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Altostrata

What is the sleep cycle?

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Altostrata

It's an unfortunate fact that antidepressants destroy REM sleep, and sleep problems in withdrawal are a legacy of this.

 

You may find you wake every 1.5-2 hours, and sometimes can't get back to sleep. This is because of the waves in the sleep cycle. When you rise towards the top of the cycle, which in normal people is closest to waking, you break through and wake up.

 

You can see in the chart below that we get closest to waking around 2:30 a.m. I often wake up around this time and may not get any more sleep until perhaps the early morning hours (thanks to my blackout shades and curtain).

 

In an otherwise bleh recent article on his Psychology Today blog, Sleep Newzzz, Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. explains REM sleep:

 

"....

During REM sleep your brain is more active than any other stage. In fact in some cases it is MORE active than when you are awake. This activity requires fuel for thought called glucose - the basic building block of most foods.

 

Sleep follows a very particular, and fairly predictable, cycle in most individuals each night:

 

051411_sleepprogressionchart.jpg

 

Your brain goes from: Wake to Stage 1, from Stage 1 to Stage 2, from Stage 2 to Stages 3 and 4, back to Stage 2 and on into REM sleep. You can see this in the graph above. But look at the yellow bar. This represents REM sleep, and notice how it gets longer and longer as the night progresses! This shows how your body gets more REM sleep in the very early morning hours. Just like riding a bike up hill, you have to climb up before you can coast down that hill, and you need to go through the first few sleep cycles to get more REM sleep.

 

But what happens when you only get 6 hours of sleep? YOU CUT OFF THAT LAST REM PERIOD.

...."

 

(http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201105/the-sleepweight-loss-connection)

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Neuroplastic

Great info. That's exactly what I'm experiencing. The 5-6 hours upper limit has been with me for *quite* a long time now.

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dalsaan

It's an unfortunate fact that antidepressants destroy REM sleep, and sleep problems in withdrawal are a legacy of this.

 

You may find you wake every 1.5-2 hours, and sometimes can't get back to sleep. This is because of the waves in the sleep cycle. When you rise towards the top of the cycle, which in normal people is closest to waking, you break through and wake up.

 

You can see in the chart below that we get closest to waking around 2:30 a.m. I often wake up around this time

 

Hi Alto

 

This is my sleep pattern and I get up at 6 for work often not having gotten any more sleep. My question - does it get better? Does your capacity for rem sleep increase over time?

 

I would give anything for just one week of good sleep

 

Dalsaan

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Altostrata

It does get better. Have you tried arginine? It's helped me get more sleep, which seems to have built up over months.

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dalsaan

No I haven't. Will give that a go. Thanks

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Altostrata

I take a smidgen of arginine when I wake up at 3 a.m., which happens frequently.

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GiaK

**smidgeon** is key. Arginine comes in 500 mg capsules...I found that 3 mg was enough!! and then it became TOO MUCH. I no longer tolerate it...so be careful. It's very powerful stuff...granted I am more sensitive then most...still I'm pretty sure Alto takes a tiny amount compared to the 500 mg as well.

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GiaK

oh...but while we're at it I actually took a wee bit of Taurine and topical Magnesium Oil at 3:30 last night for the first time and that got me back to sleep for about 2 hours...I have to be really careful with Taurine too and hadn't taken it for a good long while, but it worked nicely last night...I got that suggestion on this board but I don't remember who suggested it now, sorry!

 

the mag and taurine combo totally mellowed out my tachychardia...quite astonishing really

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dalsaan

Thanks for the info Gia. Is too much over stimulating? Is that the adverse effect or should I be in the look out for other reactions?

