Here are some things readers have written me about or that I’ve heard about:
A megadose dose of Vitamin D – a couple thousand mgs.
CRANKY BABY: an aromatherapy spritzer that promises to transform babies from cranky to sweet-tempered. It combines chamomile, tangerine, and sweet orange. This woman swore it did wonders for her.
A few teaspoons of lemon juice in warm water. This reader added that even if it doesn’t help your sleep, it’s good for digestion.
Cherry juice, tart, concentrated. I came across this at an exhibit at a sleep conference. It’s a natural source of melatonin, which makes some people sleep. I did seem to sleep better for a few nights,but then, I bounced back to my usual 2-3-4 hours. But I love the taste, and it’s helped my arthritis, so I’m a convert. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory— if you’ve got joint pain, it’s definitely worth a try. And since we lose melatonin as we age, and melatonin supplements can be a bit tricky, I like having a natural source, even though it doesn’t do a thing for my sleep. The form I drink is CHERRYPHARM, but there are lots of sources on the web. And no, I’m not on the take.
Nor am I on the take from BIOZZZ. This is something else I came across at a sleep conference exhibit, picked up some samples and took them home and tried them. It gave me an unusually good night’s sleep. It delivers hefty dose of tryptophan. I can’t say it worked the next night, but I haven’t ruled it out.
Homeopathy, for which there seems to be no scientific evidence, still seems to coming up as helpful. In Europe, it’s taken more seriously than it is here. A physician wrote me from Paris that he’d been looking into “gemmotherapy remedies.” (This sounds more like herbal medicine than homeopathy: it uses remedies made from the buds and shoots of trees and shrubs.) His mother and daughter were both having sleep problems, and with a remedy called NOCTIGEM, they’re now sleeping much better.
He referred me to an online shop in Belgium:
I tried it, and it did help me get to sleep, but it didn’t help me stay asleep, which is my main problem.
The active ingredients are listed as fig and linden tree: “Linden tree, which possesses the calming properties of the flower, as well as the cleansing function of the underside of the bark (sapwood); together with that of the fig which has profound effect on the nervous system as a whole.”
Might be worth a try, though it’s pricey.
A friend who’s had longtime issues with insomnia told me he’s discovered the magic pill for him, Safeway brand over the counter, a blue pill. I looked at the label and it’s a simple antihistamine, same stuff that’s in Benedryl. I take Benedryl every time I get a cold. I do love the sleep I get for 2-3 nights (though I don’t like the morning grogginess), but then I bounce back to my same old broken sleep. But my friend doesn’t seem to be getting used to it. Since we’re all so different in the way we respond to drugs, this might be a simple, inexpensive and fairly harmless thing to try. (I think it’s probably the same as the Costco brand, and probably a dozen other brands…)
More next week….