Severe Sleeplessness

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by Jesilyn, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    Hello, I am experiencing extreme sleeplessness and looking for insight and things to try. On the worse nights I fall asleep for about an hour or even less and then I’m awake the rest of the night. I’ve been struggling with pretty severe insomnia for the past couple of years and it’s just been getting worse. I’ve tried a lot of things and have had some basic blood and stool analysis and am working with a naturopath with still no specific understanding of why my body can’t sleep. I have been incorporating new things, based on what I’ve learned from Dr. Peat’s interviews and articles, slowly adding more fruit, honey, and maple syrup, and have experienced some relief from my daytime symptoms due to increased metabolism (I was doing low carb carnivore-ish for several months before this). My sleep has gotten worse though. From what I’ve gleaned and what it feels like, I suspect it’s an endotoxin phenomenon. I introduced MegasporeBiotic a few days ago, and have been using cascara to keep my bowels moving. I’ve been using aspirin as well, and I can feel less inflammation and bloat. It feels better in there, although I have never really had particularly overt GI symptoms, I experience more of the brain fog, anxiety, depression. And inability to stay asleep. Any ideas or experiences to share?
     
  2. Maljam

    Maljam Member

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    Do you exercise much? Do you have a desk job? Is there much EMF around you?
     
  3. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    This has been going on long enough that I cannot work or exercise. I am limiting my EMF wherever I can, but unfortunately my means to do so is limited for the time being. I have a relatively low EMF outdoor space that I spend most of the day in, grounding and getting sunlight, and a relatively low EMF space to sleep in... or lie awake in, haha. But anytime I am in the rest of the house or I need to use the internet, I am getting WIFI exposure.
     
  4. Jessie

    Jessie Member

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    I feel for you. Insomnia is when things started to go downhill for me, and like you, things got progressively worse over time. After awhile it kind of starts feeling like a runaway train that can't be stopped. Doctors never helped me either, in fact they made it worse.

    I definitely think you're right in suspecting bacterial overgrowth. Addressing this helped me significantly. Do the carrot salad if you tolerate it well. Also, it's not really something Peat would approve of, but I think wheat bran is excellent. It's packed with unfermentable fiber that can push bacteria out of the small intestine back into the colon. Cascara and charcoal work great too. Low dose antibiotics can be really effective at lowering endotoxin. Something like 30mgs of tetracycline.

    Flowers of sulfur, monolaurin, camphoric acid, CamphoSal, oregano oil, are really effective natural antibiotics (actually CamphoSal isn't natural per se, but it's less harsh then antibiotics).

    You likely have a serotonin excess as well, the two go hand an hand really. Doing about 1-2mgs of cypro may give you instant relief, enough to get a few good nights of sleep.
     
  5. Maljam

    Maljam Member

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    FWIW Peat has said good things about wheat bran. :thumbsup:

    Ray Peat Email Advice Depository
     
  6. Jessie

    Jessie Member

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    Interesting. I knew he thought it was superior to oat bran. But I never knew he actually used the word "protective" in describing it, good to know.
     
  7. Beastmode

    Beastmode Member

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    Wheat bran, well cooked with a little butter and salt always has a nice effect on clearing endotoxins for me. I don't get the carrot salad and mushrooms in like I did before, so the 2x/week wheat bran seems to have the same effect on me. Sleep is pretty good already, but definitely better after having this.
     
  8. sribop101

    sribop101 Member

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    My sleep took a nosedive over the last several years too so I know how brutal it is. Eventually I hit a breaking point and started working with a functional medicine doc. I did several tests showing bacterial overgrowth, mercury toxicity, and late stage adrenal fatigue (low 24 hour cortisol and hormones in the toilet). Addressing mercury and bacterial overgrowth helped, but sleep continued to suffer.

    Ultimately, I did a sleep study showing an elevation in respiratory effort related arousals which was causing Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. I am in the process of addressing it now. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend getting a sleep study and checking for sleep disordered breathing. Make sure they check for RERAs - sleep doctors are notoriously bad at diagnosing any sleep disordered breathing that is not sleep apnea. I personally never suspected it as I'm young, tall, and skinny; but here I am. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  9. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    I definitely determined that the MegaSpore increases the sleeplessness, at least at this point in my current state of deterioration... maybe it is triggering too much of immune response? Or maybe it it extra endotoxin due to die off? I took a day off and slept better, but now after 2 days of not taking it I still slept poorly. The feeling and symptoms definitely match what I've heard and read about the excess endotoxin and serotonin, so I am intrigued by what I've gathered about cyproheptadine from this forum, but also hesitant because it sounds like some people have negative or mixed responses to it. My system is so sensitive at this point, I'd likely be one of those... going to ask my naturopath about it next time I get a chance. Any other rescue interventions anyone can think of or had success with?
     
