Insomnia And Depression Oh My!

4peatssake

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I thought it best to start a new thread about my current woes with severe insomnia and a recurrence of depression after many years. :(

I'm finding I'm not able to learn and apply what I've learned fast enough to head off a litany of symptoms that have come up as I do my best to find what works for me. A challenge to say the least. Then again, tenacity has its advantages. ;)

I'm fortunate to be aware enough to do everything I can to stay above it - especially the depression - or I will make matters worse. I am also perimenopausal and suspect estrogen dominance and raging hormones. I am also experiencing significant belly bloat.

Diet (since Jan. 7) consists primarily of OJ, milk, gelatin, coffee, sugar (table), eggs, 1-2 raw carrot, potatoes with milk and butter, steak (2-3 times a week). Need to add liver. Diet feels right save for the belly bloat (absorption problems?)

Only supplements are progest E and K2. (thorne liquid) - Have ordered thyroid, aspirin, niacinamide, activated charcoal and cascara. (won't start them all at once, but wanted to have them all on hand.) I know to go slowly but also need to do something fast about the depression because it affects functioning.

jyb had some ideas about combatting the insomnia.

jyb said:
@4pss: Have you tried everything for insomnia yet? Gelatin seems key for example, according to RP's article and my own experience. Then come things like a nutritious liver meal, extra magnesium etc, which are often reported to help. Also important could be to avoid bad timing of aspirin, K2, pregnelonone, vitamin D etc, which can really delay sleep onset for some people if taken at the wrong time (or even if taken at whatever time?), and avoiding blue light hours before bed (computer screen might affect your sleep cycle).

Thanks jyb, very helpful. I have just doubled my use of gelatin - 2 TB in my coffee rather than one - and I will watch when I dose K2, making sure I do it earlier in the day.

I've not yet begun supplementing aspirin (had a heck of time finding non coated aspirin and ended up ordering it from Amazon two days ago) nor pregnelonone or vit D. Blue light, however, is probably a major culprit and I need to make some changes there.

Would progest e contribute to either depression or insomnia? That and the K2 are the only supplements I am using.

Thanks.

If anyone else has any ideas or suggestions, they are most appreciated!
 

charlie

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Diet (since Jan. 7) consists primarily of OJ, milk, gelatin, coffee, sugar (table), eggs, 1-2 raw carrot, potatoes with milk and butter, steak (2-3 times a week). Need to add liver. Diet feels right save for the belly bloat (absorption problems?)

Potatoes cause me bloat, so does not ripe fruit. Where is the coconut oil? Be careful with coconut oil to close to bed.

Only supplements are progest E and K2. (thorne liquid) - Have ordered thyroid, aspirin, niacinamide, activated charcoal and cascara. (won't start them all at once, but wanted to have them all on hand.) I know to go slowly but also need to do something fast about the depression because it affects functioning.

K2 has been reported to cause sleep issues and I think it causes sleep issues with me but I haven't gotten that nailed down yet.

A good approach I would think is, get food nailed down to where you are happy with it. Then, add one supplement at a time to see the effects. This is where I am at right now, I got the food pretty much nailed down and I have the supplements that work for me, coconut oil, salt, thyroid, then I introduce one new one at a time. With this method I have found pregnenolone and niacin does not work for me at this time.


Thanks jyb, very helpful. I have just doubled my use of gelatin - 2 TB in my coffee rather than one - and I will watch when I dose K2, making sure I do it earlier in the day.

Again watch K2 for sleep disturbance issues. Also, get some blue blocker glasses. I put them on 2 hours before I want to sleep, they help! Get flux for the computer, and if possible although I know its quite difficult....stay away from computers and tv at least one hour before bedtime. Maybe throw some meditation in twice a day. And work on shutting your mind down at night, meditation helps. I still have some problems going to sleep but its getting better. I think adrenaline has a lot to do with this.
 

jyb

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I would do gelatin before bed not just during the day (with the usual sugar), as in RP's article. For K2...try without (not even one drop) for a while and see. It seems like some people's sleep are v sensitive to it for some reason - from anecdotes on this forum and elsewhere.

In one of Danny Roddy's podcast, CO2 breathing is suggested in bed when caught with insomnia to relax the brain, but in my experience so far it wasn't a game changer. RP or others mentions a few other things relating to sleep, especially protein (> 80g per day for a light/average person?), then some details like raw carrot closer to evening...
 

charlie

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Yes definitely gelatin before bed. I take milk with gelatin and sugar before bed every night. Oh and a 1/8th tsp of salt on the side.
 

HDD

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I have heat lamp on me before I go to sleep. I use 6 drops Progest-e and 25 mg Benadryl at bedtime.I don't know if Benadryl is ok long term but it really helps me to sleep heavier.
 

charlie

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How could I forget light? Good call HDD!

Here is the f.lux program if you need it.
 

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4peatssake

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Charlie said:
Potatoes cause me bloat, so does not ripe fruit. Where is the coconut oil? Be careful with coconut oil to close to bed.

