Author Topic: Sleep and awakeness  (Read 3317 times)

Offline bluefoxicy

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Sleep and awakeness
« on: February 02, 2012, 07:23:34 PM »
So, an age and a half ago, a certain person was somewhat known for controlling his sleep cycle by the application of morphine (a derivative of Chinese poppy) and cocaine (a derivative of a certain tree leaf) for sleep and wakefulness, respectively.

Um, that's kind of harsh.  Also back then you'd see corner drug stores prominently display posters like "HEROIN!  Available here!"  Nowadays the law doesn't like that anymore, probably because that crap's dangerous.  I have to recommend against both morphine and cocaine.

These days I have my hands on something that's a mix of a bunch of crap, including 3mg Melatonin--which is insane; you should start with 0.8mg melatonin and increase the dose to a maximum of 3mg, stopping when it's effective.  In a combination drug, why would you add the maximum dose?  The stuff put me to sleep pretty good though... my body kept trying to wake up and it still kept me down.

To my own ends, I've so far worked out the following:

  • 500mg L-Tryptophan - Safe.  Amino acid, causes sleep.
  • 100mg Valerian - Safe.  Herb.  Causes sleep, sometimes takes continued use to be effective.
  • 0.8mg Melatonin - Safe.  Causes sleep--this is the hormone your body releases to make you sleep; seratonin is the one for awake.
  • 75mg Skullcap - Safe.  Causes physical nervous relaxation.
  • Chamomile tea - Safe.  Causes mental relaxation.

Also consider passion flower and california poppy (safe, very much unlike chinese poppy; never confuse the two, it would be bad).  All these things are basically harmless, minor short-term effects are possible and no long-term effects are known.

As for waking:

  • 20mg Vinpocetrine - Generally safe.  Start on 5mg/day, some people are sensitive and it is bad; the highest normal dose is 40mg/day, and the drug stops having physiological effects around 600mg/day (don't do this).  Avoid if you have high blood pressure or heart conditions.  Causes vasodialation, increasing blood flow to the brain and making large amounts of ATP available.
  • 100ug Huperzine-A - Generally safe.  Nerve toxin, like bee venom or sarin nerve gas.  The maximum dose is 1/10 of 1mg, i.e. 100ug (also labeled 100mcg).  Works by blocking the enzymatic breakdown of a certain neurotransmitter, causing increased brain activity.  Venoms and nerve poisons function in an identical manner--to excess, this effect causes uncontrolled neuron firing, which leads to death.
  • Black tea, with honey - Sugar, tea, heat, taurine.

Ginkgo biloba (60mg) also helps with blood flow to the brain.  I like 20mg vinpocetrine in the morning (6am), 10mg 6 hours later, 5mg 4 hours after that.  I don't like vinpocetrine too late because when I go to sleep I can feel the additional blood flow to the brain--not a high pressure pounding, it's like the vessels are letting more blood through and the sheer volume means each pulse carries more energy (more mass, same pressure change).  Probably because that's exactly what vinpocetrine does.

Yes this is crap.  All the stuff to help you wake up carries risks.  Caffeine causes dependence, so don't claim good old coffee is better; coffee has an amazing aroma (when made right--screw that stale Folgers crap) and acts as a powerful sedative--get yourself a caffeine addiction and you'll sleep for 2-3 weeks before finally starting to pull out of it, unless someone gives you more coffee just to keep running.  That's as bad as just popping modafinil (prescription) or adrifinil (uncontrolled, metabolizes into modafinil).

Funny, though, because just waking up carries risks.  Around 4am on a normal sleep cycle, your body starts the wake-up process.  A lot of people have heart attacks at 4am because this process does carry the slight risk of triggering a heart attack--regardless of your cardiac health.  You can just randomly die for no real reason.  Waking up can kill you.  I've had it happen once, and had to stop it (it's actually not hard, I made up the method for settling my heart on the fly--I was dying at the time, I had to do something--and later had a health professional tell me that's actually a prescribed life-saving process they teach chronic sufferers).  Of course the drugs to get to sleep would be slightly safer than the ones to wake you up, too... I'm noticing a pattern here.

Now here's a trick:  Hops also causes relaxation, in a big way.

In beer, alcohol acts as a narcotic--a numbing agent.  "Narcotic" derived from either greek or latin (I forget which), with "Narco-" meaning "Sleep" ... it reduces the activity of neurons, i.e. makes your nerves sleep.  Hops is also a narcotic.  You know you're not really supposed to combine two narcotics--this is why you're never supposed to combine sleeping drugs with alcohol.  Is it any wonder beer slags some people so hard?

Oh, you could consume hops, that's true.  Add about 50-70mg to the above concoction, you'll sleep.

Or...

You could stuff your pillow with some dried hop flowers.

This is actually fairly common in some places.  In order to promote relaxation at night and thus enhance sleep, pillows are stuffed with the aromatic flowers of hops.  Besides smelling nice, the hops do have a legitimate narcotic effect--they act as a nerve relaxation agent.  If you can get your wife to tolerate your pillow smelling like cascade, anyway.  Lavender is also used for this purpose--lavender flower supposedly has a similar effect and has been used to scent both pillows and child's toys (lavender filled teddy bears).



As a final note, the wakefulness drugs I listed are nootropics:  they improve brain function.  Besides huperzine, vinpocetrine, and ginkgo biloba, there are other mainly more gentle nootropics to consider.  Particularly various vitamins (C, E, B vitamins), minerals (magnesium, calcium, a few phosphates), DMAE, EPA and DHA fatty acid, and iodine--an iodine deficiency will cause brain damage.

Every single one of these is found in fish.

