Healthy Living Magazine

Sleep Deprivation & Insomnia – Some Helpful Tips (hopefully)

By Geoff Griffiths @mmatraining1980

*For Informational Purposes only*

Not sure why, but suddenly, everyone I know is struggling with sleep.
This can result from or result in (confusingly) depression & anxiety, and obviously takes its toll physically too.

Here are some quick tips – I hope they help

Magnesium For Better Sleep

First thing I would try – high dose magnesium. There is a lot of research on how it is beneficial for anxiety generally and also sleep.

It can also help to treat some of the physical symptoms that can occur as a result of sleep deprivation including inflammation and depression.

Magnesium glycinate is good if you have problems with your stomach at all – as other forms of magnesium can make you a bit loose in high doses.  There is a drink you can make with magnesium citrate if you don’t like tablets.

Listen to White Noise or Waves

Waves works for me, white noise makes me see really mad colours (when my eyes are closed), which is cool but not especially helpful. I’ve tried to use this video for meditation several times, and each time I fall fast asleep before the end.

Meditation For Sleep

If you can get passed the voice (non-judgement being an important part of meditation!) then this track is helpful…insomnia seems to be associated with ‘many thoughts’ and overthinking, so mindfulness and meditation is a difficult, but obvious path to follow

Other Supplements for Sleep

People like supplements for sleep (including me) as its a quick-fix – not a criticism, it’s just easier…
Melatonin – I don’t know too much about this to be honest, apparently there are safety concerns, more info here – https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep/page/0/1

Bali Kratom, Kava Kava & Phenibut – All 3 are highly effective, but I can’t vouch for their legality since the psychoactive substances ban – whereby everything except caffeine, nicotine & alcohol that is psychoactive was banned.

Kava Kava – listed on examine.com as the most researched ‘supplement’, with robust evidence for treating anxiety. It’s also great for sleep, but there’s concerns over liver toxicity. Certainly don’t mix with alcohol. It’s an ancient drink used by Pacific Islanders for thousands of years.

Kratom is another ancient herb whilst phenibut was invented for Russian cosmonauts to tackle anxiety and enhance focus during space flights. Phenibut is so effective that unfortunately, it’s quite addictive for some people and the withdrawals are pretty bad. Use once a week max (or just don’t bother).

Tackle the Cause of Poor Sleep

If your lack of sleep is due to stress, then I’d suggest tackling this from both the physical and mental ‘angles’.

A very quick overview of this (I’ll do a seperate blog post at some point)

  • Have a read up on gut health and mental health – then see if you can make some key changes to your diet, like adding fermented foods and cutting out sugar. “All disease starts in the gut” Hippocrates
  • Tackle overthinking with regular meditation
  • Exercise. I would recommended attending a yoga class if possible.
    It’s a (fairly) sure way to surround yourself by some positive people
    “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” (No idea who said this).
    Yoga can provide the benefits of being physically active & also the major mental health benefits of building social relationships. The actual exercises are great for getting rid of physical tension and it’s a kind of moving meditation too.
  • Take an ‘adaptogen’ like ashwagandha or rhodiola rosea
  • Avoid omega 6 and supplement with omega 3 (preferably fish oil, which contains EPA)
  • I’d personally recommend reading a number of books, or listening to them on Audible – The Chimp Paradox, The Happiness Hypothesis, anything on Stoicism, Be Here Now (quite hard core), 10% Happier by Dan Harris and it’s a bit hard going but The Power of Now is good if you can get your head round the grandiose writing style (again, none-judgement ties into this!).

So to summarise, if you want immediate relief (or a chance at it), supplement with magnesium, an adaptogen like ashwagandha & try listening to some ocean-waves at bed time.
To minimise exposure to blue light – try get flux on your computer.
Make sure your bedroom is completely ‘black’. Any light at all can mess with your sleep quality.

In the longer term, look at supplementing with omega 3 and avoiding omega 6; meditate and exercise. Exercising in a class has the added benefit of building social relationships, which is highly correlated with being ‘more happy’.

If you’re still struggling to sleep – see a doctor…and research kava kava

Good luck


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