build up intake over time. If you are well organised a small amount an hour before bed and again when actually in bed will be best (to avoid waking at 3am) Melatonin not only reduces urine production at night it also relaxes the bladder wall so reducing urine output while increasing bladder capacity may be helpful for those wishing to avoid getting out of bed for a pee. If you do still need a trip to the loo during the night consider investing in stick on motion sensor led's and place them low down so you can see your way safely but without too much light getting in your eyes.

I agree that most people need to improve magnesium intake and that food sources are best, however we must understand that modern crops and modern farming do not ensure modern foods contain the same magnesium levels that were present just 50yrs ago. Most people will find 100mg magnesium taken before each meal and before bedtime improves their wellbeing. 400mg extra daily in addition to food sources is generally required to restore deficiency status. Most people don't get the current RDA from food. The RDA is less than most people require, Most of our magnesium should be stored in bones so it takes a while to get magnesium back to where it should be.

Using magnesium sulphate of magnesium chloride in bathwater is helpful for many people. Epsom and/or Dead sea salts are cheap enough in 20kg bags from agricultural merchants and a 20 minute soak in a hot bath with a jugful of magnesium salts can help many people get a good nights sleep.

There is an antagonism between insulin and melatonin that makes me think that the source of metabolic syndrome may be due to problems with melatonin secretion. (too much light at night, insufficient bright light exposure daytime) The Ketogenic Diet as a Treatment Paradigm for Diverse Neurological Disorders reducing our reliance on insulin through a ketone based diet may be helpful for brain and mitochondrial health?
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Re: Help for Insomnia

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:57 am

fyi - an interesting article (full text too)
the thymus: a barometer of malnutrition
http://journals.cambridge.org/download. ... 47c677729f
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