Up again at 3am!!! 5htp?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Yes, small glass of milk and a couple of paracetamol at hand!

I'm so tempted to buy some 5htp?

Got to ease this insomnia...and I know posting on my phone is a no no but wanted to ask again, if anyone has any experience of taking 5htp, please?

I'm not stressed or anxious so why can I never sleep or get out of this constant bad pattern...

Some ladies take antihistamine based pills, I try to go the natural route but could these help to get a few decent hours?

Thanks jx

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39 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi janeben,

    Almost 4 am, I have actually been to sleep I'm not sure for how long ? An hour or so maybe then ping wide awake. I have laid there for probably another hour trying to sleep again.

    Now wide awake eating chocolate.

    I'm on HRT so maybe that is why I have had some sleep because that's unusual for me.

    I have s some 5htp in the cupboard about half have gone so at some point I have tried them and I'm guessing along with all the other stuff out there they didn't work.

    At the moment I'm using ionic magnesium before I go to bed but so far it's not helping and I'm taking a bit more than it recommends on the bottle.

    In a while I shall take some valerian root (I don't know if you have tried that? ) and go and try to sleep again, I tried melatonin again before Christmas but that didn't help either.

    I have some valium they do get me off to sleep but I wake up again a few hours later.

    I went on HRT 10 weeks ago and for the first 8 days on it my sleep was perfect I really don't know why it was so short lived maybe I will see if I can try a higher dose because it was absolutely blissful!

    Most of the time I either walk around all day like a zombie getting nothing done because I'm so tired or end up falling asleep at a ridiculous hour and not getting up until after dinner time (I'm lucky I don't work and no liner have young children to deal with).

    I can totally sympathise with you as I have had this now for over 10 years and in the early days I didn't have the option of sleeping in sometimes and very often I felt sick and tearful because I was totally done in all day every day.

    I hope if you try 5htp it works for you x

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    • Posted

      Morning zig!

      Believe we've chatted previously ... same subject!

      On the whole I have 3-4 hours then struggle to either remain in bed, so get up for some milk, or stay in bed hoping to get a little rest!

      Like you, I've struggled like this for years, very very occasionally sleeping past 5!

      My powdered mg doesn't make any difference, only the Benylin night coughs gives me a few hours but still awake by 4!

      Am tempted to try Piriton, an antihistamine ?

      Thought 5htp might be my saviour but after reading your posts...maybe not!

      Having our morning coffee in bed now, feeling little rough but I'll perk up and try my best to be positive and joyous! Not a tired pain!

      At the mo, I don't need HRT, as although 58, this seems to be my main problem so just take high B complex, mg, starflower and omega 3

      I've never taken prescription sleeping pills as scared of druggy mornings and addictive side.

      Thanks for reply jx

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    • Posted

      Well I took a 5htp about 430 am. Went back to bed was up again at 9 went for lay down at 11 slept till 430pm.

      It's doing my head in now I'm fed up with it.

      I was prescribed an anti histamine a couple of years ago and it did nothing for my sleep I tried for a month it gave me painful joints. I know this because I tried it again a few months later and same thing.

      I also have melatonin that I have tried before.

      I either don't have a life if I end up sleeping in the day or I'm a zombie if I get up.

      I don't know about you but it's messed my life up also if I do get to sleep I dream straight away and that wakes me up.

      In the past I used to try staying up all night one night so I would be tired the next night and then still not being able to sleep until the early hours. .

      I will give the 5htp another go. Try it again tonight.

      Some women say the progesterone part of their HRT makes them sleep but I'm on that at the moment and it doesn't make me feel any different.

      Hope we all get a better night tonight.

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    • Posted


      I wasnt on HRT, i did it with lifestyle changes, been on menopause now for 10 years, and felt in the early days, i  was going mad, but now i am finally post, and i thank god !  my symptoms still come and go, but are much less severe, so i can cope, and i feel  things inside are more balanced.