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GiaK

yes...it had a distinct over-stimulating edge...for me it also opened me too much spiritually and just got really weird...it helped for a while...but I would use it one or two days then need a break then use it again...I knew it was going to have a time-limited life...I've learned to do this because almost everything ends up going south on me at some point (anything that has any sort of psycho active properties, anyway)

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dalsaan

Just ordered some in powder form. Should make it easier to accurately measure a smidgen : )

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compsports

I am finding that something will work great one night for getting me back to sleep and then totally fail when I try it again. The latest has been a mag/cal supplement.

 

Last night, tried a smidgen of L'Arginine and it was a disaster. It seems I am also quite sensitive to stuff.

 

Very frustrating.

 

CS

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GiaK

cs...

have you tried essential oils? I'm finding certain ones as well as certain blends the most gentle and reliable substances...

 

I have to say though...when I first started experimenting I was using a cheap (but popular) brand and they pretty much all gave me headaches (synthetics in the blend maybe)

 

in any case the brand I've been using lately has been really wonderful and subtle (also expensive, but you can use really tiny amounts so they last)...may not alway work to get me to sleep, but it's never harsh and sometimes it's simply astonishing how helpful they are.

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compsports

cs...

have you tried essential oils? I'm finding certain ones as well as certain blends the most gentle and reliable substances...

 

I have to say though...when I first started experimenting I was using a cheap (but popular) brand and they pretty much all gave me headaches (synthetics in the blend maybe)

 

in any case the brand I've been using lately has been really wonderful and subtle (also expensive, but you can use really tiny amounts so they last)...may not alway work to get me to sleep, but it's never harsh and sometimes it's simply astonishing how helpful they are.

 

No, I haven't.

 

Is there a specific brand you like?

 

Thanks!

 

CS

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compsports

Hi Gia,

 

Will the essential oils help with cognitive issues?

 

One positive side effect I have noticed from taking cal/mag at night is my cognitive abilities have improved in spite of my horrific sleep. For example, I solved a problem with my Kindle after calling Amazon Kindle tech support and realizing they had no idea what they were talking about. This wouldn't have happened previously.

 

Interestingly, when I have taken it in the morning, it has hasn't had the same effect.

 

CS

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GiaK

I understand...I think finding an oil you resonate with could help with that...it has helped with me...

 

they are not so much to be prescribed in general...they act individually and in the moment for that individual...I have a collection of about 6 scents now...I am learning to use them intuitively as I need them...

 

I use Young Living...they appear to be (and probably are) a disgusting MLM company, but I love the oils...and that's just the way it is... http://www.youngliving.com/

 

I have also found this guys stuff very good (beware ATROCIOUS website of the distributor -- you can call for a catalog because the website is SOOO bad)

 

https://mikaelzayat.com/

 

distributor in the US http://www.4dshift.com/

 

Anyway...they work very subtly so it makes sense they need to be high quality...there may be less expensive brands that have quality but I don't know what they are and at this point I'm happy using what works.

 

I'm sorry I'm a bad moderator...this thread should probably be moved to the aromatherapy thread but I don't know how to do it...I will try to learn soon.

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areyouthere

Thanks for the link Giak.

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compsports

I understand...I think finding an oil you resonate with could help with that...it has helped with me...

 

they are not so much to be prescribed in general...they act individually and in the moment for that individual...I have a collection of about 6 scents now...I am learning to use them intuitively as I need them...

 

I use Young Living...they appear to be (and probably are) a disgusting MLM company, but I love the oils...and that's just the way it is... http://www.youngliving.com/

 

I have also found this guys stuff very good (beware ATROCIOUS website of the distributor -- you can call for a catalog because the website is SOOO bad)

 

https://mikaelzayat.com/

 

distributor in the US http://www.4dshift.com/

 

Anyway...they work very subtly so it makes sense they need to be high quality...there may be less expensive brands that have quality but I don't know what they are and at this point I'm happy using what works.

 

I'm sorry I'm a bad moderator...this thread should probably be moved to the aromatherapy thread but I don't know how to do it...I will try to learn soon.

 

Thanks Gia.

 

Oh, I think I remember Young Living as I have a vague recollection ordering a product from them. LOL.

