insomina, anxiety, natural treatments for insomnia, natural treatments for anxiety, Kavinace

I had a serious emotional breakdown a few years ago. Severe insomnia was the cause. That, and spending hundreds of hours and dollars to find a solution.

At one point it got so bad I started feeling microscopic “bugs” crawling all over my skin at night.  I’d spend an hour looking at my arms with a magnifying glass trying to find these so-called skin insects (this condition is called formication, and can be caused by a number of issues including anxiety which if you’re chronically sleep deprived is a given). 

I thought I was going mad.

You’ve probably heard that sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture with soldiers. No surprise. On-going sleep deprivation causes an insidious breakdown of the mind and body. You beg for slumber, and the sleep gods just laugh. 

I can’t emphasize this enough: the amount and quality of sleep you get every night (or at least most nights) is critical to maintaining mind and body balance. Moreover, sleep actually cleans out our brain garbage (beta amyloids associated with Alzheimer’s).

Without regular zzz’s (6-8 hours a night across all five stages) it’s almost impossible to function at full potential.  We’re weirded out the next day, disconnected, foggy, drowsy, anxious, unfocused, cranky, quick to anger, clumsy, slow with our reflexes and depressed. And it’s dangerous, falling asleep at the wheel.

For months I tried to figure out what was causing my insomnia. I poured through hundreds of pages of research and posted desperate “help!” questions on dozens of online forums.

What I tried to cure my insomnia (everything).

If you Google “insomnia” you’ll likely find articles that list the first line of defense, that is, “good sleep hygiene.” Keep regular bedtime hours. Keep your bedroom cool and dark at night. Avoid screens an hour or more before bedtime. Quiet the mind and body with a warm bath and soothing sounds.

Should it be so easy. 

Sure for some people these work. But for the hardcore insomniac they don’t. These are certainly important sleep habits, but they don’t get to the underlying cause(s) of chronic insomnia. 

Not one of the following I found in my research worked for me:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule (irregular sleep patterns disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm).
  • Keep your room cool and dark
  • Cut out caffeine 
  • If you can’t sleep (within an hour or so) get out of bed and read in another room. The idea is to avoid associating your bedroom with sleep problems, thus adding to “sleep anxiety.”
  • Meditate
  • Listen to soothing or sleep-inducing-hypnotic music.
  • Avoid reading or watching scary or overstimulating books and movies right before bed. 
  • Wear eye plugs and an eye mask
  • Self-hypnotize (picture yourself slowly walking down down down steps while you count backwards)
  • Try EFT, emotional freedom technique (tapping)
  • Ask your doctor if you might be in peri or full menopause. Both can affect sleep. Bioidentical progesterone (calming) may help. In some instances bioidentical estrogen may help.
  • Quiet the mind by replacing racing/ruminating thoughts with soothing images (the beach, waterfalls, basically your happy place).
  • Take a warm shower.
  • Try melatonin.  Melatonin by itself makes my sleep worse but it works  for my husband. Melatonin is produced in the brain’s pineal gland and is secreted at night. It’s not a sedative. It works with your body’s natural circadian rhythm (internal body clock). As we age we produce less.
  • For a short period of time try an anti-histamine (these made me more awake which is known as a paradoxical effect).
  • Try herbs (Valarian, Hops, Lemon Balm, Kava Kava, etc).
  • Try sleeping pills (*for a brief period of time. A week or two).
  • Go to a sleep lab to be evaluated for sleep apnea (I did. I was hooked up to a bunch of wires overnight and observed. According to the doctor my EEG showed that I move in and out of all sleep stages “perfectly.” No sleep apnea. No circadian or REM sleep disorder).

*You probably know this already but sleep meds are bad long term.  First, they don’t address the underlying problem. Moreover they disrupt natural sleep patterns, are addictive and have nasty side effects. My Ambien hangover was mean moody and nasty. And for some people Ambien can be dangerous (sleep-walking activities like driving, etc).

Chronic insomnia. I got desperate

With every sleepless night (3 to 5 hours interrupted sleep) my anxiety and depression got worse. I finally gave up and turned to chugging a half glass of vodka at 3am.  Alcohol disrupts REM (dream) sleep, which in turn makes you anxious the next day. It’s certainly not the answer but I was so desperate at 3, 4, 5am I’d do anything to sleep.