Ah yes, coconut oil. I use it as well but cut back recently on fat. Will start adding more in but now close to bed.
Charlie said:
K2 has been reported to cause sleep issues and I think it causes sleep issues with me but I haven't gotten that nailed down yet.

Thanks, this is helpful. May stop taking this and see what happens.

Charlie said:
A good approach I would think is, get food nailed down to where you are happy with it.

Agreed. I think I need to cut out potatoes and stick with OJ, milk, gelatin, coconut oil, salt (I heavily salt but think I need to actually take salt), occasional eggs, liver once a week. I don't trust the fruit here so use OJ as my only fruit source. Also no haagen dazs.

Charlie said:
Then, add one supplement at a time to see the effects. This is where I am at right now, I got the food pretty much nailed down and I have the supplements that work for me, coconut oil, salt, thyroid, then I introduce one new one at a time. With this method I have found pregnenolone and niacin does not work for me at this time.

This sounds like a good approach. I expect the thyroid to arrive in 14-24 days so I will use this time to focus on getting the food right. I think I will continue with the progest E and drop the Vit K for now, add more coconut oil and see what happens.

Charlie said:
Again watch K2 for sleep disturbance issues. Also, get some blue blocker glasses. I put them on 2 hours before I want to sleep, they help! Get flux for the computer, and if possible although I know its quite difficult....stay away from computers and tv at least one hour before bedtime. Maybe throw some meditation in twice a day. And work on shutting your mind down at night, meditation helps. I still have some problems going to sleep but its getting better. I think adrenaline has a lot to do with this.

Great, thanks. Will check into the blue blocker glasses and flux? (whatever that is, ;) ) Big nod about the meditation and shutting off the computer an hour before bedtime. Can do Epsom salt/baking soda bath before bed. Also RP did recommend and I've been doing milk/sugar before bed.

Thanks Charlie, appreciate the advice.
 

4peatssake

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jyb said:
I would do gelatin before bed not just during the day (with the usual sugar), as in RP's article. For K2...try without (not even one drop) for a while and see. It seems like some people's sleep are v sensitive to it for some reason - from anecdotes on this forum and elsewhere.

Yep, can do gelatin before bed and will stop the K2 and see what happens.

jyb said:
In one of Danny Roddy's podcast, CO2 breathing is suggested in bed when caught with insomnia to relax the brain, but in my experience so far it wasn't a game changer. RP or others mentions a few other things relating to sleep, especially protein (> 80g per day for a light/average person?), then some details like raw carrot closer to evening...

Thanks jyb. I am doing at least 80g protein, usually more. Appreciate your help.
 

4peatssake

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Haagendazendiane said:
I have heat lamp on me before I go to sleep. I use 6 drops Progest-e and 25 mg Benadryl at bedtime.I don't know if Benadryl is ok long term but it really helps me to sleep heavier.

I have this all set up - but haven't been using it very much. :roll: Will try the lamp plus progest e combo and see how that works! Thanks HDD!
 

4peatssake

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Charlie said:
How could I forget light? Good call HDD!

Here is the flux program if you need it.

Big WOW with this! Just downloaded it! Very, very good.

Since buying my new computer the eerie blue glow has rather sickened me. My previous computer didn't have that same eerie glow. This, I think, is a big piece of the puzzle. Thanks!

Funny thing, when I first read "flux" I thought of that nutty scientist in "Back to the Future" and his flux capacitor! :lol:
 

juanitacarlos

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Hey 4peats - sorry you're having some troubles there!

Firstly, I think it's tough when you are peri as you have hormones running amok and it's hard to control how you feel when that is happening. You just don't have control of your feelings. Sucks!

My first question is: has the depression and/or insomnia started before Jan 7, when your diet changed? Has it gotten worse? Better?

Do you have any external stuff going on? I know you posted previously about a signifcant event that knocked you about. Is that still affecting you?

Also, have you taken your pulse and temps? Is your body literally 'depressed'? I'd be interested to see how you feel if your temps and pulse are low and you take some thyroid.

I recommend f.lux too. I've had it about a year and it's fantastic. But when I'm disciplined, I still try and turn off puter and TV by 9pm and just read. That works best for me.
 

4peatssake

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ttramone said:
Hey 4peats - sorry you're having some troubles there!

Firstly, I think it's tough when you are peri as you have hormones running amok and it's hard to control how you feel when that is happening. You just don't have control of your feelings. Sucks!

Thanks tt, yeah well, I need to get on top of this fast or you know where it can go. I just ain't going down that road.

ttramone said:
My first question is: has the depression and/or insomnia started before Jan 7, when your diet changed? Has it gotten worse? Better?

Very good questions. The symptoms of depression and hormonal imbalance (perimenopause) and the insomnia were present prior to Jan. 7 and were the impetus for finding RP. They have gotten worse but other things have gotten so much better. My sense is I am being knocked about as I try to determine what I need to do to get everything into balance. Does that make sense?

ttramone said:
Do you have any external stuff going on? I know you posted previously about a signifcant event that knocked you about. Is that still affecting you?

