Mar 25, 2012
So I purchased a new sleep supplement at Whole Foods called "Restful Sleep". It is the Whole Foods Premier Formula brand and comes in a yellow/green label bottle. 30 pills for 9.99 and the dosage is 1 pill. It contains:
200 mg. Valerian, 90mg Passionflower Leaf, 50 mg L-Theanine, 30 mg Hops Flower Extract, 18 mg Wild Lettuce Extract, 12 mg Jamaica Dogwood Root Extract, 10 mg Wild Lettuce Leaf.
I also just found this same supplement online with another company - SAME ingredients, same dosage $2 cheaper and I get all the rest of my vitamins here: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/ET266/ItemDetail?n=0
The name of it is "Revitalizing Sleep Formula". Was very excited to find this as Whole Foods keeps selling out of it.
I tried adding in 30 drops of Wild Lettuce Root Extract in a couple ounces of juice 1/2 hr before bed but it was overkill - too much wild lettuce since it is also in the supplement. The only place I can find it is on amazon.com. (For now I am NOT taking both - try one or the other, remember with sleep supplements less is usually better and too much anything (i.e. melatonin, valerian can be counterproductive) So just try one or the other.
Let me say I realize that everyone is different - what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. With that being said I wanted to share what I have experienced with this supp - I've tried a TON of them, OTC meds and nothing else has worked initially like this has for ME.
A good vitamin B complex is also essential for better sleep - vitamins and minerals can really influence your sleep patterns. Some things to consider: Calcium (600mg/day), Magnesium (250mg/day - also see transdermal Magnesium therapy) & Copper (2 mg/day) was shown to increase women's ability to fall asleep.
A good B Complex should contain most of these next things - B6 (50-100 mg/day needed) triggers your brain to make seratonin; B12 (25 mg/day) and can be found naturally in bananas, sunflower seeds, tuna, whole grain foods and walnuts; B5 (100 mg/day) and Folic acid (400 mg/day) naturally orange juice & green leafy veg (when deficient can cause insomnia)
CoQ10 (water soluble) & 5HTP can also help with insomnia.
Night One: Took supplement about 11:30 p.m. - didn't feel anything but the goal I've set is to start relaxing one hour before I plan on laying down so that is what I did. When I went to bed about 12:30 I was feeling relaxed, I turned off the light to try to sleep. This is normally where things so awry but I laid down last night and actually do not even remember drifting off. I just laid down and went to sleep which rarely ever happens. I had a really great quality of sleep - I did have really vivid dreams but this is pretty common for me. I slept a full 9 hours uninterrupted and woke feeling really refreshed. I am praying this wasn't some freak event and that maybe this is a supplement that can help me until the sleep habits I'm trying to change will kick in. I'll keep posting over the next week to document my experience with this supplement.
My history: I am 55 days off about 4-6 10/350mg Hydros per day for years. I've been taking Ambien for probably 12 years sporadically but solidly at least 5 years or so along with 1 mg of xanax each night before bed. I go through periods where it works fine, I go through periods where I sleep eat, cook, shop. I have burned myself, made 5 course meals (that were delicious), had packages show up in the mail with no memory of ordering them. Plus my memory is just not what it should be at my age. In the last year I would say it has stopped working overall for me and I just don't like the feeling of being out of control of my actions so I decided to stop all pills. I tapered my Hydro use down to 1 pill then stopped. Went through nasty withdrawals on Hydro with the goal of being off all meds 30 days after hydro jump off. I began tapering the xanax decreasing a little at a time. When I jumped off xanax about 3.5 weeks ago I also stopped the 1 ambien I would take as night also. I've not been sleeping more than a few hours but mostly lay away until 5 a.m. then I sleep from 5-10 am most days.
My mind rushes, I cannot settle down my thoughts enough to naturally fall asleep. I have relied on sleep aids for so long that I'm not sure I have the capacity to fall alseep on my own without professional intervention and perhaps some cognitive behavioral therapy but here are the changes I am in the process of making:
1. I will no longer watch tv in bed at night. I will learn to use my bedroom for sleeping, dressing and sex only.
2. One hour before bed I will turn off TV, computer. I will take a bath, shower, put on jammies. I will have a cup of tea or warm milk, dim the lights and read.
3. If I get anxious I will take deep breaths, I will visualize calming scenarios.
4. If I have not fallen asleep within 30 minutes I will not lay in bed, I will get up and read or do something to try to get sleepy.
5. I will not let myself nap and try to get myself on a normal waking/sleep schedule - even on the weekends. (This one is tough for me because I am a night owl and love to stay up and then sleep in on weekends)
These things are most basic of what is suggested by most experts but for me easier said than done. I love the fuzziness of falling alseep with a pill, I love that having to go to sleep is out of my hands with a pill - it's like one less thing to worry about, I LOVE to watch TV in bed - it is my diehard routine and one I don't really want to stop, however, my need for quality sleep is much stronger so I will do my best to move ahead and do these things.