First off, in order for these to have any effect you need to be following the recommendations in part II of the sleep Rx. Just like you can’t out supplement a bad diet, you can’t out supplement poor sleep hygiene.
Following are some supplements for you to consider to support your sleep.
Don’t try all of these at once. We are all different so experiment with one or two at a time and see which work best for you. I have included links to the specific brands that I have used.
- L-theanine: 100-200 mg, an hour before sleep. L-theanine is an amino acid found in plants and is best known in green tea. L-theanine actually balances out the effects of caffeine and reduces the jitters without reducing its positive benefits like more energized thinking. L-theanine has a relaxing and calming effect on the mind without causing drowsiness. It can help us to calm our active minds at night and get into a deeper sleep.
- CoQ10: 200-400 mg, an hour before sleep. There are two kinds of CoQ10 and you want to be sure you are using the reduced version, which is Ubiquinol and not Ubiquinone, which is pretty much useless. CoQ10 is actually best known for its ability to increase energy levels but it can also support sleep. CoQ10 also increases dopamine which can be low when we have Lyme. WARNING: CoQ10 can cause insomnia in some. It works great for others and I have had good success using CoQ10 myself to help with deeper sleep.
- R-Alpha Lipoic Acid: 200 mg 2-3x a day. R-ALA is a potent antioxidant and helps us recycle CoQ10 and glutathione. R-ALA supports detoxification and has also been shown to chelate heavy metals and it can cross the blood brain barrier.
- Magnesium Malate: 800 mg around 3-4 pm. Most Americans are Magnesium deficient and Mg plays a number of vital roles in our bodies and some of those roles include supporting sleep and decreasing pain and fatigue. WARNING: I have read that oral Mg can feed spirochetes and I have also read that this is not true. I can’t find conclusive evidence on either side. Another option to get your Mg is from Epsom Salt baths, which are also quite relaxing or applying Mg oil to your skin, however this is irritating for some.
- Curcumin: 500 mg 3x a day. Curcumin is one of the best supplements to reduce inflammation systemically and in the brain and it is also been shown to be just as effective for depression as Prozac.
- Resveratrol: 200mg before bed. Resveratrol is an antioxidant/polyphenol found in fruits/vegetables with red skin like grapes and it’s also high in cocoa. It’s also one of the main components of Japanese Knotweed, one of the top herbs recommended by Stephen Buhner. In addition to killing spirochetes, resveratrol reduces inflammation in your gut and brain and works synergistically with curcumin.
- Ginkgo Biloba: 100-200mg before bed. Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to increase sleep efficiency. In addition to helping you sleep better, it’s good for your brain, increases blood circulation, and has been shown to reduce anxiety.
- Valerian root, Passion Flower, Chamomile teas: Drink a cup before bed. All of these herbs have calming and relaxing effects. I like Yogi Bedtime tea and it has all 3 of these herbs along with some others.
- Oxytocin – very healthy for the brain and a large release will almost instantly convert serotonin to melatonin. The best way to create oxytocin in through orgasm achieved with a lover or by yourself. Just make sure you don’t expose yourself to blue light afterwards because that will disrupt the cycle.
Finally, I recommend avoiding Melatonin. Supplementing melatonin can shut down your body’s natural production of melatonin and some studies suggest oral melatonin does not cross your blood brain barrier.
There are other herbs and supplements that support sleep but these are some of my favorites that I’ve had success with and that I know others have had success with.
Leave a comment and let me know your favorite herbs or supplements to help you achieve a great night’s sleep.