Primary Insomnia and Low GABA in the brain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AllWXRider, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I couldn't find the earlier post.
    I've gone several nights now with the 4 amino acids (Theanine 500mg, 500mg GABA, 5HTP 100mg and Taurine 500mg). I've been able to drop down to 1/8th tab of Ambien!

    I use to be a light sleeper but lately I'm knocked out hard. I don't wake up for sirens, thunderstorms, bathroom door slamming.

    I can take the individual aminos during the day and it doesn't make me sleepy.
    Taurine is in Energy drinks
    Theanine is found in Green Tea
    5HTP is mostly derived from the giffonia seed, but no real reports of drowsiness.
    GABA is found in fish and wheat bran.

    Another insomniac friend of mine is also trying the above too. He reported feeling real drowsy but did toss-n-turn a little less. His brain fog was better the next morning.

    I think [theory] that it take a while for GABA to build back up in the brain. I've been finding that I sleep better over time.

    My 2nd theory is that raising GABA levels doesn't make one sleepy but rather helps you go to sleep if you are sleep deficient.
  2. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Thanks for posting this. I have suffered with a serious sleep disorder for a few years. I am at my best from 9 pm to 4 am!!!! Meaning I don't to to sleep until 3-4 am and will wake up for a short time at 8 am, then back to sleep until 1-2 pm! Terrible situation.

    If I try to get up earlier and stay up I get sick. I also try to go to bed early but it does not work! I have tried the supplements and I know they help - I just need to stick with them.

  3. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    GABA enhancing drugs like Xanax are used to help anxiety. Gabapentin can help obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

    Take note of any improvement in anxiety, OCD and "negative fortunetelling". These will probably happen with longer term use. I have all three! Lucky me.

    I haven't taken Xanax or Gabapentin for months. It did help, but I couldn't tolerate the side effects. I hate drugs..."Just say NO", to RX drugs. I mean if they help you...OK, but I have to find a natural cure.
  4. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Hi there ...

    I wonder what happened to your other thread on this. I was watching it to see how you did.

    I've started looking at these lately too. I get insomnia and myoclonus (jerking) if I get ahold of any gluten and am finding that avoiding gluten is almost impossible unless you want to live in a bubble. Frankly, I'm not bubble material. lol ... I'm not going to eat gluten on purpose but it is literally impossible to avoid ...

    Trazodone and Klonopin work to help me sleep but I don't like taking meds either. Too many side affects ... Not that I wouldn't take these if I had to, I just prefer not to.

    I'm still experimenting but for now I'm using 200 - 400 mg Theanine + 6 mg of melatonin + a supplement called True Calm at bedtime. And I'm sleeping like a baby and waking up feeling refreshed and alert. : )

    Here's the link of True Calm ... I know it has GABA and valerian which are good for relaxation, but I'm not sure what the other ingredients in it do for us.

    I was wondering why you don't have melatonin in your regime and why you're taking Taurine.

    I'm sure you're up on melatonin ... Taurine is used for energy. Here's the link.

    I'm considering taking Taurine next to see if it will help my stamina issues. But I'll be taking it at breakfast only.

    I started with L-carnitine yesterday and wanted to give it a try first. So far so good on it ... but I've only had two ...

    BTW. I reponded to the 5 HTP by getting a bad feeling in my brain. It was like it suddenly froze up on me. I wasn't surprised though since I can't eat chicken or turkey (tryptophan) without getting extremely sleepy.

    Thanks for starting this .. it's always nice to have someone else to learn from .. Marcia
  5. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    Taurine was listed as one of the aminos that help GABA cross the blood-brain-barrier. Taurine is used in energy drinks to counteract the nervous effect of caffeine. Taurine is used in Dr. Teitelbaum's Energy Revitalization Formula.

    The experiment was to see if raising GABA in the brain would cure primary insomnia, this was based on a Prohealth article: Primary Insomnia patients have low GABA brain levels.
    Melatonin is a hormone from the pineal gland.

    I have tried melatonin, it does help then I get up @3am. My daughter is a dietician, she says that studies show 3mg as the ideal dose, that more may not help you sleep better.