 

CS

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dalsaan

Anyone know if there are any issues taking magnesium, taurine and arginine together? I have a mag/taurine citrus flavored powder that's tastes nice. The arginine is a powder as well which doesnt taste so good.

 

Id like to mix the powders together but not sure if there are any issues

 

Any advice appreciated

 

Dalsaan

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Barbarannamated

...for me it also opened me too much spiritually and just got really weird.

 

Gia,

 

Will you PLEASE elaborate on this??! For me, the physical aspects of all of this are comprehensible. It's the bizarre, weird, spiritual(?) perceptual WOO experiences that absolutely freak me out! This is something I didn't give much thought to in the past; never experienced anything 'trippy'. Smoked pot a few times and the perceptual changes and paranoia it caused were unpleasant, not at all relaxing. To feel ungrounded and loss of sense/illusion of control, even if nobody notices, is disturbing to me.

 

It seems that some people experience more weirdness and perceptual disturbances than others. I've suspected pineal gland is involved.

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Suggestions of essential oils?

 

Thanks. I apologize for the tangent!

 

B

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GiaK

Hi Barbara...

 

I'm not big on going into details about the spiritual stuff...mostly just because there is no universal language and any language one chooses to use will alienate someone...I am hoping that I am able to at some point articulate better...but for now I find myself at a loss and don't really talk much about it except in vague terms and with people I know very well and feel very safe with...

 

I will say that the essential oils are helping me move and understand and come to terms with the "spiritual stuff"

 

I'll give you the names of the blends or oils that have been helpful to me, but really I find that it's through experimentation and intuition that I'm learning to use them...

 

I've used from Young Living:

 

SARA – helps move unpleasant energies through my body/mind/spirit

White Angelica - helps me calm and fall and stay asleep.

Joy Essential - general feel good oil...also helps move stuff at times...and can calm and help sleep too

Idaho Blue Spruce - has helped with chronic pain and exhaustion...helps with some sorts of stagnant energetic stuff too...generally caught up with neuropathic pains as well

Thyme -- I blend it with the spruce above for the same things

 

the thyme and spruce need to be put in a diffuser because they'll irritate the skin...I put the rest on my skin...on pulse points etc...

 

I've also tried two blends from MIKAEL ZAYAT...

 

Fear Less

 

and Anger out

 

you can figure what those are for :rolleyes:

 

You don't ever need much of the stuff...and as I've said I experiment and mix and match...they've really been a massive education...incredible...

 

I suggest going through the catalogs and seeing what else might resonate...other blends etc might be better for you...

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Altostrata

dalsaan, if it works, it works!

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Barbarannamated

Thanks, Gia. I understand about trying to explain or discussing the spiritual stuff.

 

Oh yea, ANGER OUT resonates with me. :o

I have used EOs, but only basics. It is very individual and powerful. I used to like Lavendar, but it has a negative effect on me now. I thought that I developed negative associations with it because I used it in times of bad anxiety (now I know was withdrawal). I found a Lavendar/mandarin blend that I loved, then moved to citruses. I haven't tried any other blends. A holistic veterinarian I've used developed Raindrop Therapy (Woo Alert!) and swears by Young's VALOR. It's touted as "Chiropractor in a Bottle" and also good for spiritual alignment.

 

Thanks again.

 

B

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alex

Unfortunately, I am on the dotted, erratic sleep pattern.

My symptoms during the day have improved subtantially, but my sleep is VERY poor...very sad.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

I must have remembered this posting yesterday on my travels across the net. I happened to find this interesting:

 

http://www.larabriden.com/the-myth-of-the-8-hour-sleep/

 

It put me in mind of giak's recent post about 'reframing' in the context of sleep. If this person's take on the sleep patterns of our distant ancestors has any merit, it would tie in with the excellent notion of reframing your sleep experience away from the label of "broken sleep" to "periods of rest punctuated by periods of wakefulness".

