LymeNet Home LymeNet Home Page LymeNet Flash Discussion LymeNet Support Group Database LymeNet Literature Library LymeNet Legal Resources LymeNet Medical & Scientific Abstract Database LymeNet Newsletter Home Page LymeNet Recommended Books LymeNet Tick Pictures Search The LymeNet Site LymeNet Links LymeNet Frequently Asked Questions About The Lyme Disease Network LymeNet Menu

LymeNet on Facebook

LymeNet on Twitter

The Lyme Disease Network receives a commission from for each purchase originating from this site.

When purchasing from, please
click here first.

Thank you.

LymeNet Flash Discussion
Dedicated to the Bachmann Family

LymeNet needs your help:
LymeNet 2020 fund drive

The Lyme Disease Network is a non-profit organization funded by individual donations.

LymeNet Flash Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Article - Dying For Some Zzz's! ...combating insomnia in lyme disease and other...

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Article - Dying For Some Zzz's! ...combating insomnia in lyme disease and other...
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 7964

Icon 1 posted      Profile for jjeennnniiee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's the link to the article, where you can leave comments...

Dying For Some Zzz's! ...combatting insomnia in lyme disease and other chronic illnesses

Connie Strasheim | august 8th, 2008

IT'S MIDNIGHT, AND YOU'VE BEEN LYING AWAKE for two hours, your thoughts on fast forward as you toss and turn like a vegetable kabob over a spit.

You get up to take yet another potty break, toss and turn some more, then head to the kitchen for a 2:00 A.M. yogurt.

You go back to bed and fall into a twilight slumber filled with absurd dreams of your ex.

You awaken at 5:00 A.M., exhausted.

You try to go back to sleep, but do the shish kabob thing again until 8:00 A.M. at which time you fall into another quasi-slumber until sleep apnea and feeling suffocated in your dreams finally compels you to awaken at 10:00 A.M.

"Ah, what a beautiful day!" you exclaim sarcastically from between your bed sheets.

You might as well have been flattened by an eighteen-wheeler.

If you are reading this, you're probably one of the unfortunate souls who runs on zombie mode due to a lack of good Zzz's.

Take heart; you aren't alone. Many, if not most, Lyme disease sufferers wrestle with insomnia at some stage during illness.

The causes of and solutions for sleeplessness are many.

While not exhaustive, the following information is intended to provide insights and solutions to help jump-start your body back into sleep.

To begin with, liver toxicity is a big trigger for insomnia, especially if your body is trying to process loads of toxins.

If you tend to awaken at 2:00 A.M. or not fall asleep until that time, this is a sign that your insomnia is related to the liver.

Beware if you are hitting the Lyme critters hard and not doing enough detoxification protocol.

To combat sleep deprivation related to liver toxicity, try one of the following remedies, which will help to mobilize toxins and carry them more quickly out of the body:


This must be from a pure source.

Most commercial products are contaminated, so choose wisely.

Mountain Rose Herbs, Premier Research Labs or E-lyte are good sources.

Coffee enemas.

Yes, here it is again.

Use only organic coffee and filtered water in a retention enema for ten minutes.

French green clay, zeolite and/or activated charcoal.

As good sources of minerals, these products also mobilize toxins.

Liver detoxification supplements, especially milk thistle and herbal combination products such as Liv-52.


This amino acid complex mobilizes toxins and also helps the liver with phase two detoxification.

Epsom salt baths.

These pull toxins from the body via the skin.

Colder water produces better results.

Adrenal insufficiency is another cause of sleep deprivation.

When the adrenal glands cannot synthesize the proper amount of hormones due to illness and stress, insomnia results.

Supporting the adrenals in chronic illness is essential.

J. Wilson, PhD, in his book, Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Syndrome, offers some great suggestions for helping the adrenals.

Personally, I have found that licorice, a high quality Siberian ginseng such as that from HerbPharm and a low dose of pulsed natural cortisol, found in products like Isocort, have been effective for supporting my exhausted adrenals.

Avoiding stress, sugar, caffeine and alcohol is likewise vital, as is maintaining a regular bedtime schedule.

Having a small protein snack before bedtime will also help the adrenals to keep blood sugar levels stable during the night, which will prevent you from awakening.

Other endocrine abnormalities can contribute to insomnia.

These include thyroid imbalance, pituitary dysfunction and hypothalamic suppression due to Lyme disease neurotoxins and other factors.

Hypothyroidism can be treated with iodine or, if your body cannot synthesize thyroid hormone from iodine, synthetic or bioidentical thyroid hormone.

Hyperthyroidism can also be treated with thyroid hormone, which serves to fix any imbalances and not necessarily increase thyroid hormone levels.

Treating the pituitary gland and hypothalamus can be more difficult.

If the problem is related to Lyme disease neurotoxins binding to these glands, then taking a toxin binder such as mucuna bean powder or apple pectin can help to solve the problem.

