Sleep!

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
MsCindy
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Sleep!

Postby MsCindy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:01 am

I've been a terrible sleeper all my life, and the keto diet is making it even worse. I'm a classic short sleeper and always thought it was fine, but the newest research is finding that women in particular who sleep less than 5 hours per night have a higher incidence of dementia, and with my APoE4 gene and severe familial Alzheimer's, now I'm really worried.

If I take ALL of these at bedtime, 1-2 nights per week I can get 6 hours of sleep. The rest of the time it's mostly 3-4 hours.
Melatonin - now up to 20 mg per night, both fast and slow release
glycine - 3000 mg
progesterone cream
Gaba - a special form that crosses the blood-brain barrier
5HTP (tryptophan)
Mg L-threonate
creatine
taurine

It seems crazy to take this many bedtime supps, but nothing else works, and even this barely works. I'm not even close to the 7-8 hours per night that Bredesen wants for us. If I take Gabapentin one night per week, I can get 6-7 hours from it for that one night. But I don't know if it is safe. Does anyone here know? I don't think it's anti-cholinergic, but when I research it, no one really knows how and why it works except that it attaches to gaba receptors. So it's kind of a fake gaba? Anyway, if I don't take it too often, it does help.

I do all the sleep hygiene things very carefully, as you can imagine!

Any other suggestions are welcome!

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Sara
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Re: Sleep!

Postby Sara » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:34 pm

I see that you are using progesterone cream at bedtime. I don't see your age mentioned anywhere but am wondering if you have had an assessment of your hormonal status? Getting on the right track with bioidentical estrogen, progesterone and testosterone made a significant difference in my sleep. I went from waking up two to three times per night to usually just once... and being able to get right back to sleep.
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floramaria
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Re: Sleep!

Postby floramaria » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:38 pm

Lindajane wrote:I too am 65 and started HRT a few months ago on a very low dose, Biest 1mg: Pro 40mg. I have not taken hormones before. I soon noticed not feeling as peaceful and calm. Maybe less libido. I know my memory is no better. My doctor has just doubled the dosage. How long should I wait to see improvement? I'm not averse to taking them just not wanting to spend money needlessly and surely not if there is no reason. My estradiol was 8.3 and progesterone 0.3 before starting the HRT. I will have labs redone after taking the new dose for a month or so.

Also, has anyone here in their 60s taken HRTs and seen improvement?


Lindajane,

I started taking bioidentical hormones last Oct. Went though menopause without ever considering HRT. After attending Dr Bredesen's training and The Dynamic Brain (FM Annual International) Conference and hearing Ann Hathaway speak at each of those, plus getting a chance to ask her directly about my own situation of having been without hormones for about a decade, I took the plunge. I am using low dose E2 patch 0.0375 mg. + Micronized Progesterone 100 mg. Have not re-tested my levels which were zero.
Primary difference I noticed was that when I started Progesterone, I slept like a baby for first week. (I also thought that maybe the E2 made me "nicer" but my husband debunked that pleasant myth. ;) )
My sleep is still much improved over what it was before HRT, but I am working my way towards 7 hrs, and haven't gotten there yet. Solidly in the 6- 6.5 hr range most nights. I wasn't measuring sleep time and quality before HRT like I am now but I think I was in the 4-5 hrs, and felt truly desperate just about every night, feeling how much I needed sleep but unable to get there. It is easier for me to fall asleep now, though i also have an elaborate ritual of supplements and what I do and don't do before bed. Blue Blockers, no computer, no discussions of politics! One thing that may have helped was that while I always read a little before trying to fall asleep, I now use the Brainwaves app for 30 minutes of "Night Reading" just before I turn out the light. and if I wake up in the middle of the night and find that I cannot not fall asleep again after awhile, I sometimes pull out the iPad and get back on Brainwaves, "Deep Sleep" setting. I used that last night and for 3 hours was in uninterrupted sleep state. I use the Cozy soft headphones so that I don't have ear buds poking me.
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slacker
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Re: Sleep!

Postby slacker » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:16 pm

floramaria wrote: I now use the Brainwaves app for 30 minutes of "Night Reading" just before I turn out the light. and if I wake up in the middle of the night and find that I cannot not fall asleep again after awhile, I sometimes pull out the iPad and get back on Brainwaves, "Deep Sleep" setting.


Floramaria, are you referring to the 35 binaural series?
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floramaria
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Re: Sleep!

Postby floramaria » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:14 pm

slacker wrote:
Floramaria, are you referring to the 35 binaural series?


