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Sleepless in Arkansas: Part 2, Sleep Aids

When I lived in Colorado, if I had trouble sleeping, I would take L-Tryptophan with Magnesium.  That worked for me until I read that L-tryptophan wasn’t a good idea.  Then it was Magnesium L-Theonate; I stopped taking that because I’m not sure I want my brain barrier crossed.  Next was CALM, a powdered Magnesium that I mixed in water and drank until they changed the formula.

These are the sleep aids I have taken since I relocated to Arkansas in April 2020:

1. A doctor gave me a Rx for Trazodone. I took it once.  It helped me sleep somewhat but wasn’t worth the hangover the next morning, so I quit taking it.

2.  A friend recommended both of these from Physician Therapeutics: GABADone® and SentraPM®.  Neither one worked for me.

3.  Another PCP recommended Melatonin.  I took it for almost a year and it didn’t work for me. 

4.  WebMD.com recommended Ashwagandha.  I took 500 mg. every night and it did not work for me.

5.  I found this one on Amazon:  Zarbee’s® “Sleep”.  These are the ingredients:

  • 50 mg L-Theanine
  • 5 mg. GABA
  • 5 mg Melatonin

Even though a friend told me his doctor said he could take as much Melatonin as he wanted, I know it’s a hormone and should only be taken for things like jet lag, not every day.  I liked this aid because it was one chewable tablet, no water required. But I don’t want to take Melatonin every day.  If I must, then I will limit it to 3 mg.

“Speaking of Melatonin: this naturally occurring hormone supports healthy circadian rhythms, and is widely available in supplement form. And no wonder: there are very, very few nutrients that are as well known and clinically studied for sleep healthValerian root is another option if you’re not into Melatonin” (1).

6.  Another friend introduced me to Olly® “Ultra Goodbye STRESS”.  Ingredients:

  • 125 mg Ashwagandha, an herb
  • 100 mg GABA
  • 100 mg L-Theanine
  • 75 mg Lemon Balm Extract

This one also works for me except for the fact that I have to take it an hour before bed—the body needs time to digest those two soft gels—and because I get up to urinate at least once every night, disrupting my sleep, that’s an issue for me.

7.  That same friend introduced me to a tincture made from cannabis at first, now it’s CBD because we were concerned about REM sleep.  This one works for me, but it also requires a tiny amount of water to take it.

But taking Olly capsules and the tincture has let me sleep at least six hours consecutively for the past several nights.

Recommended sleep aids that I have not taken:

Equate’s “Sleep-Aid”.  A woman from New Hampshire that I met in Walmart highly recommends this one, saying it works every time for her.  After I research the ingredients, I might consider trying this one.

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