Insomnia has plagued my existence since I was a toddler. My mother had to put a latch on the outside of the door to my bedroom when I was two years old, because I would manage to escape my crib and go wandering in the house in the middle of the night. She told me that she once found me at the top of a 6-foot high glass étagère at 3AM, just sitting quietly on the top shelf, playing with some porcelain figurines; who knows how I got up there. (I climbed, obviously — but how?)
When I was in high school, I tended to get extremely hyperactive and could skip sleeping for days. My record was five days. One-hundred and twenty hours without sleep. My whole life, I’ve regularly had white nights — nights of not sleeping at all, which can really take a toll on your body and brain. It still happens quite frequently. I’m so used to it now, I don’t even get upset. I usually just find something to read or to watch, and ride it out.
When I was a teenaged bodybuilder in the late 80s, I was taking a lot of amino acid supplements, and I discovered tryptophan, which worked like a charm. But when I moved back to Canada, tryptophan had been banned, and it was back to sleeplessness.
I started taking melatonin about five years ago, and have had some great experiences, though have found it to be irregularly effective. About four years ago, I tried diphenhydramine hydrochloride, which was highly, highly effective, but has negative long-term side effects. It had the benefit of clearing up my allergies, but would dehydrate me considerably, and isn’t useful in the long term.
Recently, I found a melatonin supplement of 10mg, which I found quite effective, but still not reliable. My brain ostensibly has no off button, and despite attempting every known sleep and relaxation technique — including complex biofeedback devices — nothing works.
So tonight, I have taken the strongest sleep supplements currently on the market, all at once, to gauge their combined effectiveness. I am taking them in combination with the glutamine, because I’ve found that that also makes me a bit drowsy. (UPDATE: June 2015.) My new sleep stack is as follows, with dosages, and including diphenhydramine hydrochloride because it’s spring and the pollen count is through the roof:
- L-theanine 100mg
- Magnesium glycinate 400mg
- L-tryptophan 1000mg
- Melatonin 10mg
- Glutamine 5gr
- Diphenhydramine hydrochloride 50mg
I took them at about 22:45, and am typing this out as I wait to see what happens. I would also like to try them each separately, but I received a shipment of new supplements from the U.S. (including the above) and want to try them all first.
Goodnight, hopefully! Full report tomorrow.
June 2015: The stack works like a frickin’ charm. My sleep has been fantastic lately. I stopped taking all but DH, and it still works well. I’ve been having to take DH lately on and off because of the pollen count.