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Insomniac Maniac - Whole Foods "Restful Sleep" Supplement Progress

Mar 25, 2012 - 17 comments
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Insomnia

,

Ambien

,

sleeping naturally



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.

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 26, 2012
Night Two:

Took supplement abouot 10:30 pm, had a cup of tea and tried to relax although my mind was really racing thinking about a million things and I was already anxious.  I didn't have a great night as I just felt so aggitated.  My boyfriend was watching TV in the bedroom so I couldn't really relax to sleep like i wanted right away.  TV went off about 11:30 or so and I did lay awake a while, I don't remember falling asleep but I did toss and turn pretty much all night.  I also had a snack and some OJ before heading to bed so ended up running to bathroom a couple times, this didn't help and I probably should try to limit that before going to bed.   Here is hoping tonight is a better night.

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 27, 2012
Night Three:

I was so crazy tired I took the supplment at 8:30 last night as I couldn't stay away and went in to bed.  As soon as I layed down I was no longer sleepy, then my cell phone rang - I asked mom not to call me I was going to bed.  Watched TV for a big (I know I need to stop that).  Finally settled down to sleep, dear mom texted me at almost midnight - told her I was going to kill her.  I have to keep my cell phone next to me as my daughter wasn't home yet AND I use it for an alarm clock (may need to rethink this).  Just got back to sleep and daughters boyfriend calls house phone at 12:30 (I thought ringer was OFF!) NOW I AM MAD.  About 1:30 dear boyfriend comes to bed letting cat in who meows aggressively in my face - SO SERIOUSLY I am killing someone up in here.

5:30 am cat meows in my face again and I put her out, go back to sleep.

So I have no idea how well it worked last night because of so many interruptions.  I am exhausted today, feel cranky and sure hope I sleep tonight.

Great initial night on the supplement which may have given me false hope and follow up nights to date not so much.

Onward I trudge.............................

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 27, 2012
*that was "stay AWAKE" not away


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by IwillDoThis, Mar 28, 2012
Night Four:

So last night was much better.  Took supplement about 11:00 pm, daughter's visit over so my house is quiet again!  Didn't feel near so anxious last night as prior nite.  Turned light out about 11:30 and just went to sleep, slept until 9 am. this morning - about 9 glorious hours of sleep again.  :)  WOOOHooo

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 29, 2012
Night Five:

Another good night.  About 10 pm I started listening to a guided meditation to relax and help me not be so anxious.  Took supplement at 11 pm.  Also added in binaural beats - Lucid Dream induction sounds with headphones while I went to sleep (off youtube) and I slept GREAT.

This is becoming a nice habit!

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 30, 2012
Night Six:    My 60 day mark off Hydros..........

Another great night of sleep.  I wished I had read about binaural beats years ago.  May not be for everyone but it is seriously changing my life and quality of sleep.  Took my supplement about 11 pm last night, put on my binaural Lucid Dream induction track (1.5 hrs), put on my sleep mask and do not even remember going to sleep.  Had the most peaceful ridiculous sleep.

I feel like a new person at 60 days - SERIOUSLY a different person altogether than the shell I have been living in.  Working  to adjust my sleep habits, working on guided meditation and relaxation before bed along with the supplement have transformed my sleep night and day.  I think the supplement helps but I do believe the inner work I'm doing and the frequency work with binaural beats is making all the difference.

I'll keep this journal up for a while - I am truly amazed.

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by IwillDoThis, Mar 31, 2012
Night Seven:

All hell broke loose with my extended family tonight before bed, crazy phone calls, stressful situation - needless to say I wasn't gonna have a normal night of sleep.  Tonight is the first time I really wanted to take a pill out of sheer frustration and escape but I didn't - instead I had ice cream and french fries at 2 am and went in to bed about 3 a.m.  I don't even think I took my supplement last night cuz I knew it was gonna be a sucky night.

Just when you think everything is aces and spades life swoops in and flings **** in your hair.............

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by doitformyson, Mar 31, 2012
Picked some of this up from whole foods today....Not sure when i will start it but will let you know.  In my neighborhood they carged 14 bux!

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by AnguishAndAnxiety, Mar 31, 2012
Keep posting I am following this!!!!! Your drive and discipline are unreal....

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by IwillDoThis, Apr 02, 2012
Night Eight & Nine:

8:  Didn't even take supplement tonight, was able to go to sleep about midnight and actually fall alseep, slept through til 10 am!  WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

9:  Took supplement about 11 pm and went in and just went to sleep, no binaural beats or nothing.  another good night of sleep!

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by NorthEast213, Apr 02, 2012
Awesome!   Glad your getting some sleep...   There is life after ambien!

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by IwillDoThis, Apr 03, 2012
Ha Thanks Sean - yes there appears to be.

