I don’t know if this will help anybody else, but it’s worth a try. Yerba mate tea was recommended to me by an alternative doctor. I didn’t hold out much hope, but decided I’d try it–and it’s really improved my sleep. For this past month, I’ve taken hardly any Ambien.
There’s a difference of opinion about whether it contains caffeine: some people say yes, others no; some say it contains something that’s related to caffeine, called mateine, others say mateine is the same as caffeine. All I know is that yerba mate gives me about the same lift I get with green tea, only when I wake up in the middle of the night, it’s much easier to get back to sleep-I don’t wake up with heart pounding and that all-systems-go feeling which I usually have. My doctor said she’s measured her own bodily responses and found that it produces less cortisol. That’s the thing about caffeine: that wonderful lift it gives happens because it raises raises blood pressure, speeds the heart, and stimulates the stress system, and the system may not return to resting place so easily, especially if you’re older Yerba mate seems to be out of my system faster, though there was one day I drank some late in the day and that did seem to interfere with my sleep.
Anyhow, it’s very interesting and definitely worth a try.