A few LLMD's administer growth hormone, HGH, which is normally produced by the pituitary gland, as a lack thereof has been implicated in sleep disorders.

Next, fixing any mineral deficiencies and ensuring an adequate intake of potassium, calcium and magnesium, especially at bedtime, will help to balance and relax the body.

Having a snack containing the amino acid L-tryptophan is also beneficial.

Cottage cheese, oatmeal and almonds are some good sources.

Pharmaceutical medications can be powerful for restoring sleep, but while most of them induce sleep, they tend to keep you from reaching delta brain wave sleep, which is crucial for restoration and repair of the body.

Yet, they are good adjuncts when insomnia becomes severe, as they can help to "re-set" the body's clock.

Trazodone is commonly prescribed, as are amitriptyline, lunesta, ambien and others.

Mirtazapine is an anti-depressant that, in my opinion, could knock out an elephant, but carries side effects of weight gain and daytime drowsiness, at least temporarily.

Sedatives such as lorazepam are also useful but are highly addictive and should only be used on a temporary basis.

Calming the mind and central nervous system through prayer, guided visualization or binaural beat CD's, (see:, as well as performing other relaxation techniques, can also help you sleep, particularly if your disorder is related to anxiety or hyperactivity.

Herbal remedies are likewise calming, and chamomile, valerian, hops, Jamaican dogwood, lavender, rooibos and others are used in over-the-counter sleep formulas.

Every now and again, amino acids, such as GABA, 5-HTP and Ltheanine, have proven to be helpful.

Vickery ( makes a good combination amino acid product.

Amino acids and herbs did not work for me when I had severe insomnia, but Lyme disease sufferers have different needs, and if sleep problems can be mitigated by using a natural, rather than synthetic, product, this should always be the preferred form of treatment.

Finally, sleeping conditions matter!

Go to bed and awaken at the same time every day.

Make sure your room is dark and that you have all the necessary sleep gear to keep you slumbering, whether it be ear plugs, a face mask or a water pillow (to keep your neck from aching).

Take a hot bath and have a snack before dozing off.

Spend the last hour before bedtime doing something relaxing and if you can help it, don't fret about not sleeping.

Consider that what you are going through will not last forever, painful as it may be right now.

Excerpted from: The Lyme Disease Survival Guide: Physical, Lifestyle and Emotional Strategies for Healing.

Copyright 2008, Connie Strasheim.

photo credits: Insomnia Karen Winton / iStockphoto

tags: adrenal insufficiency, Borrelia burgdorferi, chronic illness, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, insomnia, liver toxicity, lyme disease, sleep apnea, sleeplessness

Connie Strasheim is an accomplished health care journalist and the author of The Lyme Disease Survival Guide: Physical, Lifestyle and Emotional Strategies for Healing.

A Lyme disease sufferer, she maintains a blog on Lyme disease and other issues related to chronic illness called Lyme Bytes.

Currently, she lives between Denver, Colorado and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Love, Light, & Health,

My Lyme dx:11/05. My Mom's Lyme dx:5/16. ISO ASAP-Lyme Literate Dr & Neurologist-Prefer IL, IN, KY, MO, OH, TN. Can travel farther. Finances limited. Prefer Drs take Medicare or Payments. Need great list to find best fit. Tyvm.

Posts: 701 | From Owensboro, KY | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 6628

Icon 1 posted      Profile for METALLlC BLUE     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Excellent article. The treatment tips are top notch, and provide a variety of options. The strongest option based on reports from patients and LLMD's appears to be Coffee Enemas. While uncomfortable to perform, these can be done occasionally, and the results of detoxification can be profound.

The Lemon Olive Drink that I've promoted here is also quite useful.

I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

Posts: 4157 | From Western Massachusetts | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 15873

Icon 1 posted      Profile for herxuk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't sleep at all in a blacked out room, must leave a bedside lamp on all night, turn it of I wake up.
If not, must have some stream of light coming in from some where.
Funny me. !!!!

Posts: 153 | From England | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
Member # 11290

Icon 1 posted      Profile for randibear     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i have tried almost every one of the sleep meds and nothing works for me. they either make me anxious, heart palps, or some other side effect.

i take 10 mg elavil but it seems to have stopped working.

even with treatment, my insomnia has not lessened.

do not look back when the only course is forward

Posts: 12262 | From texas | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

Quick Reply

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.

Instant Graemlins

Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | LymeNet home page | Privacy Statement

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

The Lyme Disease Network is a non-profit organization funded by individual donations. If you would like to support the Network and the LymeNet system of Web services, please send your donations to:

The Lyme Disease Network of New Jersey
907 Pebble Creek Court, Pennington, NJ 08534 USA

| Flash Discussion | Support Groups | On-Line Library
Legal Resources | Medical Abstracts | Newsletter | Books
Pictures | Site Search | Links | Help/Questions
About LymeNet | Contact Us

© 1993-2020 The Lyme Disease Network of New Jersey, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Use of the LymeNet Site is subject to Terms and Conditions.