I remember saying to my husband something like “I wish I had a small dose of that ‘milk’ that Michael Jackson took to sleep at night. I get why he took it.” Of course it ultimately killed him.

Eventually all I had left was to pray and sob. Many nights I sat alone on my back porch after I woke up at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep, staring at the sky, begging for answers.

Every morning when my daughter got ready for school I stumbled around the kitchen making breakfast. I forced a fake smile and pretended I was okay. But inside I was exhausted, depressed, anxious and terrified my sleep deprivation would never end. During the day I tried to nap but I was either too busy with my writing work or too wired to fall asleep (the latter is a tell-tale sign of adrenal fatigue. “Tired but wired”). 

For the most part I never had problems falling asleep. Within minutes of reading I’d fall fast asleep. Every so often I’d wake-up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back to sleep for a few hours.

Of course this happens to everyone.

Racing thoughts, stress, an exciting day, hot flashes, depression, persistent pain or sometimes for no apparent reason, you’re just wide awake.

I didn’t think too much about it until it started to happen more often and eventually I had trouble falling asleep.

After a few months bedtime became the enemy.

By 8 or 9pm I could feel anxiety and panic creep in. This of course stressed me out which in turn, made it even harder to fall asleep.

Insomnia creates a vicious cycle. Poor sleep = higher cortisol. Higher cortisol = poor sleep. And round and round it goes.

Adrenal fatigue was the cause of my insomnia

For months I researched the causes of insomnia. I read dozens of articles and scientific studies. Eventually I figured out my insomnia was likely caused by adrenal fatigue (AF).

I should point out conventional medicine does not recognize AF.

It only recognizes adrenal insufficiency in the form of Addison’s and Cushing’s disease, both which are not related to AF.

I should also point out that I have a pituitary disorder called Empty Sella Syndrome that affects my Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Axis. I was at one time under an endocrinologist’s care since the age of 19. HPA conditions can correlate to adrenal problems. 

And yet, not one of my endocrinologists helped my sleep or adrenal issues. So I left the practice and found a highly respected holistic MD, Dr. Sangeeta Pati. She confirmed that I did indeed have AF. She radically helped my sleep by aggressively treating my AF.

So you can believe AF is real or not.

But AF treatment got me to sleep. My holistic MD radically improved my quality of life. My endocrinologists did nothing. 

Sadly many people who suffer with AF symptoms are told they don’t have anything clinically wrong, that they’re simply like most Americans, tired, burnt out and stressed. “Get some rest.”

Patients leave wondering what next? And while many of the symptoms of AF may in fact be due to an undiagnosed condition, on the whole the symptoms may point to AF. 

Don’t rule it out even if your doctor does. 

Please understand that AF doesn’t mean you’re “weak, a hypochondriac, a quack or a whiner.” It’s a real. It’s a thing.  Ask Dr Wilson. Dr. Lam. Dr. Northrup.

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger ~ Dr. James Wilson,

See: Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue

I had nearly all the symptoms.  So I found a website called Integrative Psychiatry that offers a number of neuro-cognitive tests as well as targeted supplements. I immediately ordered the Adrenal Stress Index test.

Nearly all my measures were abnormal.

For a small fee I consulted with a physician’s assistant over the phone . She suspected that I had adrenal fatigue and told me I needed to address a number of issues that were harming my adrenal glands and causing insomnia.

First gluten sensitivity (food sensitivities can cause insomnia due to gut inflammation. Inflammation alerts the adrenals, “warning, warning something is wrong!” and bam, cortisol increases).

And of course — stress. Stress of any kind (good or bed) raises cortisol. But cortisol isn’t the enemy. We need it. It controls inflammation.  Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone we’ve relied on in our evolution to stay alert to danger, and so, to survive. “Run a tiger is coming!”

Of course we’re no longer running from tigers.