 

YMMV, of course.

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SigmundFreud

im on the same situation with Neuroplastic i only get 4-6 hours of sleep nowadays. how can i improve it? does it resolve over time? 

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SigmundFreud

thanks alto. i have cal/mag/zinc+d3 can it help too?

 

d3 as cholecalciferol 200iu 50% rda, 

calcium from calcium carbonate 1000mg 100%

magnesium from magnesium oxide, chelate 500mg 125%

zinc from zinc oxide chelate 25mg 167% 

betaine hcl 100mg

glutamic acid hcl 100mg 

 

i also have 5-htp, GABA, l-theanine, phosphatidyylserine complex.

 

which of these can help? been to my shink this afternoon he prescribed me benadryl could it help too?

 

i fell asleep around 730pm and woke up 11pm tonight and it adds to the anxiety that im not gonna have sleep again for the rest of the night.

any useful tips from anyone? thanks all in advance. 

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Altostrata

Many people do well with fish oil and magnesium supplements, seehttp://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ 

The calming effect of magnesium works best taken apart from calcium.

 

I would not take vitamin D at night, it can be energizing.

 

Betaine HCL is a digestive aid.

 

Please use search to see our topics on your other supplements.

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whitelily

This happened to me after a period of stressful circumstances and now my dreams are much paler, so that I can only just make out the colours and generally do not dream as much.  I often am semi-conscious when I'm in bed, just with my eyes shut.  I've never heard of anyone else experiencing this affect on their dreams and am sure it was the antipsychotic. 

 

Posting in case it does happen that someone else can relate.   

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alwayslookup

This explanation that antidepressants destroy REM sleep just does not make sense in my case. Maybe because I also took benzos and sleeping pills? What I experience is almost the opposite. If I understand correctly dreams occur during REM sleep and I have a lot of crazy dreams even nightmares when I wake up during the night or towards morning. The wake ups are sometimes more frequent sometimes not. But still for me the nightmare part is the most disturbing. It might have to do something with high cortisol levels and the too active alerting system problem we all have....

 

I just found and article which says that melatonin helps REM sleep significantly.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14715839

 

I think I will try to stop taking my melatonin before sleep and see how that goes. 

 

Is there any other way to reduce REM sleep? Is it a good idea in my case to try to reduce it?

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alwayslookup

I did not realize how important was to take the melatonin sooner. When I take it around 8pm it gets me sleepy and I can fall asleep much easier when I go to bed around 11pm. But my big problem is still the weird dreams....It seems like I only have REM sleep without deep sleep. It is very frustrating. Especially the weird dreams which I tend to remember until I fall back to sleep again....

 

I do also take magnesium citrate and lactium before sleep and when I wake up but I think I might need something stronger.

Something that might help to have fewer wake ups, maybe even more deep sleep.....

 

As I made some research about Glycine it is said to do exactly this: 

"Glycine, a naturally-occurring non-essential amino acid, is a new addition to the spectrum of non-pharmaceutical options for people with disordered sleep, especially those prone to waking up in the middle of the night. In high concentrations, it promotes the prolongation of stage 3-4 sleep in the first sleep cycle and prevents sleep fragmentation, without sedative or hypnotic effects."

 

It sounds promising and since others here reported positively about it I think I might give it a try....

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dalsaan

I've had some good responses from Taurine in terms of deepening my sleep

 

Dalsaan

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alwayslookup

Oh I laughed so hard when I saw the price tag: 85$?!?! For what?? A little bit of melatotin and tyrosine in distilled water? Seems like a typical gimmick to me...If it would be 5-10$ maybe but come on....

Though there is some truth in the fact that most melatonin supplements are too strong....but as I know melatonin is not toxic anyway.

And besides they say that a normal person only needs only 0.03mg but I don't think that is enough for most of us....I personally take 1.5mg and sometimes feel that even that is not enough.

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