      In the early days, the fatigue was very bad, and where i think you may be going wrong is.. your knocking your body clock out due to your altered sleeping patterns, If you do this, your body thinks, it should be asleep during the day, and awake often during the night, what your actually doing is putting  your body clock out of sink, and your body will decondition itself, which means, you will go weaker, and the fatigue will become worse, so, this is what i want you to try.

      Firstly get up early, and the same time every day, if your not working, try for 9am, then at least once a week, if you can, go swimming, i want you to swim for at least 30 mins, but done at your own pace, swimming is considered gently exercise, and gentle exercise, gives you energy, it helped me enormously, and i dont normally swim, but if you dont like swimming then try gentle walking,  but what i want you to avoid at all costs is, over exertion, as that  will make your fatigue worse, what you have to then do is, pace yourself, so, if your doing your cleaning etc, i want you to do 30 mins, then rest for 15, then start again, but dont do your cleaning, then the washing, ironing, and shopping, do that the next day, or, whatever.   Then i want you to take 15 mins per day, to just rest, but this means, NO......... tv, reading, or, computer, because then you wil become mentally fatigued which, will make your physical fatigue worse, so, i want you to take this time to do breathing relaxing exercises during that 15 mins, also  avoid high refined sugar meals, in favour of high protien, with snacks in between, eating little and often, to keep sugars balanced,  avoid high and lows, eases fatigue,  put plenty of water in, especially if you wake in the night, if you cannot get off, as during menopause we dehydrate, and fatigue also causes us to dehydrate due to low blood volume, this inturn will make us feel dizzy,,  light headed, and off balance, so, drink plenty of water, do not drink any caffine drinks.   Then i want you to go to bed the same time every night, i go at 11pm, you will not notice any difference for the first two weeks, but stick with it, because after this time, you body clock will have re adjusted to what it should be doing, and as your sleeping patterns get back to normal it will ease the fatigue greatly, if you slip b ack by having lie ins, or sleeps during the day, go back to this routine to put your clock back, making you feel better but give it time, at least two weeks, good luck, hope it works  for you, like it has for me. xx


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    • Posted

      Hi Elaine,

      Well I have tried the sleep hygiene thing I am always in bed by 11 as very rarely I do sleep ok.

      I was worried that my sleep clock/circadian rhythms were out.

      I usually try and ride my bike a bit if the weather is good.

      So anyway I tried getting up every day (my husband made me breakfast so as I was sitting up to eat it and awake I got up) after a few weeks of this I was done in through lack of sleep. Getting as little as nil and at most 3 hours so I do often sleep when I manage to.

      I have never been able to have an afternoon nap I can lay there an hour or so even if I'm feeling sick where I'm so tired.

      I have also stayed up 24 hours and still can't sleep the following night got angry about it and as I was not sleeping at 5 am just got up and did another day up. The longest I've done is 3 nights no sleep and actually slept by midnight but only to wake up at 3 or 4 am.

      I have found that getting some sleep during the week no matter at what time is better for my depression than to just keep going.

      I was discussing it with my husband the other day. We were both very surprised when on the first 8 days of estrogen I was asleep by midnight slept just as I always did pre peri without remembering tossing and turning, needing the loo feeling hungry or thirsty. Waking up at 815 on the dot every morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the day (it was bliss).

      But if this was a sleep clock or circadian rhythm problem that just would not have happened just like that on its own without weeks of retraining the body clock.

      Those 8 nights were the longest run of proper sleep I've had in around 11 years.

      At least at the moment my depression is very low. I always thought it and the anxiety were related to my sleep but it seems not to be the case. I'm still very fed up with the sleep thing but not really down at all.

      I'm have a couple of weeks to go until I've been on the HRT 3 months. I'm going to go back and speak with my doctor. First maybe try upping the dose of the one I'm on and with a view to maybe trying a patch for a more constant supply of estrogen.

      A lot of women say the progesterone part makes them sleep the first few nights on it made me yawn a lot and feel cozy but it did nothing for the sleep.

      This is getting long now but may help others who read it.