Now our “tiger” is the challenge of day to day living. “It’s bedtime but I have a business report to finish, kids to pick up, dishes to clean, emails to answer, texts to respond to, bills to juggle, persistent pain, aging parents, social media addiction (fear of missing out)…”

When a stress event occurs (say a car cuts you off) your body immediately produces adrenaline. Afterwards cortisol increases. Cortisol naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day (higher in the morning, lower before bedtime). But if you’re in a chronic state of stress or excitement, your cortisol never comes down. So while you should be getting drowsy around 9 or 10pm you’re wide awake staring at the ceiling. 

Over time your adrenal glands simply can’t keep up with the demand for cortisol and your levels begin to drop. You move from “wired but tired” (high cortisol) to so exhausted (low cortisol) you can barely get out of bed in the morning.

How you feel depends on where you are across the four phases of adrenal fatigue.

Low or high cortisol disrupts sleep. This is what’s critical to know about getting to sleep:

You cannot recover from adrenal fatigue without adequate sleep. You cannot sleep when you have severe adrenal fatigue. Insomnia and adrenal fatigue are forever intertwined.

The physician’s assistant with NeuroScience told me about two products, Kavinace and Ultra Kavinace PM.

Both supplements contain phenibut which works with the brain’s GABA receptors. GABA as well as other neurotransmitters, play a key role to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Phenibut unlike straight GABA effectively crosses the blood-brain-barrier.

GABA is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Its main role is to calm the central nervous system by neutralizing the effects of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter. 

The sleep supplements that work for me:

This is what works for me (in combination with an adrenal fatigue protocol):

  • One Ultra Kavinace (contains phenibut, 5 HTP (like tryptophan — a precursor to serotonin, and melatonin).
  • Two 100 mg capsules of Pure Encapsulations magnesium glycinate (and a few sprays on my legs of Ancient Minerals Magnesium oil)
  • One Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder.
  • Two 500mg capsules of Pure Encapsulations tryptophan (again, Ultra Kavinace contains 5-HTP which is one step closer than tryptophan to converting to serotonin. But I find tryptophan works better for me. You may not).

And — I have zero “hangover” effect the next day.

**I should mention that you should come off all phenibut products every so often to avoid tolerance. I don’t. You should. I’m too nervous about losing sleep. I haven’t experienced tolerance (the need to increase my dosage). Limit  ONE Ultra Kavinace PM per night. It contains melatonin which is not for morning/daytime use. I don’t recommend it if you have fewer than 6 hours of sleep ahead of you. 

When I wake up too early I take one Adrenal Rebuilder and one or two Kavinace. Within 20 minutes I fall back to sleep. 

But here’s the problem. Kavinace and Ultra Kavinace are no longer available. 

The FDA recently issued a warning letter to companies who sell supplements containing phenibut. The warning is about labeling. Phenibut is not a “dietary supplement” which is how companies present it. It’s a nootropic. 

So my amazing sleep supplements are no longer available.

Alternatives to Kavinace and Ultra Kavinace PM

I seriously panicked when I found out I could no longer buy Ultra Kavinace PM and Kavinace. Then I did some research and found this article by Dr. Davidson. She recommends Cerevive and PharmaGaba. 

I contacted Dr. Davidson directly and she suggested for people who have severe sleep issues to “layer” both supplements. Dosing varies.

I also ordered something by the same company that sold Kavinace and Ultra Kavinace PM (NeuroScience), Alpha Gaba PM. It contains L-theanine (found in green tea, which also works to increase GABA).

So I’m in the process of testing these supplements. When I’ve done ample trial and error I’ll report back how they worked.

Please let me know what works for you and if you have any questions.

To feeling your best, and to better sleep. 

Laura

 

 

 Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici

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24 Comments on Tried Everything But You STILL Can’t Sleep? It Might Be Adrenal Fatigue.

  1. I really liked the article on Mind Over Matters. It helped me understand some things as I was having great difficulty with the similar things you mentioned with sleep. I am trying the regiment that is similar to what my naturolpathic recommended that you outlined. I would love to have a conversation with you regarding this if possible.

    Thanks,
    Suzanne

  2. P Jones says:

    https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Phenibut#Cognitive_effects

    Actually you really shouldn’t be relying on it every day. Taking it at the recommended dose written by Kavinace is fine for a few days, but it will start to down-regulation your GABA receptors as easily as benzodiazepines can. It can cause a lot of extremely serious cognitive side effects in large or overly prolonged doses.