You are right, slacker. Icon says "BrainWave 35 Binaural programs".
I love changing the ambient sounds. When our terrible drought was at its worst,
and the world seemed parched, I only used water sounds.
It fooled me into letting go of water-shortage-stress and slipping into sleep.
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Lindajane
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Re: Sleep!

Postby Lindajane » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:59 am

Floramaria, thanks for your reply. I haven't noticed an improvement in sleep with the increase in hormones but I usually get 6-7 hours. I started magnesium maleate for sleep problems 7-8 years ago after seeing an integrative medicine Doctor. I was going through a very stressful time of my life. It helped me and I have taken it until about a year ago when I changed to magnesium L-threonate for memory problems. Not sure if my sleep is as good with the threonate as it was with the maleate. I read an article by Dr. Mercola recently that the 2 types should be rotated. I'm trying that now, but have not noticed an improvement. I go to sleep fine, sleep well, just wake up early. Occassinally I can go back to sleep, but not very often.

Trying to figure out all the supplement questions and what works for each of us can be frustrating. I am so grateful for this group and all the caring people.

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Re: Sleep!

Postby Plumster » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:10 am

all is going well on every front except for one: sleep


The original post is a few months old, so perhaps your problem has been solved. But I wanted to share what I am currently doing about insomnia: Acupuncture. It would never have been my first thought to go see an acupuncturist, but my doctor recommended it for my insomnia (in addition to progesterone as I am perimenopausal). I found a good, well trained acupuncturist and the results were immediate. The first session led to sleeping soundly for three nights. According to the acupuncturist, the amount of nights I will sleep well will continue to increase after each session. My doctor says there is scientific evidence that acupuncture works for insomnia. I haven't searched for the studies. I'm still in progress, but I am very excited about this. The acupuncturist told me that he sees a lot of athletes because they exercise too much and their cortisol levels rise as a result. He asked me to stop exercising for the first two weeks of my therapy.

P.s. I have been taking progesterone for a month already and it did nothing for my sleep.
e3/4 MTHFR C677T/A1298C COMT V158M++ COMT H62H++ VDR Taq ++ MTRR A66G ++

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Re: Sleep!

Postby CoachDD » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:46 pm

Plumster - same here!! Acupuncture has been a life-saver for me. . . over the last two years, I stopped doing acupuncture twice and slid backward, so I finally realized that it was the ONE thing that was significantly (and fairly quickly!) relieving my chronic/severe insomnia. I am currently on a two-week regimen which seems to be help me sleep an average of 6-7 hours per night. Much better than the 3-4 hours I was dealing with for months at a time! :(
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Plumster
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Re: Sleep!

Postby Plumster » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:39 am

I am currently on a two-week regimen


Does this mean that you get acupuncture for two weeks every once in a while (how often?) or that you go every two weeks? How long does each therapy last before you have to go back? The acupuncturist can't see me this week, and I just started the therapy, but I am already feeling like a junkie. :D [three hours of sleep last night]
e3/4 MTHFR C677T/A1298C COMT V158M++ COMT H62H++ VDR Taq ++ MTRR A66G ++

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TheBrain
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Re: Sleep!

Postby TheBrain » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:05 am

MsCindy wrote:If I take Gabapentin one night per week, I can get 6-7 hours from it for that one night. But I don't know if it is safe. Does anyone here know? I don't think it's anti-cholinergic, but when I research it, no one really knows how and why it works except that it attaches to gaba receptors. So it's kind of a fake gaba? Anyway, if I don't take it too often, it does help.


MsCindy, I recently came across this information about gabapentin (Neurontin):

From press release:

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key molecular player in guiding the formation of synapses — the all-important connections between nerve cells — in the brain. This discovery, based on experiments in cell culture and in mice, could advance scientists' understanding of how young children's brains develop as well as point to new approaches toward countering brain disorders in adults.

The new work also pinpoints, for the first time, the biochemical mechanism by which the widely prescribed drug gabapentin (also marketed under the trade name Neurontin) works. "We have solved the longstanding mystery of how this blockbuster drug acts," said Ben Barres, MD, PhD, professor and chair of neurobiology. The study shows that gabapentin halts the formation of new synapses, possibly explaining its therapeutic value in mitigating epileptic seizures and chronic pain. This insight, however, may lead physicians to reconsider the circumstances in which the drug should be prescribed to pregnant women.


Source: https://www.wellnessresources.com/studi ... n-synapses

There are more details available at the link.
ApoE 4/4 - When I was in 7th grade, my fellow students in history class called me "The Brain" because I had such a memory for detail. I excelled at memorization and aced tests. This childhood memory helps me cope!


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