      Quite a few of my early peri symptoms reared their head at 6 to 8 weeks in (horrible taste queasy couldn't decide if I was hungry or not a bit spacey) they were not as bad but there was a definite worsening. So I still hold out some hope that HRT may be the answer to the sleep thing as it is very long standing and was the first real problem I had followed by depression and anxiety about a year after the sleep problems began.

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    • Posted

      Hi Zigange

      Ive had chronic fatigue syndrome, for over 40 years, but thankfully it comes and goes, the menopause unfortunately made it worse.  Fatigue, and insomnia, comes with anxiety/ depression, constant weeing, which brings the thirst, dehyrdation next causing  cramps, load blood volume as a result of loss of fluids from the blood causing lightheadedness, and balance problems amongst many many other symptoms, when those systems are malfunctioning, and we all have probs with our autonomic nervous system throughout the day, but dont realise it, as were not always conscious of it going wrong, but around period time you will know, especially it you suffered with PMT, and it will all get worse when the menopause starts.  

      If HRT is helping you, then thats brilliant.   I live in the North West of England, and our GPs surgeries only allows us to be on HRT for 6 months due to risks, personally i think its also about costs, but we will never prove that, but if there is cancer in the immediate family it should never be taken, but because of that rule at my surgery, I didnt think it was worth being on it for 6 months  if, you know beforehand your menopause is going to last 10 years...............ha, the other side of the coin is, some women can lose so, so many hormones, that they need it injected daily otherwise they would be complete basket cases, but thankfully that is rarety,  however,  what does concern me is, and this has happened to a friend of mine, that when eventually, you stop the HRT you may go through the same symptoms again, because you will at some point have to come off your HRT, so, because of this happening with my friend she went back to the dr with a view to going back onto it, but he refused as she had been on it nearing her 6 months, it may be a case of wait until you stop it, then see how your body reacts because really know one knows, everybodies body is different, and sometimes i wish drs would realise this.  I went into my gp when i was 47 saying i would like to be tested for the menoapuse, as, i had symptoms along with period changes,  and she said, no you cannot be on the menopause, because your not 51 yet, my reply was, so, on my 51st birthday im going to wake up knowing im on the menopause!!............. ha, again all about costs! she did infact do the test, it said i wasnt on the menopause, went to another dr 3 months later test said i was, this is because, during menopause our hormones are up and down, the criteria to meet the menopause  is, you need three blood tests, done three months apart, and when two out of 3 of the tests,   come back positive then, your on it, on the otherhand if two out of three come back negative then your not, but really do we need a test, cos we know anyway, thats why i went. i got my two, thanks to another gp.................Good luck with it, and i hope you finally get some sleep . 

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    • Posted

      Its a pity the doctors were frightened off HRT or as you suspect costs are involved.

      When I reach an age where my GP is no longer willing to prescribe it, I will most likely go privately and see someone. The gynaecologists are not shy about prescribing it and on another site I have been reading about a lady who did this (she is 60) and the gynocologist said providing she is remaining healthy she didn't see any problems remaining on it

      My sleep is a real pain but I think I'm probably less depressed now I don't have a myriad of other issues to deal with every day. The horrible uptight anxiety I have been living with for what seems like forever means that even if I can't sleep I can get up snuggle up and read the paper without this odd feeling like I have to go somewhere. I keep looking for any positives at the moment, whereas a few months ago there didn't seem to be many.

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    • Posted

      Hi....................Yes i have gone private in the past, it is the way to do it agree, yes its all about being healthy whilst on it as well, its great as well if you are less depressed, the anxiety is bad, those two for me i think were the worst part of it all,  and it will affect your sleep, as too much adrenaline wil cause insomnia, peeing lots, and palpitations, make sure also, that you eat little and often, high protein, low un refined carbs, staying off sugar as much as you can, as if your sugars drop, you will produce more adrenalin to try and bring your sugars back up, if you stick to high protein etc, it will help keep you sugars balanced, so you dont get the adrenalin rush so much, hope you feel better soon, it will go i promise!! your meds seem to be doing the trick, good luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jane, yes I was up all night as well, I do recall Valeria pills worked for me but I still sort of prefer benadryl. 5htp may work for you since every body is different. I recall taking it once but after sleeping for 2 hours it doesn't necessarily seem to be the right choice, I returned them. Hope you find some relief and get some sleep.
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    • Posted

      Morning pat!