    I don’t agree with everything this guys says, but he makes some good, easily-digested points: https://corpina.com/positive-negative-side-effects-phenibut/

    • Yes tolerance and other negative side effects could be an issue. I’m hoping that because I only take 1 Ultra Kavinace (sleep formula) OR 2 Kavinace every evening to sleep I’m not at risk.

  3. Rebecca says:

    This article was either written about me or by me!! Its my story to a “T”. Including the crawling skin sensation. I never had sleep issues until I had vertigo and now it has become and 8 month battle for sleep. I did everything you did too. Tried it all. Even completed the Cleveland Clinic sleep study program. Worthless, I was a good sleeper for 15 years. I am currently using a med and unisom. Not good but have to get some sleep somehow until I work this out. I suspect my adrenals for sure. I have a constant wakeup at 230 am. Been working on my liver health for years. I am only hoping thru diet, rest and supplements that I can turn my sleep around before Christmas! Any suggestions for what you did for you adrenal health? I am currently on a 1/4 grain NDT and had a 4 point saliva test done. I am very low am and very low noon. Thanks again for sharing your story.

    • Rebecca says:

      I also have deep anxiety tied to my insomnia. Either the insomnia causes it or the anxiety causes the insomnia…vicious cycle!

      • It’s absolutely a vicious cycle! Anxiety, stress, increases cortisol. Lack of sleep increases cortisol and anxiety. Sleep is restorative to the mind and body. I literally had a nervous break down from months of poor sleep due to adrenal fatigue. Drove me to my knees sobbing. But I got better (see my next response to you).
        Laura

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Recovering from severe adrenal fatigue and related insomnia (horrible!!) was a process. My skin crawling was a nightmare. It happened after months of insomnia so I think it was related to “sleep anxiety.” My holistic MD helped me recover. I was tested for gluten insensitivity (I am).

      My regime was pretty intensive for a while but it worked.

      The first thing is to GET sleep which repairs the adrenals. Sounds like you are getting sleep with meds which gets the job done but doesn’t address underlying causes. With adrenal fatigue the natural high – low cortisol cycle gets off kilter, meaning, you are either too high at night when you should be low, or low at points during the day and morning when your cortisol should naturally rise. But during adrenal fatigue stages 1-4, you move from high cortisol to very low. During stage 3/4 the adrenal glands can no longer keep up with cortisol production. They’re burnt out and so are you.

      I went on l mg Klonapin for a week to sleep and to lower my cortisol at night (only take Klonipin SHORT term it’s VERY addictive and a horrible drug). Then I stopped Klonapin and took Kavinace at night, Adrenal Rebuilder by Dr. Wilson 6x a day, bioidentical DHEA cream (compounded) to get my low DHEA up — and lots of good magnesium (Ancient Minerals spray AND Pure Encapsulations capsules). I stopped all gluten. Food sensitivity inflames the gut. An inflamed gut alerts the adrenals and creates histamine, histamine will keep you awake because besides reducing inflammation (a good thing) it also acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain.

      I’ve done many saliva tests on my own but my doctor orders blood.

      Find a holistic doc who KNOWS adrenal fatigue (the four stages) and you’ll get better over time. Rest, low key exercise, meditative practices (I have no patience), etc are key to recovery. SELF-CARE.

      I found that the protocol for thyroid NDT (increasing granules gradually) made my Afatigue WORSE. Dr Wilson is an expert on AF, look him up.

      Now I take one Adrenal Rebuilder at night, magnesium, Ultra Kavinace and tryptophan capsules (Pure Encapsulations. I only take stellar brands). Most nights I sleep well. If I wake in the middle of the night I take another U Kavinace/tryptophan or Kavinace and ARebuild. It works.

      Good luck! You will definitely get better. The key is to figure out what’s causing your insomnia. It’s often a number of interrelated issues rather than a single culprit.

      AFatigue is rarely diagnosed by conventional docs nor is food sensitivity (which will affect sleep, including consuming histamine-loaded foods which for some people is problematic. So if I consume lots of high histamine foods (aged cheese, red wine, soy, etc, I take Histame to break down excess histamine).

