Hi, Worried Girl,
Here is a list of the things I tried that helped:
1. Had a brain X-ray to determine if the pineal gland had calcified. (That's the organ that controls sleep as it produces melatonin when it begins to get dark outside (or inside). If that's calcified, you're going to need a sleep aid for the remainder of your life probably--off and on. If you're young, you probably still have active production of melatonin. (Melatonin can be purchased, but it has an effective level of use for only 3 months.)
2. Used 5htp tryptophan (1 capsule) which can cross the blood brain barrier and is excellent for inducing a healthy form of sleep, along with 0.5 mg. Clonazepam (1)--same thing as Klonopin). Regular tryptophan is worthless because it can't cross the blood brain barrier. Be cautious about 5htp tryptophan if you're taking an antidepressant. There's a rare but serious illness called the serotonin syndrome that can occur when combining selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with 5htp tryptophan. (Just stopping the SSRIs will clear up the syndrome, usually within 24 hours. It's rare,but one needs to see a doctor right away if it happens.)
3. Stopped watching TV an hour before going to bed because the light
from TV or bright lamps used when reading will slow the production of melatonin in the brain. Also tried to slow physical activity for an hour or so before going to bed and drank only water--nothing with sugar in it. Read for several minutes with a bedside lamp turned on low light to keep from inhibiting melatonin production; read something relaxing or positive in tone.
5. If I still couldn't sleep, I'd take 1/2 aspirin which didi the trick.
6. Avoided caffeine completely because caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant and will alter one's sleep pattern strongly if you're sensitive to it.
7. Made sure the room was a comfortable temperature before getting into bed.
8. An excellent antihistamine called Xyzal (5) mg. was extremely beneficial for me when trying to get to sleep after eating something earlier that was acidic in reaction. (Xyzal 5 is available only by prescript
ion, I think.) Remember, most of the serotonin receptor sites in the body are located in the digestive system, not overwhelmingly in the brain as has been thought previously.
Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 8/30/2011 9:41:17 AM (GMT-6)