L-Carnatine, an amino acid, is found in elevated quantity in beef and other meats--the immediate combination of L-Carnatine and DHA enables your brain to build and alter neural pathways quite dramatically, which is the physical process behind learning.  Creatine as well, which raises available ATP--mainly in the muscles, but also in the brain.



So there you have it.  A sleep deficiency lead me to two important facts:  Fish in your diet is awesome; and stuffing your pillow with hop flowers is awesome.

Offline denny

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 07:28:20 PM »
I like turtles.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 07:30:46 PM »
Valerian - the plant basis of valium
Hops - can cause nightmares and difficulty waking
Tea - also contains caffeive and will cause dependency as well
Sugar - in excess causes havoc with your metabolism.

Fish - good idea, but watch the mercury which will cause sleep troubles along with other major health issues.

seems like maybe you should reexamine your relaxants and perhaps you won't have  to use so many less safe substances to help you wake up? but hey what ever works for you!

** edit to include**

I also like turtles. they help me sleep.
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Offline Hokerer

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 07:56:22 PM »
Reminds me of the Michael Jackson (not the beer one) story
Joe

Offline Mark G

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 08:45:34 PM »
Sleep-beer, awake-coffee. And I like turtles too. And bacon, which goes amazingly well with both coffee AND beer..
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 09:18:35 PM »
Valerian - the plant basis of valium
Hops - can cause nightmares and difficulty waking
Tea - also contains caffeive and will cause dependency as well
Sugar - in excess causes havoc with your metabolism.

Fish - good idea, but watch the mercury which will cause sleep troubles along with other major health issues.

Interesting on the Valerian thing.  I omitted Kava Kava (dangerous) but Valerian I had suspicions about--higher doses have side effects, low doses don't.

Tea contains a lot more caffeine than coffee, but it's made a lot less concentrated and contains much less per quantity--you should worry more about the metal content (aluminum) and halogen content (fluoride, which aids in the toxic absorption of aluminum and can cause bone damage).  It's like espresso--more caffeine than regular drip coffee, but in a more than proportionally smaller quantity... less caffeine per shot.  Percolated coffee contains the most.

Hops, nightmares, interesting.  I'm insusceptible to nightmares--my dreams are often abstract and occasionally awesome (last night I had dreams that I lived in a floating city in the sky, and could jump off and be caught by a giant flying bird that I could ride around on--which I did quite a bit); when my dreams contain horrors, I fight and destroy them.  I've had dreams involving things I flat out didn't know how to fight--I've done everything from run strategically (making a game of staying close, but out of sight, watching things pass me in search, sometimes manipulating my presence--such that I can stand and yet not be recognized, and all things ignore me even when searching) to simply manipulate time and space (pass a doorway or turn a corner to put the area behind you out of view, then turn back around to face a different scene).  Waking up from my nightmares is the most awesome feeling.  I'm pretty sure the armies of Hell are prepared to keep me out.

Sugar in proper quantity is great.  You shouldn't need a whole bottle of honey for a single glass of tea.  A single drop of honey straight on the tongue in the morning will wake most people up pretty dramatically, for a few seconds at least.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 05:27:22 AM »
Did I really just read this thread? My brain is so numb, I'm not even sure if I like turtles or not.


And BTW...kava kava is safe if you get a good quality supplement that uses the root only. It's the cheap ones that are dangerous, as they make use of the steam and leaves of the plant. I use it often. Good stuff.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 05:43:58 AM »
Re: "Kava Kava"
Around here it is called `awa (AH vah).  My good friend Ed Johnston is a respected expert in Hawaiian 'Awa.  He grows several varieties on his property on the Hamakua Coast here on Hawaii Island.  He and his wife Helen Rogers wrote the book on the subject.  Being the humble man that he is, Ed only took credit as the editor.

Hawaiian `Awa
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 06:35:31 AM »
Drink beer and then sleep when drunk, it is natural, it is cyclic drink to sleep but you are somewhat awake and aware to the enviroment but then you have a comfortable sleep because you are not interupted.
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Offline euge

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 07:31:20 AM »
Re: "Kava Kava"
Around here it is called `awa (AH vah).  My good friend Ed Johnston is a respected expert in Hawaiian 'Awa.  He grows several varieties on his property on the Hamakua Coast here on Hawaii Island.  He and his wife Helen Rogers wrote the book on the subject.  Being the humble man that he is, Ed only took credit as the editor.

Hawaiian `Awa

I've made the drink from kava from Vanuatu. Woowee. It is stimulating but a tad bitter to drink. Just don't drink alcohol with it.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 09:52:36 PM »
Sleep-beer, awake-coffee. And I like turtles too. And bacon, which goes amazingly well with both coffee AND beer..
Bacon is overrated.  :o
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 10:04:46 PM »

These days I have my hands on something that's a mix of a bunch of crap,

Yes this is crap.



and yet you feel obligated to share it with us
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Offline narvin

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 10:13:40 PM »

Waking up can kill you.  I've had it happen once, and had to stop it (it's actually not hard, I made up the method for settling my heart on the fly--I was dying at the time, I had to do something--and later had a health professional tell me that's actually a prescribed life-saving process they teach chronic sufferers). 

Was this after you ate a destroying angel that you bought at Safeway?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 10:20:31 PM »
It must be Friday.  I never even open any BF threads except on Fridays.

Bacon CANNOT be overrated and coffee is enough of a stimulant for me.  I have enough chemical issues without adding unregulated compounds to the mix.

Ya'll have a great weekend!

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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Sleep and awakeness
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 10:28:47 PM »
i'm a coffee and beer person now, but back in the day, it was always the non-otc stuff that seemed to work the best and was the most "fun".....

now, if you'll excuse me while i go mow through my old vac-sealed hop stash in the freezer.....
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