      All the best,
      Laura

  4. Mandy says:

    How much magnesium do you take with the Kavinace PM? I have used Kavinace with Kavinace pm to sleep. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. I suffer from the anxiety you talk about when I go to bed, and most often average 3-5 hrs sleep. My holistic doctor gave me Xymogen optimag neuro, which is a strong magnesium formula.

    • Mandy says:

      I was also wondering what bioidentical progesterone you were using?

      • Hi Mandy,

        I use a compounded bioidentical progesterone from a local pharmacist. Capsules, 275mg. My dosing is pretty high. With any kind of hormone replacement you need to do trial and error on dosing to determine what’s optimal for you. How you know is by your symptoms. When my doc went higher, I was too sleepy the next morning. My holistic MD also requires a complete blood workup every 6 months to determine if my levels of hormones (and a long list of other measures) are optimal.

        All the best,
        Laura

    • Hi,

      My doctor and I are sticklers for using only quality brands.

      She put me on Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate capsules and Ancient Minerals magnesium spray. She also likes MD Prescriptives magnesium. I play around with dosing because too much causes loose bowels, although Magnesium Glycinate causes fewer issues. I generally apply six sprays of the magnesium oil per day, 2 in the afternoon and 3 at night. I found my recent bottle was quite strong for some reason (I think it’s more concentrated than what I WAS using) so I stopped my Pure Encapsulations capsules. I think my doc really wants me on both the oil and the capsules so I’ll likely reduce the mag spray to 2 a day, and start taking 1-3 capsules of the mag at night.

      Start with quality brands. It’s worth the money. Start dosing slowly and increase to what’s referred to as “bowel tolerance” (the amount you can take without loose bowels. You may have adrenal fatigue. You might want to ask your holistic doc to test your DHEA and cortisol levels.

      I hope this helps. I know how hard it is to suffer through insomnia. It’s just hell.
      Laura

  5. diana says:

    Insane… I have the same thing.. i am under the care of a ND. But recently the kavinance is hurting me.. we are trying to figure out what i should take.. I love kavinance but did you happen to become “bitchy” REALLY irritable or have pain by your liver? i have major anxiety (in my upper diaphragm) the day after I take it for up to two days.. I didn’t notice it till I stopped taking it (i was in pain and trying to figure out what was causing it) but then i noticed my sleep started to not be as deep.. i.e. waking up 3 or more times a night..

    I checked out the website.. i think i read his book about adrenal fatigue..

    love the post

    • Hi Diana

      Hmmm, it’s odd that Kavinace caused pain and disrupted sleep.

      I take ULTRA Kavinace before bed, along with tryptophan, bioidentical progesterone, a stellar magnesium, and Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Rebuilder. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I’ll add 1-2 Kavinace. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I don’t recall any pain or irritability the next day. I took Ambien ONCE and was royally bitchy the next day. Horrible horrible drug). Does your doctor have any theories on why the Kavinace caused your reaction? I know if your neurotransmitters are out of balance, too much GABA (Kavinace) or too much serotonin (anti-depressants, 5 HTP, tryptophan) you’ll have issues.

      I’ve figured out a handful of causes for my middle of the night wakings. Perhaps this will help you.

      Adrenal fatigue of course (either too low or too high cortisol. If it’s too high, I get that wired but tired anxious feeling), low blood sugar (caused directly by adrenal fatigue, a little protein and a healthy fat before bed helps, e.g. peanut butter), excessive high histamine foods, red wine, aged cheeses, tomato sauces(I take Histame). Histamine-related insomnia is quite obscure, but it’s a real thing. If you don’t happen to have enough DAO enzyme to break down the naturally occurring histamine in foods, you might get away with it for a while, but eventually the “histamine bucket” tips over and you get reactions. Histamine is among other things, neuroexcitatory, overexcites the brain. Sinus migraines also wake me up and keep me up (I take Advil plus the sleep supplements). Gluten sensitivity is another cause. Food allergies as well. The brain-gut connection is very very powerful. When your gut is irritated, inflammation alerts the adrenals. Getting your gut in order is crucial.

      When I took an adrenal fatigue saliva test many years ago, gluten sensitivity was one of the measures. I showed up positive and stopped gluten. I cheat (a little) once in a while but take enzymes to help.

