Chronic Sleep Troubles? Apnea? Insomnia? Racing Mind? - Try GABA
I saw on a prayer chain email I received today that someone has had decades of trouble sleeping, I typed out the below for the person, whom I don't even know. Then I thought to "share with the class." If you have trouble sleeping and you decide to try this and it works, let me know.
Some persons may want to try GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid).
(There is a great price on GABA at iHerb.com, the brand I use is NOW--a excellent brand by a christian company. Though also available at Amazon and elsewhere, iherb is having an extra 10% off sale (until the end of May 2013), free shipping, no tax, and with an extra $10 off your first order if you have never ordered from this company before; using referral code QIP222 in the "Coupon Code" area during checkout).
If the 500mg. is cheaper (do the math for price per mg.) that works fine too; as I explain below, it may take a little experimentation to find best dosage for you.
I have had apnea / insomnia since at least age 16; have been an athlete most of my life; rarely overweight; usually in prime shape over my life, especially when in college and when I worked as a carpenter; I have gained some weight over 2 decades of sitting at my desk instead of being carpenter and playing sports, but I have now lost it all (about 150 lb. now, was up to 197 at worst time when sitting in hospital room / nursing home 12-hours a day, driving hour each way, with my father for a year trying to help him recover after a stroke, from which he never has, sadly, after about 7 years now; it was very stressful; after the first 3 weeks of fasting and praying in ICU--even standing by his bed for the first 72 hours to keep him from pulling the tube out of his nose--I began to put on weight); the weight never effected my apnea (unfortunately, I was hoping that losing the weight would improve sleep, but no); my brother, dad, grandfather all had apnea.
I have not had a good night's sleep in 22 years; have not slept through the night once in 22 years; usually only few hours a night, intermittently. One natural product (produced by a Christian who was an aquaintence of mine, now passed away), Renewtrient, helped some, but was taken off the market due to criminals using it as date rape drug. (Again, proof of corruption in our nation; law-abiding citizens are the one who suffer and pay the price, while criminals get a slap on the wrist and politicians and judges just rob the people of not only power and money, but our very health and freedom.)
Recently I found that GABA helps me greatly. I had tried GABA in the past, but I guess I did not take enough. I have tried everything (valerian, kava kava, melatonin, etc.). I take 2 - 750mg. caps with 1/2 glass of water. I will usually sleep well for 2 hours. I then take 1 or 2 more and another 1/2 glass of water if I wake up (and a third time if needed). I have found that it will not work that well toward dawn if my bowels are getting ready to; the bowel pressure must interfere. I have also found that after taking it regularly for a week or so, even if I skip a night or two, I still sleep better than I used to. I don't have any apnea machine; never have. I have sinus problems and the current machines need to have nasal passages open; unfortunately, I must use nose-spray frequently.
GABA basically has the brain synapses slow down and fire less rapidly and less frequently. No side effects or residual grogginess.
[Reports do say NOT to take GABA with protein; but I have never seen any explanation WHY (which is annoying). I would venture a guess that it may be that the protein may interfere with GABA being able to successfully cross the blood-brain barrier (not completely, but probably only partly; but that is just a guess). But other than that, it does not seem to matter whether you take GABA on a full or empty stomach; but I imagine an empty stomach would be most effective and it is better not to go to sleep with full stomach anyway (though not always possible).]
I have even at times taken 3 and 4 750mg. capsules at a time, which in extreme cases may help; but have found that I need to take more water as too much Gaba without enough water makes my body feel too heavy: it makes my arms and legs (and even face) tingle quite unpleasantly; but either more water or less GABA (it took a little experimentation to find the right dosage) and there is rarely any unpleasantness. At just the right dosage I will have a very mild metalic taste in my mouth shortly before I fall asleep (maybe 10-15 min. after taking it). Also, if I take too much GABA (or not enough water), I experience a stronger metallic taste, a little more unpleasant (and if so I just take more water).
Also, if I take too much GABA (or maybe not enough water) or if I take too much of a subsequent dose of GABA, mild nausea is possible; more water will remedy this or I learned to cut back by taking a smaller subsequent doses. It was the same way with Renewtrient; they are in the same bio-chemical family (being converted by the body to GHB and then HGH, I believe; but don't quote me on it; do a little research to nail it down and understand the process).
