Insomnia and anxiety relief without side effects
I recently went through the most hellish chronic insomnia that over time caused me daytime and night time misery (anxiety, depression, appetite changes, concentration problems). After endless online research I suspected the problem was an adrenal gland imbalance so I ordered an Adrenal Stress Index test.
Once I received the results (which were nearly all abnormal) I consulted with a Physician’s Assistant (PA) who specializes in neuro-brain balancing. Based on my specific results, the PA told me how to address my adrenal issues (food avoidance, lowering cortisol, etc) which in and of itself lowers cortisol and calms the brain to promote sleep, and about a product called Kavinace, a supplement that calms the brain by working on the GABA receptors.
GABA, as well as other neurotransmitters, play a key role in the sleep cycle.
GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter. It’s main role is to calm the central nervous system by neutralizing the effects of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter. Low levels of GABA are detected in patients with bipolar and anxiety disorders.
I can say that Kavinace is gold. It got me to sleep like a baby with NO hangover effect the next morning. And while I sometimes still wake during the night (blood sugar balancing is part of adrenal health for some), I usually fall right back to sleep.
For people who aren’t falling or staying asleep due to “busy brain,” anxiety, etc. Kavinace is a natural, non-addictive solution.
For people who want to wean off of anti-anxiety benzodiazepene drugs (e.g. Klonapin etc), with the guidance of a health professional (weaning off benzodiazepene use must be done very carefully), this may be for them.
Kavinace isn’t the only supplement I take to help me sleep. For anyone suffering through insomnia, the key is to systematically figure out WHAT’S keeping you up, and to address each cause individually and in entirety.
My sleep plan includes proper sleep habits and a nightly mix of:
- Kavinace to support GABA
- Tryptophan to support serotonin. An amino acid that converts to serotonin which converts to melatonin
- Magnesium, a critical factor and co-factor for numerous processes in the body
- Bioidentical progesterone (capsules or transdermal cream) which has a calming effect, balances estrogen
Occasionally if I think my cortisol is too high I take Sleep Tonight by Enzymatic Therapy.
If I’m really sore from working out sometimes I take one of the best, and clinically proven inflammation-reducing supplements on the market, Zyflamend, regular during the day, PM formula at night.
I used to take L-theanine before bed (Suntheanine form only) but when I got chronic insomnia it wasn’t enough to address the underlying issues that disrupted my sleep.
L-theanine is a calming amino acid that can give you a focused-calm feeling during the day and help some people at night. My chewable Natural Factors is convenient for middle-of-the-night waking but Kavinace in my experience is more effective, or rather it’s a “stronger” GABA promoter.
Kavinace use and ingredients
Integrative Psychiatry writes:
“Kavinace by Neuroscience combines two powerful ingredients that have shown to be effective at addressing symptoms of:
- Sleep problems
- The GABA derivative Phenibut
Also known as 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid, Phenibut,easily crosses the blood brain barrier, binds to GABA receptors, and may increase GABA levels. Additionally, phenibut appears to inhibit the excitatory neurotransmitter phenylethylamine (PEA). Lastly, phenibut appears to have anti-convulsant, anti-arrhythmic and anti-aggression effects. No signs of toxicity and few side effects, including drowsiness, have been reported from,clinical studies.
Kavinace also contains taurine, which functions as an inhibitory amino acid.,Taurine is an osmoregulator, neuromodulator, and provides neuroprotective actions against cellular insults such as hypoxia, free radicals, excess ammonia, and excitotoxicity. Taurine is also a GABA agonist and may increase GABA levels by increasing GABA synthesis, preventing,GABA breakdown, and blocking GABA reuptake. Both phenibut and taurine may enhance enzodiazepine binding to GABA receptors. Vitamin B6 is included as an important cofactor for the synthesis of GABA, as well as other enzymatic pathways.”
Kavinace Ultra PM or Kavinace for sleep? It depends.
Integrative Psychiatry writes about Kavinace Ultra PM that it is “uniquely designed to promote sleep by promoting healthy levels of the primary neurotransmitters and hormones involved in sleep.”
All the ingredients in Kavinace Ultra PM are sleep-supporting and may work well for your insomnia, while Kavinace can be taken during the day for anxiety and at night for sleep support.
I could take the PM formula before bed instead and in the future I might, however, my combination seems to work very well for me. Because Kavinace Ultra PM contains 5 HTP (that I took for years and like tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin) and melatonin, (that again, I took for years), the PM formula might be a more cost effective approach for me.
However, I replaced tryptophan with 5 HTP because I’d been taking 5 HTP at night for so long I suspected (and the Physician’s assistant agreed) that it may have started having an inverse, stimulatory affect on me.
*It’s important to take supplement breaks, to rotate ingredients, to try them ONE AT A TIME to see what works. Over time you may habituate or build up higher levels which can cause potentially serious problems.
Writes Integrative Psychiatry: “Kavinace Ultra PM is frequently recommended for patients with elevated levels of glutamate and PEA, decreased levels of serotonin and melatonin, and may be beneficial in some individuals with elevated epinephrine and norepinephrine. Kavinace Ultra PM combines support for the top 3 calming neurotransmitters and hormones (GABA, serotonin, and melatonin) in one product.* 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid: Acts as a GABA agonist to inhibit the activity of wake centers in the brain. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Provides a calming effect by supporting serotonin Melatonin: promotes sleep through multiple mechanisms!
As with all health issues and holistic approaches, the key is deciding what/if supplement to take to get to the ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. For example, some people find melatonin (which stopped working for me) works for them, and other people it does nothing. If you don’t need it, it won’t work. Do your homework, research carefully what you take (and the brand). Natural doesn’t always mean safe. Combining supplements with others and/or medication can have serious health hazards.
Throwing supplements at a health issue (which I did with my insomnia because I was desperate, and when those didn’t work I took medication), gets expensive, can be dangerous and may not get to the cause behind the insomnia or anxiety.