Night Ten:

Took "Restfull Sleep" supplement last night about 10 after having aromatherapy bath of angelica root, ylang ylang, lavender and clary sage.  Also took 2 droppers of my Wild Lettuce Extract in a small glass of juice about 11 pm.

I didn't really feel sleepy but I was relaxed, I went into bed about midnight and don't even remember falling asleep.  Had a really restful night again.

I think I'm on to something here perhaps!

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by IwillDoThis, Apr 04, 2012
Night Eleven:

Took Restful Sleep about 10:30, made my aromatherapy sleep rub and 1.5 droppers full Wild Lettuce Extract.  At this point I will say I didn't "feel" the lettuce extract last night but am gave it another go last night.  

My mind was racing, bf is really sick with nasty cold so I didn't do my normal visualizations last night or meditation - making chicken soup.  when I got to bed mind was racing, thinking of a million things - i REALLY had to reign myself in and quiet my mind but once I conciously did it I went right to sleep.

Woke up 3 am with horrible creepy crawlies, then bf was snoring due to cold and I felt so aggitated but I just tried to focus on relaxing my body and I did go back to sleep.  

I'm not sure if the Wild Lettuce Extract was cause for creepy crawlies but for now I'm taking this out of my routine since I was having success without it.  The addition of the extract in addition to it already being contained in the supplement I'm taking might be too much - so try one or the other.  With most sleep supplments less is better, sometimes more of one ingredient can be counterproductive - this is especially true of melatonin.  Our brains recognize low levels of melatonin as something it produces naturally - take more and it doesn't work as well.  (just an example I'm not taking melatonin)

Tonight not so restful but I had a sicky in the bed - overall I am able to fall asleep without pills which I've never been able to do for a REALLY long time.

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by IwillDoThis, Apr 05, 2012
Night Twelve:

Took Restful Sleep about 10 pm tonight, no wild lettuce extract liquid tonight since I was having success without it.  Just went to sleep shortly after 11 pm, just laid down and went to sleep.  This is such a weird sensation, "just going to sleep" but I'm loving it.  Slept great till 9 am.

Have added in the following supplements:  Schizandra - helps with anxiety/insomnia, mental clarity and energy; Eleuthera Root - complements Schizandra, B5 (pantothenic acid) - good for insomnia, muscle contractions and burning feet which I've suffered with for years, 5 HTP to support sleep and seratonin production , Mallic acid good for people with fibro.  These are all new and will update any positives or negatives.

I am having GREAT results over the last 10 days.

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by IwillDoThis, Apr 06, 2012
Night Thirteen:

Took Restful Sleep about 10 pm and laid down 10:30 and just went to sleep. Slept straight through to 9 am.

I think it is safe to assume this has worked for me at this point.  No going to continue with boring updates unless something changes.

If you are having trouble sleeping I would encourage to really do some soul searching and try to find ways to quiet your mind through meditation, visualization, selp hypnosis - get at the root of your issue rather than medicating yourself to sleep.   My entire adult life I've medicated to get to sleep at night and I just got tired of it - I've worked hard, researched a lot and found ways to quiet and relax my mind.  I never would have believed I could just go lay down and go to sleep without pills but here I am.

Please have hope.  Sleep didn't really return normally for me until about 55 days off hydros but it did return as everyone said it would.  My experience may be unique or different from yours.  If you take anything away from this I hope it is don't  stop searching for a remedy, method that works for you.

Peace and Sleep to everyone!

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by DrBritt, Aug 19, 2012
Thank you so much for this blog!!!  I suffer from all the same issues, including fibromyalgia.   Now,  what I have been using, due to lack of dosage control,  makes me sleep the ENTIRE next day.  I have always been a night owl & needed at least 10 hours of sleep,  but can't fall asleep.  Missing out on life!  Plus I developed narcolepsy after back surgery,  so falling asleep can be tough if I have to use my meds to stay awake.  Yep, I'm a mess...lol. pain keeps me up, but no family to worry about late night calls :).  Just 4 legged furry kids who miss walks.  Any suggestions on energy?  Just turned 41... Dr tomorrow. Thank you!

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by IwillDoThis, Sep 10, 2013
UPDATE - FALL 2013

I talked to a friend tonight who is taking ambien for years and now not sleeping - that conversation prompted me to come back here and read my journal about my struggle so I could share it with her. I'm happy to say a year and a half later I'm still med free and SLEEPING!!!!!

This process was one of the hardest of my life, obviously took me much longer than 13 days, its been a work in progress but I can stand here today and tell you when I'm ready to go to bed at night I lay my head down and I fall asleep and it is a wonderful feeling.  It was hard work but the results have been very worth it.  I don't even take the sleep supplements any more but they were a great transitional tool for me coming off ambien.

If you are awake and reading this - if you take  nothing else away DONT GIVE UP searching for something that works for you but be honest with yourself and get a plan to develop healthy sleep habits.

If I can do this - you can too!

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