Karen’s remedies for insomnia

Karen’s remedies for insomnia

Here are the most effective remedies for insomnia that I’ve personally tried and can always rely on for falling and staying asleep, in order of preference. The last item on this list is my least favourite. Everyone is different, so what works for me may not work for you. I am not a licensed physician, so consult your healthcare professional before you try anything here.

1) Kava Kava

I alternate this regimen with piracetam. Two weeks of kava kava for amazing restful sleep, and two weeks piracetam for getting work done. Rinse and repeat. Do not take kava and piracetam together, however. I highly recommend against taking them together at the same time. Kava has no tolerance and no dependence, which is why it’s miraculous. Kava actually has something that’s called “reverse tolerance” — which means the more you take it, the more it works. This is in vast favorable contrast to the normal “tolerance” of prescription sleeping aids and weed — which means the more you take it, the less it works. Anyways, my favourite type of kava is micronized kava. It’s like instant kava, so it’s very easy to consume. You just pour a tablespoon into a cup of water (or your favourite beverage), mix it, and drink. You won’t have to mess with rolling and kneading like with traditional kava roots, which is a huge hassle and huge waste of time. I drink the 11 year micronized waka kava (Google it), which works wonders for my insomnia and anxiety. It’s like the safe, non-addictive form of Xanax.

I also feel micronized kava from reputable vendors to be a lot more effective than the kava capsules you find at vitamin shops and supplement stores. Capsules and pills are often loaded with fillers, so disreputable brands of kava capsules will just take all your money and you won’t feel anything. Here’s a test to see if a kava capsule contains real kava: Chew on it. If it numbs your tongue, you’ve got kava. If you don’t feel any tongue-numbing sensation, it’s probably loaded with filler placebo ingredients that do nothing.

Do not mix kava with alcohol, other pills, or any other prescriptions unless approved by your doctor. Kava is perfectly safe with marijuana and melatonin, though.

2) 2.4g piracetam, 3g fish oil in the morning… and 2.4g piracetam, 3g fish oil, 10mg melatonin right before bed

This is a legal and safe smart drug — or nootropic — that I like very much, along with many Silicon Valley tech gurus. I alternate this regimen with Kava with absolutely no side effects. Piracetam makes you sleep less, but you wake up fully refreshed and energized with no grogginess. I never feel tired on Piracetam. And for some reason, there’s no tolerance or dependence. No weird caffeine-like jitters. I feel perfectly alert even if I get only 4 or 6 hours of sleep. The melatonin works synergistically with piracetam and fish oil so that tolerance doesn’t develop — for me, at least. I also always have white noise playing on stereo speakers (or headphones if I’m traveling) while I sleep. This is my second favourite remedy for insomnia.

WARNING: There’s a guy named Isochroma running around on the internet praising the benefits of piracetam. Take everything he says with a grain of salt, because he is absolutely nuts. Do not attempt his ultra-high dosage of 3g piracetam every 3 hours and 3.5g before bed. I have not tried such high dosages and do not intend to. Piracetam is regarded as a very safe nootropic and is non-toxic even in high doses, but for obvious reasons, you should not attempt a high dosage.

3) 12.5 mg doxylamine succinate (or 2 NyQuil LiquiCaps)

Ah… good ol’ NyQuil. Perfect for moderate insomnia. Makes you groggy when you wake up though. Like… really groggy. Don’t take NyQuil for more than 7 consecutive days. It’s dangerous. Tolerance develops after a week, and side effects resulting from extended use after 7 days include intermittent, but uncomfortable sharp sensations in and around the cranium. I haven’t taken and do not intend to take NyQuil for longer than 9 consecutive days (I had a really bad cold when I took it for 9 days in a row).

4) Indica cannabis (marijuana)

Eyes a lil low ’cause I twist the ‘dro. This is the sleepy stuff! Indica strains of cannabis will help you sleep like a baby. All your cares will melt away, and… you will melt into your bed. You will achieve sublime states of relaxation. I don’t like cannabis though, because it prevents you from having any dreams. It’s a dream-killer! Cannabis also makes you dumb. You’ll have the attention span of a goldfish with attention deficit-disorder. Tolerance develops after 2 to 4 weeks, and withdrawal effects after tolerance has developed include nausea, even more insomnia, and possible dependence. Once you’re dependent, it will be almost impossible to accomplish anything productive. Great for seldom use only. Do not smoke weed/eat pot brownies regularly, unless you have a serious medical condition. Do not combine cannabis with other prescription medications or other over-the-counter sleep aids. I haven’t used cannabis in a looooooooong time. I cherish the memories, though. Good times were had. This should be the only insomnia remedy you should be taking if you’re in Amsterdam. Go for their “space cakes”. Marijuana cakes, mmmmm.

5) 10mg melatonin (taken alone)

Works okay for mild insomnia. Your dreams will become more vivid. Absolutely no side effects. You’ll develop a quick tolerance to melatonin alone, however (4-5 days).

6) 1g valerian root

Calms your nerves and quells your worries. Works great for insomnia, but… side effects include heavy sneezing/runny nose the next day, and tolerance develops after only 3 days.

7) Chamomile tea

Almost exactly the same as valerian root, but more of a hassle to ingest. Also works great for insomnia, but… side effects are exactly the same: heavy sneezing/runny nose the next day. Tolerance develops after only 3 days.

8) Prescription sleep medications

I do not take any prescription sleep medications, but I have tried some of them before (about five years ago, when my insomnia was really bad). None of them are good for you in the long run, and most of them are dangerous. Here’s a good rule of thumb, and here’s what I experienced: if a prescription sleep aid has no side effects, it comes with dependence; if a prescription sleep aid doesn’t come with dependence, it has side effects. This is my least favourite remedy for insomnia.