      Hope this helps,
      Laura

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hello! This post has really offered some insightful information. I wondered if i could contact you personally?

  7. Joni says:

    Hi Laura, Neuroscience has stopped manufacturing kavinace ultra pm (actually all kavinace products) due to FDA orders related to Phenibut. I’m a little worried because I’ve been taking it for 2 years and I would say I’ve developed somewhat of a tolerance, although it’s the best supplement I’ve ever found for better sleep…and I’m sad to see it go. What makes me nervous is that over the last few days I’ve read some horror stories about withdrawl symptoms people are having when stopping kavinace, although I’m not sure how much they have been taking. I didn’t realize there was anything addictive in kavinace when I started taking it. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Your sleep story sounds exactly like mine. I came across your article while researching kavinace…:)

  8. Robin says:

    I can relate to all this even the sinus migraines. Finally found a Holistic MD and made an appointment for Tuesday. Super expensive but I have to get better. Walking dead this last year!

  9. Hi Laura,
    I have been a Kaviance Ultra PM user for about 5 or 6 years now. I used to take Ambien, but wanted to not rely on a prescription drug. The PM seemed to work about 90-95% of the time. I have been purchasing it from various sites i.e. Ebay and other “pharmaceutical” sites over the years. Went to purchase my next bottle and it seems that it is being discontinued by the manufacturer Neuroscience and being replace by another product made by them called “Alpha GABA PM”. Have you heard any feedback on this product yet?

    • Hi
      I just found out that Kavinace is temporarily discontinued (due to the FDA’s labeling criteria. Kavinace doesn’t qualify as a “dietary supplement”). I haven’t tried Alpha Gaba PM but plan to order it. I have a bottle of Ultra Kavinace and a few Kavinace capsules left I plan to use up (for sleep). I’m very concerned about not having access to the phenibut used in both my NeuroScience products. It’s so effective because it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. Other GABA supplements supposedly do not. I also found a couple of other products that might work that I ordered. From this article: https://progressyourhealth.com/alternative-to-kavinace/ CereVive and PharmaGaba.

      Good luck and please let me know what works for you!

      Laura

  10. Casey says:

    I’m so curious to hear an update now that Phenibut has been taken off the shelves. I was in exactly your position: being driven mad by so little sleep. Two Kavinase at bedtime along with a slow release melatonin has saved me; I’m not suffering from adrenal fatigue any longer. My mood is regulated, I don’t experience anger or extreme lows like I did, my anxiety has decreased. And now I find myself rationing my last bottle of Kavinace because I’m just devastated it’s unavailable now. How are you adjusting your regimen? I’m curious if you know of any alternatives or if you’ve discussed with your Dr? My ND has me testing out Pure Encap. tryptophan now, hoping that it will do. Please update if you have the chance!

    • Hi

      I JUST found out that Kavinace is temporarily discontinued (due to the FDA’s labeling criteria. Kavinace doesn’t qualify as a “dietary supplement”). NeuroScience is suggesting instead, Alpha Gaba which I plan to order. I still have a bottle of Ultra Kavinace and a few Kavinace capsules left I plan to use up (for sleep). I’m very concerned about not having access to the phenibut used in both NeuroScience products. It’s so effective because it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. Other GABA supplements supposedly do not. I also found a couple of other products that might work that I ordered. From this article: https://progressyourhealth.com/alternative-to-kavinace/ CereVive and PharmaGaba.

      Re: Pure Encapsulations tryptophan. I use that as well and it’s very very good. I can’t say by itself it keeps me asleep, only in combo with Ultra Kavinace. I take 2 a night. Sometimes 3. I’ve never found that melatonin on its own works well for me. Melatonin is not a sedative, it’s a hormone our body naturally produces from the pineal gland in the evening. It’s the “signaling” hormone for us to get tired. Its job is to regulate our natural circadian rhythm which is why it works so well for jet leg (but not necessarily for sleep unless you’re low in melatonin). 5-HTP and tryptophan are both precursors to melatonin. Meaning if you take either, it will convert to melatonin.