Yes. And this is a big factor I think and the precursor to the wheels coming off in a numerous directions. That coupled with perimenopause and a life long undiagnosed hypothyroidism and voila - my current situation.

ttramone said:
Also, have you taken your pulse and temps? Is your body literally 'depressed'? I'd be interested to see how you feel if your temps and pulse are low and you take some thyroid.

Yes, I tracked my pulse and temp for weeks, fell off as the depressive symptoms increased but have resumed. In the past two days temps have been higher than they've ever been. (97.7 waking, 98.4 after breakfast today) Pulse is usually on the higher side. During acute stress well over 100 but normally in the mid to upper 90s.

ttramone said:
I recommend f.lux too. I've had it about a year and it's fantastic. But when I'm disciplined, I still try and turn off puter and TV by 9pm and just read. That works best for me.

I downloaded the f.lux and see and feel the difference already. The other thing that has unfolded has been a sudden and significant impairment in vision. I have to wear glasses to read now - so think the glasses Charlie mentioned are important.

Thanks tt - appreciate your advice.
 

4peatssake

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jyb said:
@4pss: Have you tried everything for insomnia yet? Gelatin seems key for example, according to RP's article and my own experience. Then come things like a nutritious liver meal, extra magnesium etc, which are often reported to help. Also important could be to avoid bad timing of aspirin, K2, pregnelonone, vitamin D etc, which can really delay sleep onset for some people if taken at the wrong time (or even if taken at whatever time?), and avoiding blue light hours before bed (computer screen might affect your sleep cycle).

Just saw this from jyb on another thread but wanted to answer here so as to not disrupt the other thread.

No haven't tried everything. Did a bit better last night - not too great but better - and I'm going to try and not sleep during the day today to see if I can fully reset my clock.

I'm off the Vit K (only a couple of days though) and doing milk/sugar as recommended by RP before bed - can add gelatin as well. Need to definitely avoid the blue light and I've downloaded the flux thingy.

Thanks for all the help.
 

jyb

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A couple days is not enough to draw a conclusion, esp. since supplementing K is optional anyway (if you don't take aspirin).
 

4peatssake

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jyb said:
A couple days is not enough to draw a conclusion, esp. since supplementing K is optional anyway (if you don't take aspirin).

Not drawing any conclusions at this point, just mentioning that I stopped supplementing with it. I'll try anything at this point to get a good night's sleep! I've never in my life had problems with insomnia.

BTW, the vitamin K had been recommended to me by a person experienced with Ray Peat who looked over my diet and saw I was low in Vitamin K. I was unaware of its potential to disrupt sleep.
 

jyb

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Vit K2 does have good things to it. But it seems like for some, it affect sleep. Maybe its just due to the high concentrations available in supplements, making it excessive to supplement every day?
 

jaa

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Hey 4peatssake,

Even with flux, I find I sleep better if I avoid screens at least 30min before I go to sleep.

Other things I find that helps:

1) Body scan meditation. Any kind works really, but I enjoy the body scan best before bed. Helps to relax the body and quiet the mind.

2) Spoonful of ice cream.
 

HDD

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Hey 4peats,

Just wanted to encourage you today. Finding Ray Peat and applying the things that he recommends will make all the difference in the world as you go thru menopause. I have had some really happy somewhat giddy moments doing this. I haven't figured out exactly what makes me feel this except once it was a HD coke float. So don't deprive yourself. The other factor, I believe, is a lot of salt. I made some of those potatoes in c.o. And heavily salted them. My teenager and I were both very silly. :)

Thank you for sharing and being such an encourager on this forum. I appreciate you. :)
 

4peatssake

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Haagendazendiane said:
Hey 4peats,

Just wanted to encourage you today. Finding Ray Peat and applying the things that he recommends will make all the difference in the world as you go thru menopause. I have had some really happy somewhat giddy moments doing this. I haven't figured out exactly what makes me feel this except once it was a HD coke float. So don't deprive yourself. The other factor, I believe, is a lot of salt. I made some of those potatoes in c.o. And heavily salted them. My teenager and I were both very silly. :)

Thank you for sharing and being such an encourager on this forum. I appreciate you. :)

Thanks HDD, it means a lot.

I feel so very fortunate to have found Ray Peat, and not just him, but all of the folks here on the forum too. It is a fine community of very generous and helpful people.

I love the way you express that - happy and giddy moments - like glee, pure JOY, our very birthright. I've made HD coke floats too! They are fun. HD vanilla and Mexican coke. Ah, a taste of heaven. I think that shall be my next treat! I do have some of both here! :P

Alas, I am doing my best to stay off the HD right now, but a once a week treat is surely in order! I surely will not be depriving myself - did that for too many years. Or worse, felt tremendous guilt when I would indulge myself! :?

Heavily salted and buttered (rather than coc. oil) potatoes are also heaven for me. And my teenaged daughter too! ;)

I appreciate you too HDD! Very much. :thankyoublue
 
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