Insomnia: check for sleep apnea.

From: (Larry White)

For years I've had trouble staying asleep and sometimes going to sleep. Sleeping pills have such bad side effects the next day it dosen't seem worth it. I've read and tried many things like warm bath, quit room, no alcohol, same time every night, etc...but nothing seemed to help much. My usual pattern is to sleep 1-3 hrs at first then an hr or less at a time after that for the rest of the night. Maybe I'm waking up after each dream cycle? About a month ago I tried valerian root. It seems to help. I take 4 capsules about 2 hrs before bedtime and then 2 eyedrop fulls at bedtime. I've had nights of 3-4hrs of initial sleep followed by 1-2 hr naps after that. What is your experience with valerian root? I feel tired the next day until about noon but overall it is worth it. The non- alcoholic liquid seems to work best but it is expensive at GNC where I buy it. I wonder if there are any bad side effects or problems with high dose for long term use. Any ideas on what my real problem in staying asleep is? I'm not overweight. I do not snore.

- Larry in Tennessee, just wanting a good night's sleep after years of tossing and turning.

From: (Hendy)

Look for a sleep clinic. No, seriously!

A friend of mine had similar problems to yours. She tried everything she could think of, including valerian root. It helped, but she still wasn't getting good, solid, restful sleep.

Finally she convinced her doctor to send her to a sleep clinic. They run tests - basically, they monitor you while you sleep. Turns out she has sleep apnia - she stops breathing while she's sleeping, so she wakes up. This can be treated in a variety of ways.

- Hendy, who's wary of relying on ANY medication, herbal or not, for too long.