      Good luck and please let me know what works for you! Laura

      Laura

  11. Melanie says:

    HI Laura, I stopped sleeping all of a sudden one night in 1996. I’ve battled since then. I’ve done sleep studies and take sleep meds, which keep increasing. I went off of gluten for a few years but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I’m off it now again for the most part for a few months. I live in Minneapolis. Is there anyone you could recommend in terms of Dr? Also, do you know if Kavinace is going to be available again soon? I heard about it from my Dr and would like to try it.

    • Hi

      I definitely sympathize. I’ve worked on my sleep for 10 years. Kavinace and Ultra Kavinance saved me (and getting off gluten, balancing my cortisol via an aggressive adrenal fatigue regime).

      I just found out that Kavinace is temporarily discontinued (due to the FDA’s labeling criteria. Kavinace doesn’t qualify as a “dietary supplement”). I haven’t tried Neuroscience’s replacement, Alpha Gaba PM but plan to order it. I have a bottle of Ultra Kavinace and a few Kavinace capsules left I plan to use up (for sleep). I’m very concerned about not having access to the phenibut used in both my NeuroScience products. It’s so effective because it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. Other GABA supplements supposedly do not. I also found a couple of other products that might work that I ordered. From this article: https://progressyourhealth.com/alternative-to-kavinace/ CereVive and PharmaGaba.

      Pure Encapsulations tryptophan is very good (elevates serotonin, a sleep/mood hormone). Some people have success with melatonin. I do not. Melatonin is not a sedative, it’s a hormone our body naturally produces from the pineal gland in the evening. It’s the “signaling” hormone for us to get tired. Its job is to regulate our natural circadian rhythm which is why it works so well for jet leg (but not necessarily for sleep unless you’re low in melatonin). 5-HTP and tryptophan are both precursors to melatonin. Meaning if you take either, it will convert to melatonin.

      Many people like herbs, e.g. Valerian, Lemon Balm etc. I find them too weak. The amino acid L-theanine is helpful to increase GABA. The key to solving insomnia is to find out the exact cause. Circadian issues, melatonin is good. High cortisol? GABA, anything that increases GABA in the brain. Low cortisol, requires a different regime. Adrenal rebuilders. My adrenal fatigue was the culprit. I had to go off gluten, lower my cortisol. Keep regular sleep hours (I don’t do that well).

      Good luck and please let me know what works for you!

      Laura

  12. Angelique says:

    Kavinace has been taken off the market any alternative suggestions? It was the only thing that helped my husbands insomnia.

    • Hi

      I just found out that Kavinace is temporarily discontinued (due to the FDA’s labeling criteria. Kavinace doesn’t qualify as a “dietary supplement”). I haven’t tried Neuroscience’s replacement, Alpha Gaba PM but plan to order it. I have a bottle of Ultra Kavinace and a few Kavinace capsules left I plan to use up (for sleep). I’m very concerned about not having access to the phenibut used in both my NeuroScience products. It’s so effective because it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. Other GABA supplements supposedly do not. I also found a couple of other products that might work that I ordered. From this article: https://progressyourhealth.com/alternative-to-kavinace/ CereVive and PharmaGaba.

      Pure Encapsulations tryptophan is very good (elevates serotonin, a sleep/mood hormone). Some people have success with melatonin. I do not. Melatonin is not a sedative, it’s a hormone our body naturally produces from the pineal gland in the evening. It’s the “signaling” hormone for us to get tired. Its job is to regulate our natural circadian rhythm which is why it works so well for jet leg (but not necessarily for sleep unless you’re low in melatonin). 5-HTP and tryptophan are both precursors to melatonin. Meaning if you take either, it will convert to melatonin.

      Many people like herbs, e.g. Valerian, Lemon Balm etc. I find them too weak. The amino acid L-theanine is helpful to increase GABA. The key to solving insomnia is to find out the exact cause. Circadian issues, melatonin is good. High cortisol? GABA, anything that increases GABA in the brain. Low cortisol, requires a different regime. Adrenal rebuilders. My adrenal fatigue was the culprit. I had to go off gluten, lower my cortisol. Keep regular sleep hours (I don’t do that well).

      Good luck and please let me know what works for your husband.

      Laura

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Site last updated June 13, 2019 @ 5:21 pm; This content last updated June 13, 2019 @ 5:21 pm

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