  10. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    I don't think I can afford that at this point, but good to know that such a phenomenon exists. Any idea what causes it? What do you do to address it? What is RERAs?
     
  11. sribop101

    sribop101 Member

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    You can order a WatchPat sleep test off Amazon for just under $200. It scores both apneas and RERAs (Respiratory Effort Related Arousals), so you'll be testing for sleep apnea and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. Personally, I know how easy it is to go down these rabbit holes with supplements, diet, microbiome, etc but if you're dealing with an underlying airway issue you're only going drive yourself crazy. Sleep disordered breathing is becoming increasingly common these days. Our jaws have been shrinking for centuries now due to factors like malnutrition, soft foods, and allergies leading to mouth breathing. Do you have a recessed jaw? Narrow face? Forward head posture? Snoring? Prior orthodontic work and / or extractions? These can be telltale signs, but you won't know for sure until you take a sleep study.

    In my case, I had extensive orthodontic work as a child (headgear, braces, retainer) that retracted my jaw and made my face narrow. Conventional approaches include CPAP, oral appliances (mandibular advancement devices) and surgery. My RDI (respiratory disturbance index) is not too high and I am trying an unconventional approach to expand my palate / airway with the Homeoblock appliance. It's early to discuss treatment - first step is to identify the problem, if there is one.

    Highly recommend checking out the following people / resources:
    Dr. Steven Park on Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
    Dr. Mike Mew on narrow palate
    James Nestor talking about narrow airways
    Craniofacial dystrophy: A possible syndrome relating malocclusion, sleep-disordered breathing, allergies, depression and a range of other diseases
     
  12. Spondive

    Spondive Member

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    Iodine a few hours before bedtime seems to make me sleep well... at least for me I take a couple of drops Lugols 12.5 mg
     
  13. commas

    commas Member

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    If it’s an emergency which is sounds like it is, cut out starch 100% for now. Make sure you eat more calcium than phosphorus, and check your vitamin D levels. Lastly, relax, be gentle and forgive yourself, ive been in those situations and anger, frustration, and all the negative emotions start become normal. If you enjoy reading, I would highly highly recommend the book letting go by David Hawkins.
     
  14. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    Yes, starch is out, the only fiber I’m eating is the raw carrot and thoroughly cooked mushroom. I was eating whole oranges, which I don't think have starch, but pectin, which is maybe problematic for the severity of my situation, so I am just doing juice now. I can't currently handle dairy, so I've begun experimenting with well cooked kale and it's water. I've tried small amounts of egg shell powder, but something tells me not to ingest very much of that. Any other suggestions for increasing calcium? Or for lowering phosphorous to improve the ratio? And yes, the emotional level is huge!! Thanks for the encouragement and sharing of practical knowledge :):
     
  15. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    Another night drowning in excitatory neurotransmitters... not sure what to try next. Wondering if even the indigestible fiber is too irritating right now, although I thin I need that plus the cascara for anything to leave my bowels at all. I'm assuming the carrot is quite abrasive... do you think the cooked mushroom or cooked wheat brain is more gentle?
     
  16. shine

    shine Member

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    Have you tried taurine?
     
  17. commas

    commas Member

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    Are you eating enough? Your brain needs energy to relax, and the more you cut out foods like starch it is essential you replace them with enough sugar and protein and fat. Have you tried a pint of ice cream before bed? Ice cream isn’t a long term solution, but in the short term it can provide enough enerey to relax, allowing you to eat more throughout the next days so you don’t need a massive energy kick at night
     
  18. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    Unfortunately my appetite has suffered from the stress of not sleeping. I've still been able to eat a decent amount considering, but I've definitely learned it's worse to override lack of appetite and eat anyway. That's why the cyproheptadine interests me, but I'm too nervous about making it worse, and I won't be able to talk to my doctor until the week after next. I've been using orange juice, honey, maple syrup, and some other fruits. I was trying really hard to make the dairy work, but I finally had to admit to myself that it's too irritating for now. I was trying raw goat milk though, I don't know if ice cream would be any different. This is quite a place to find myself in. I just keep affirming the innate healing power of the body and taking it as it comes.
     
  19. OP
    Jesilyn

    Jesilyn Member

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    awhile back I did. I am limiting supplements as much as possible because I think they are irritating to the gut. THe only oral supplement I'm taking is thiamine, and I've noticed that if I take too much at once it is irritating.
     
  20. commas

    commas Member

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    what are the main symptoms you have when you eat dairy ?
     
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