Drinking more water will make you have to get up to urinate during the night; but that is a "good thing" rather than dehydration—and reportedly when a person sleeps, the water from the lower part of your body while you have been upright all day will then settle out and thus one reason for having to urinate during night. Further, drinking 2 - 8-oz glasses of water immediately upon rising in the morning reportedly revitalizes the organs that have been semi-dehydrating during the night.
Also, since GABA only works for about 2 hours on me, then the urge to urinate does not really interfere, for the time I will have to go is around the same time when the GABA wears off anyway and I will need to get up and get another dose.
This is the only product that has given any normalcy to my sleep for 22 years (I also have sinus problems which also keep me from sleeping, having to use nose spray, in addition to the sleep troubles from apnea and insomnia, which go hand in hand). For the past 22 years I normally have only gotten 2 or maybe 3 hours of sleep per 10 hours in bed, in 15 min. increments... and during bad times, 1 to 0 hours sleep.
GABA helps the mind to rest and gets you into deep sleep.
Watch the clock when you lay down after having taken it, (when you wake up, you will have to try to guess/estimate how long it took you to get to sleep); when you wake up after the GABA has worn off (IF, it wears off on you as it does on me) look at the clock to get a general idea of how long you slept; then, if you feel the need, take another dose. When you wake up after having taken Gaba, you may feel like you had not slept at all; but it may have been 2 hours; the deep sleep makes time go by so fast you think it was negligible. So checking the clock before you go to sleep and each time you realize the GABA wears off will give you a general idea of how well it is working.
Also: It may also take a little while for the body to build up a good supply of GABA (GABA is actually found in significant quantities in the eyes and the brain and the amount of sunlight coming through the eye striking the pineal gland in the brain is what helps regulate sleep to some degree, so they may be related). Though a person who first tries this may not notice any significant improvement immediately, do not give up. I started out with small doses and I did not seem to sleep much better; then I vamped up to 3 to 4 - 750mg. but like I said, it can cause a little discomfort until you do fall asleep, but if you drink more water it is not usually a problem. If I were trying this for the first time, I would start with 1 - 750 mg. and each night work my way up, 2, 3, 4 (but prob. not past 4); if 4 caused too much discomfort even with more water, I would back down to 3. If 3 does not cause discomfort I would then continue to take 3 as my first dose for a week or two; when I wake up, I would take 2 for subsequent dose; if that caused discomfort even with more water, I would only take 1 for subsequent dose. But like many things, it sometimes takes a few weeks for things to really stabilize; so I would not give up after 1 or two nights; but continue to take it to help the body build up its reserves and also learn how to process it in greater quantity (and it is also good for the brain and eyes; as is Lecithin (see my short discussion on Lecithin).
5-HTP also works similarly, but I have found better results with GABA. Everyone's body chemistry (and pathology) is a little different; while GABA may work best for another, 5-HTP may work better for another (or alternating each week). iHerb also has 5-HTP.
Also, Magnesium is one of the most important--if not THE most important mineral in the body, and most people are magnesium deficient. Magnesium deficiency is silently behind a whole host of ailments, including sleep and many other health issues. Cancer patients are usually deficient in Magnesium and Zinc, because these two minerals are depleted by stress.
Magnesium should also be taken in a 2:1 ratio Calcium:Magnesium; many vitamins sell the combination (such as Nature's Way brand, NOW brand, etc.., see links at health bulletin board page to Vitacost or iHerb for best prices and $10 off.
I hope this helps someone.
(as always, no medical advice given, just sharing my experience)
(Price at iHerb at the time of this posting 5/11/13)
+ special 10% off until end of May 2013
+ $10 off for referral code QIP222 (type it in "COUPON CODE" during checkout)
free shipping in US
iHerb also has a lot of other great products (and even additional discounts for multiple quantity of certain products). Be sure to check out the "specials" link, as well as the one labeled "freebies" (they have a list of several dozen products, in which, you may choose one free sample with each order). Sometimes they also stick in an extra free sample of something ("trinkets to keep the natives happy" - is how I refer to them; sometimes a tape measurer, a mirror, a pen, a small jar of organic jam/preserves they are promoting, a green- or whey-drink, etc.).