    Dr T says the ideal dose of Acetyl L-Carnitine is 1.5g/day.

    The fact that eating tryptophan makes you sleepy may be an indicator that you are deficient in it. I've found that having enuf tryptophan no longer makes me sleepy, once I've caught up on sleep.
    Tryptophan -> 5HTP -> Serotonin -> Melatonin
    Digestion Liver Brain Pineal gland

  6. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    Dr. Teitelbaum discusses cortisol imbalances in his website vitality101. Ppl with CFS/FM tend to have low cortisol in the AM and high in the evening. Its suppose to be the reverse. Cortisol wakes you up, gets you going. In the evening it will make your mind buzz.

    He recommends running blood tests to verify but often puts patients on hydrocortisone 5mg for AM and recommends Sleep Tonight for PM. Sleep Tonight has magnolia bark which has been shown to break down the cortisol.
    I've found that the Sleep Tonight formula to work right away. You could try it at 9:30pm and give it 30 min to work. If it helps. Ask the doc to check your cortisol levels.

    Blood sugar, caffeine, medication, sunlight, nutritional deficiencies and infections can cause sleep disorders too.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    gaba is 1 neurotransmitter involved in sleep. others are melatonin, histamine and 5ht2(which is apart of serotinin and dopamine. Meds like trazadone and doxepin work by blocking histamine and 5ht2 and this causes sedation and improved quality of sleep.

    Im a hard core insomniac and have just started seroquel(antipsychotic med) it is prescribed off label to me for sleep, it blocks histamine, 5ht2 and dopamine. At first i was a bit hesitant because its an antipsychotic plus heard lots of bad things about it as well as good things. Anyway after trying everything, some things work but over time have lost there effectiveness. Down the track will probably return to them again and hopefully they work once more.

    I havent been taking it very long and use it intermittently to avoid any side effects and tolerence. I use 100mg and have found it helps greatly, not just long sleep but good quality sleep, after intial grogginess(about 1 hour) i feel really good. I just hope it keeps working, sleep is really important in this disease. Some people are scared of the side effects that are listed but every drug has a list of side effects as long as your arm, anyway if side effects become a worry its as easy as stop taking it.
  8. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I've tried going off 1/8 tab of Ambien, I still fall asleep faster, but w/o the Ambien I wake up at 3am toss-n-turn then fall asleep again. I have very vivid dreams. Dreams are a sign of deep sleep.

    I was on the first mission to Mars, it was fun and scary...but it was one of those dreams that I enjoyed. I woke up happy!

    The aminos certainly make Ambien more efficient. Ambien is very addictive, so it might just take more time to withdraw from it.

    I'm eating fish 3X a week, its a great source of GABA and fish oil Omega-3.

    My insomniac friend tells me that he is sleeping 5-6 hours but his brain fog is much less and lots of dreams too.
  9. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I've slept 2 nights now with out Ambien! 8-9 hours! I normally get up to take my thyroid, but have to take it during the day.
    Still dream good and don't get up for low noises.

    My insomniac friend "Vancerd" on the Teitelbaum forum, is also sleeping 7 hours straight after 1 week, but took Ambien only off and on for 4 days max. Real vivid, technicolor dreams. No brain fog. he use to be jealous of his son sleeping so well, now he knocks out fast!

    I've taken GABA or Theanine or Taurine during the day and no sleepy or drowsiness effects. I haven't taken all 3 during the day. I only take 5HTP at night.

    Fish is a good source of GABA, so we have fish at least 2X a week now.
  10. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I've tried taking the aminos during the day. Everything except the 5HTP. I don't feel sleepy or drowsy and I'm able to sleep at night. Well...2 nights in a row.

    I was worried one evening and could sense the insomnia and took a 1/8 tab of Ambien. It did help. I could feel it. This was transient insomnia. Didn't need the Ambien the next night.

    My anxiety is a little less.

    My Obsessive Compulsive brain is a little calmer too. I use to hear part of a song or comment by someone and have it play 100's of times in my head. This is another big plus!

    On another forum, it was mentioned that L-Glutamine is another amino acid that get converted into GABA inside the brain. Glutamine easily crosses over. You can read about it in Wilkepedia.