      We, too have chatted before on this insomnia issue!

      Benadryl is an antihistamine like Piriton?

      Did you feel druggy after Valeria pills?

      So tricky as we are all so different and yes, is just a mater of trying everything!

      Not sure which way to turn anymore.

      Thank you for replying to me jx

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    • Posted

      No, its equivalent is diphenhydramine if you're in the UK.

      On the Valeria it worked but I have so many allergies to herbs I think it made me breakout with hives. I ended up taking a benadryl at night and I slept really well. The only drawback on the benadryl is that recent reports say it causes short term memory issues.

      That being said perimeno brings its own set of memory issues adding to the one moment at a time way of thinking and not thinking in terms of the future. But that works to help you sleep no doubt about it.

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  • Posted

    So sorry Jane, I've started drinking Menotee from Holland & Barret and its helped.  It is based on red clover.  So far so good for me. Have a go and add it to your selection.
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    • Posted

      Morning ally!

      Menotee? That's a new one for me!

      I'll google now...glad you've found a product which helps.

      So many find the magnesiums help, but after trying a few, they don't for me! Nor do the revolting teas etc!

      I'll go on the H&B site now.

      The last thing we need at 3am, apparently is "blue light" eminiting ftom iPhones but sometimes can't resist browsing or posting "help"! Thank you jx

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  • Posted

    Hi Jane

    If the insomnia is due to anxiety from menopausal flare, try drinking half glass of water gulping it,ive it time, and just feel if you can sense it going through your body and making you feel better, enough to just drop back off,  then during the day, try to drink at least 3 ltres water per day, but sipping it every ten mins it worked for me.

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    • Posted

      Hi..............Because of nights sweats and hot flushes, plus adrenalin being in the body more during menoapuse, we lose blood volume, which is water from the blood, we pee it out of us, or, we sweat it out of us, either way it causes dehydration, so, we have to recognise that and put it back, sign of it is, extreme thirst, or, dry mouth, brown urine when we get up in the morning.  Fatgiue, and insomnia will  also come with  adrenalin rushes, and too much adrenalin,  in the system apart from making your heart beat fast, and insomnia,  will also cause you to pee more, which, is what in part causes the low blood volume, if you develope low blood volume, your blood pressure drops, and you will become dizzy especially upon rising suddenly, lightheadedness, and your balance will go off, and you will get leg cramps and muscle aches, and migraines,  however, if you feel your weeing too much, because of how much water your taking in, then STOP with the water, as what is happening at this point is, the water is actually diluting your salts, so, again you will pee more, and water becomes a vicious circle, so, when you feel this is happening, you need to replace the salts instead, cant recommend you take in extra salt, has to be done by your dr, just in case yo have high blood pressure, as extra salt will make it go higher, however, it is ok, to take in very small amounts on food instead, so, if you take the water, but you feel you just pee it out not long after drinking it, then try a handful of nuts instead, but DO NOT over drink, if you continue to do this, and your just peeing and peeing, you could seriously affect your electrolytes, and without replacing them you could become very ill, you only drink, if you find ,when you have drunk it, it makes you go off to sleep better by way of alleiviating the dehydration.   Its up to us to recognise what our body is telling us it needs, so, during the night if you wake, not needing to pee, but cant sleep, try gulping just half a glass, if you go off, its low blood volume and dehydration, thats caused you to wake, if you  pee more intead and it keeps you awake,  then your taking in too much, so think about the salt, its half glass water gulped, but during the day its between  2/3 ltres max sipped every ten mins, throughout the day, when you pick up ease off with the water, until the it all starts again,   no caffine drinks either during this time, its all about messages going from the kidneys to the Autonomic nervous system, which is affected during menopause but its the hormone imbalance that triggers those systems into action, giving us the symptoms, we then have to listen to those changes and what are bodies are telling us to put in, basically its trial and error. just dont over do it, i hope this makes sense. xx
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