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Re: chronic pain, insomnia - advice?

Posted by Torrey on April 27, 1999, at 4:02:13

In reply to chronic pain, insomnia - advice?, posted by Elizabeth on April 23, 1999, at 23:30:01

Elizabeth, I also have chronic upper-back/neck pain and pretty bad insomnia. There are some "natural" things that have been helpful to me for getting to sleep.

The hormone Melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle, is available as a cheap over-the-counter supplement. Try 3mg before bed and see if it helps. The amino acid L-Tryptophan works good, too, at 500-2000mg doses, and is available from compounding pharmacies by prescription.

There are some good herbs, also. Valerian root extract works well for many people. Its important to get an extract of the fresh (not dried) root, and I find that the liquid products are more effective. The directions on the label are usually meaningless - you will need to experiment to find an effective dose. Fortunately, Valerian is quite safe, and in some research it was shown to reduce the waking-up at night insomnia that you mentioned. Some other herbs to look into are Kava Kava, Passionflower, and Hops.

I have always spoken with my doctor when using these products along with medication, and so far there have been no problems.




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