Off-label medications to improve sleep quality and quantity

I recently started taking 4.5 mg of low-dose Naltrexone (LDN).
LDN increases the secretion of naturally occurring Endorphins.
As I posted on another thread. It reduces the time-to-sleep latency and gives me a much deeper sleep experience.


Yes, I use 50 mg-75 mg of naltrexone to help people with cravings, so I bet it may have other long term benefits!

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Reducing cravings was something I didn’t expect. I must admit I have a strong liking, craving as it were, of a particular brand of dark chocolate truffles. My tendency is to eat far too much. I keep a supply in my cupboard. After my second dose of 4.5 mg of LDN, I realized I had not gone to the cupboard to eat any. Since then I have not had a piece of candy of any kind. Surprising that such a low dose has an effect. I don’t think it is the placebo effect, because A. I am normally a none responder and B, it wasn’t anything I expected. I am taking it for other reasons, so this was a nice surprise.


In the last year good sleep has firmly become my longevity quest compass. Once an insomniac, I now sleep an average of over 8 hours, with a 2 hour average of deep sleep. I still wake once or twice and sometimes have a hard time getting back to sleep - but often when I have a genuine problem that I usually solve in this quiet time.

The best results for me have so far come from . . .

  1. Getting out in the warmth of the sun in the morning to wake up the melatonin in my mitochondria.
  2. NAC daily is vital for good HRV scores. This is so reliable with me that I can even judge the quality of the NAC by my over night HRV.
  3. Dark room, eye mask, earplugs (essential), chin strap to keep mouth closed, a wrap around velcro strap that kind of gives me a longer nose so the air coming in gets a bit more warm and humid (I learned this one from my dad who was a doctor). And if you are wondering; yes I look pretty funny!
  4. No caffeine at all for me even for breakfast.
  5. Alcohol too is now almost completely off the menu.
  6. Chamomile tea is surprisingly powerful, especially at helping me get back to sleep quickly after waking in the night.
  7. L-arginine with a half a lemon or lime squeezed in it to make it palatable.
  8. A squirt of witch hazel and/or rosemary in the drink above.

The last two on the list have improved my already better sleep quality dramatically recently and even made me feel (and dream) that my brain is somehow healing. L-arginine helps your body produce Nitric Oxide which recently has been discovered to be essential for sleep. Humming also increases NO and so I have been known at wakeful times in the night to hum myself a lullaby.

Witch hazel and Rosemary are two herbs I discovered when doing a deep dive on antioxidants that clean up after NO does it’s work. Often a slow learner, it took me a year or more to put the two facts above together and realise that I should try the herbs in my night drink instead of in the daytime.

The results from the first night were dramatic, where I once struggled to average an hours deep sleep a night, often only getting 15 minutes, I now average over 2 hours. My husband has had similar results. Sleeping an average of 8 hours + now instead of 6 or 7. This has finally brought his extremely high blood pressure down where previously nothing we had tried had worked for him.


One thing which I don’t think has been adequately studied is the relationship between the sleep cycles (which I think are linked to the HPA ultradian cycle) and insomnia. My experience is that you can end up waking up during the night and then be stuck in an ultradian cycle. There is no sense trying to get back to sleep for about 80-90 minutes as the awakening response will keep you awake, but you can then return to sleep in the next cycle.

This I think is something that is more of an issue for older people as endogenous pineal melatonin goes down. I agree that mitochondrial melatonin is important, but as far as I know although pineal melatonin can supplement mitochondrial melatonin the other way round is not possible.

In any event it is important to remember that a lot of (if not all) pineal melatonin is injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Interesting. I must admit that I do point 1 on my list more as a general tonic to feel better in the daytime, especially if I am going to the gym. I don’t know about ultradian cycles but certainly have had the experience you describe. While I rarely succeed in sleeping right through the night (maybe twice a year) I do find that Chamomile tea before bed is the only thing that helps me return to sleep reliably. My sleep latency is also still very poor. So much to learn here - I am reluctant to trying pharmacuticals to sleep better but might be persuaded :slight_smile:

I would be careful about many of the sleeping pharmaceuticals. Many of them have quite bad side effects.

On the other hand ensuring that you have adequate levels of micronutrients (Magnesium) and vitamins (D and b6) has positive side effects.

Be careful with B6, if you take 100mg a day of the inactive form for a long period you will probably end up overdosing the effect of which is that it inhibits the active form and you get the symptoms of deficiency. This happened to me last year so I swapped to the active form.

Considering adding CBD to my sleep stack. I have a friend who has gained remarkable improvement in sleep quality and quantity by adding CBD (fewer wake ups). Not committing yet, still considering. My understanding is that quality of CBD is important so I would need to find a good product (or just use the same as my friend…).


No. If melatonin caused dementia when taken in very large doses for many decades, then I would have dementia by now.
“But do scientists know if melatonin causes dementia?”
Hell no.
(Whereas, lack of sleep in the elderly is definitely associated with increased dementia risk.)


I have been having really vivid dreams recently. I feel like this is a good sign since I’m usually a bit short on REM (according to Oura - although sleep stage accuracy is questionable IMO).

Sleeping really well - seem to have found some rhythm. 7.5-8hrs per night with 2 (brief) wake ups (one bathroom trip).

Currently taking 25mg trazodone, 3g glycine, 1000mg magnesium citrate.

I actually this the 25mg of trazodone is the ‘sweet spot’ for me. Sometimes more isn’t always better (which is something I have also learned with rapa).

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Strong Support for CBT as First-Line Treatment for Insomnia

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