Sleep Tools (was Re: Sex vs. sleep)

Dennis Roberts (
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 10:18:10 -0400

Theta 8008 wrote:

> 8008
>      Curious. I had started taking melatonin but had to quit after only a
> few days because it made me continuously sleepy.

I've learned a few tools to enable sleep. ( Had to, working long overnight hours in various hospital settings, like I did.) They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few. (1) Melatonin:

(A) fast acting, cheap, low dosage- I found that 3/4 mg would knock me
out for a good 4 hours, PREVENTS COLDSprior

to using melatonin, I had 2-3 SEVERE colds each year, since I discovered this effect several years ago I have been

100% cold free. Using myself as a guinea pig, I determined that a single 1 mg dose every 3-4 days is probably sufficient FOR ME , to never have another cold. I do use a fairly high level of supplements and am very active regular runner and I don't smoke, so adjust your dose if your immune system is not what it should be.

(D) long 1/2 life in the body-you'll stay groggy longer, but if you have
to sleep in a noisy environment ( barracks, dorm or have young kids) and do get awakened you'll quickly return to sleep, IMPORTANT-if you have high blood pressure you might want to take it easy with this stuff, melatonin has been shown to constrict the vessels in the Circle of Willis ( main arterial vessels in the brain ) over use or high dosages might contribute to a CVA by raising intracrainial BP, don't drive or operate heavy equipment (2) Kava

(A) fast acting, short 1/2 life- you wake up after a full night's sleep
clear headed, also cheap, the sensation produced by the herb is pleasant.(400 mg works for me)

(D) the sleep inducing effect is not as intense as melatonin even at
higher dosages > 800 mg, consistency of effect across brand may differ since herbal preparations vary a lot
(3) chamomile tea

(A) short 1/2 life, cheap, effective symptomatic treatment for nausea

(D) tea has less than pleasant taste
(4) stimulation of seratonin production

(A) anyone can do it- eat a plate of food high in both starch and
complete protein ( mashed potatoes heavy on the milk, pasta with meat sauce, etc.) forces your brain- do to a quirk in amino acid metabolism- to over produce seratonin which induces sleep

(D) ya'll get fatter'n hogs, if ya do this too often (5) calcium- magnesium tablets

(A) both are essential nutrients, since both help with pain relief-
can block pain and magnesium is a very effective muscle relaxant the combo is good if pain is what's keeping you awake

(D) slow acting, long 1/2 life- you will be groggy the next day if you
take too much
(6) Vitamin C/ exercise

(A) both very good for you in many ways, cheap but use buffered C not plain or chewable- long term use of high doses of C (2-5 gm/day) raises the level of endorphins in the body to a level that is manageable( no overwhelming sleepiness on the job ) and you tend to have a great attitudesustained exercise ( a good run, biking a few miles, some sustained horizontal exercise) adds a load of new endorphins to the mix for a really mystical experience before sleep comes
(7) hypnosis
(A) nothin' cheeper, has other useful benes if you learn how- pain reduction, hypermnesia(love this one when I'm cramming for an exam) (D) not fool proof- if you're distracted or in a hurry it may not work, practice is essential may not keep you asleep all night

Pleasant Dreams;
Dennis Roberts