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8 Lessons I learned From taking the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha 21 Nights in a Row

This summer, I could lay down in bed at 11 PM and be completely off the earth at 11.02 PM For some reason the last month it takes longer to fall asleep and I’m tossing and turning a lot at night…Suspected causes:

  • Less physical activity
  • Not enough sunshine
  • More work-related stress in my life.

I’m already working on these things–but it’s also the perfect time for a little sleep experiment:

Ashwagandha (that’s ash-wa-gan-dha) is a herb that’s used for thousands of years for all sorts of physical troubles. One of the main things it’s know for is that it’s an adaptogenic herb, which helps you cope better with stress.

This is what my pure ashwagandha powder looks like.

Less cortisol at night = better sleep, Right? Let’s find out!

Why am I doing this experiment?

Because people say good things about taking ashwagandha before sleep:

  • “I’m now in a much better mood when I wake up”
  • “I feel physically and mentally relaxed and well-rested, something that hasn’t happened in years”
  • “I can think clearer after waking up without needing coffee (although I still drink it)”
  • “My stress levels decrease noticeably for the next morning”
  • “I haven’t woken up with upper back/neck pain (something that used to happen, even with good posture)”
  • “My dreams became extremely vivid and realistic”
  • “The good night’s rest seems to help me build muscle faster, although I can’t confirm this”

If I even can get half of these benefits from taking it on a regular basis, sign me up!

Another thing is that ashwagandha is cheap. I got 200 grams for 10 euro 2 years ago. A normal dosage is .5 grams, so that’s 400 dosages for 10 euro) and has virtually no side effects. So there’s nothing to lose. 

I’ve taken ashwagandha at night before, but it was irregular and never more than 1 or 2 nights in a row. So I can’t really tell too much about the long-term effects on sleep from ashwagandha.

suspect that it helps with sleep, but for all I know, other factors just lined up and gave me good sleep.

In the following section you can read what I’m going to do learn the real benefits of ashwagandha for sleep:

What’s the setup?

So here’s the deal: I’m going to take ashwagandha for 21 days to see what the effects are on my sleep.

It’s to keep myself accountable. As I’ve tried doing these experiments countless times before, but never stuck with it for more than a couple of days.

This time, I’ll describe my progress here for you.

Current sleep routine

As I said before, I don’t have any huge sleep problems at the moment. Here’s my sleep routine:

  • Avoid screens at least an hour before bed. Unless I’m reading on my non-backlite-reader or watching a movie on a projector.
  • Go to bed around 11 PM
  • Take zinc
  • Read for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Wake up around 7.30 through my girlfriend’s alarm
  • Sleep till 8.00 and get up

My girlfriend sleeps like a baby, so she’s not waking me up in any way. She does notice whenever I’m stressed so I wake her up when I’m turning all night.

Reason again to solve this!

How do I expect my sleep to improve?

No supplement has miracle effects. Unless you’re deficient in a specific mineral or vitamin. In other cases you shouldn’t expect super effects on your sleep.

So many factors go into sleep. A good night’s sleep is caused by 50+ factors all pointing into the right direction.

Bad sleep is caused by several factors pointing in the wrong direction.

So I’m not expecting ashwagandha to magically make my sleep a blissful wonderland full of good dreams.

I’ve read the literature, countless of other sites and anecdotal experiences from others. And here’s what I roughly suspect will happen after taking ashwagandha for a couple of weeks:

‘Sure’ effects

  • Less stress
  • Easier to wake up in the morning
  • Less turning at night

‘Maybe’ effects

  • Clearer skin
  • Heightened libido
  • More progress in the gym?
  • Vivid dreams
  • Less dependent on coffee in the morning

There’s one negative though. If I take anything calming (ashwagandha or l-theanine) for several days in a row, my motivation tends to go down a bit. 

This was always from taking it in the morning though. So I hope that it won’t affect me if I take it before sleep.

What does the literature say about ashwaghandha?

(skip this section if you want to get to the ashwagandha sleep experiment)

Ashwagandha’s real name is Withania Somnifera. And if you take 300 mg of extract for 60 days, you experience a reduction in all stress related markers and serum cortisol goes down.

Another study found that the active component of ashwagandha, triethylene glycol, induced sleep in mice. It decreased non REM sleep latency and induced physiological sleep. It works by involving GABAergic modulation.

This review study from 2011 listed all the previous ashwagandha studies and their conclusions:

  • Ashwagandha was shown to increase swimming performance in rats as judged by increase in swimming time during physical endurance test.The cortisol content of adrenals was reduced significantly in animals subjected to 5 h constant swimming as compared to non-swimmer group.
  • Ashwagandha was found to be useful in the prevention of stress-induced ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • There was a significant increase in the body weights of the Ashwagandha treated group as compared to control for a period of 3 months in rats.
  • The cognition-promoting effect of ashwagandha is best seen in children with memory deficits, or when memory is compromised following head injury, or a prolonged illness and in old age.
  • There are dozens of studies that show that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss.
  • Ashwagandha induced a calming anxiolytic effect that was comparable to the drug Lorazepam in all three standard Anxiety tests.
  • It also exhibited an antidepressant effect, comparable with that induced by imipramine, in two standard tests.
  • Ashwagandha is an analgesic that soothes nervous system from pain response.

If you want something more digestible than these studies, check out Examine.com for ashwagandha. I absolutely love the site and they’ve done a great job making the scientific literature for supplements 1000 times more accessible.

Also, here’s what Lorna Driver-Davies, a nutritional therapist has to say about ashwagandha for sleep:

“Ashwagandha enhances GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, working to reduce neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. Essentially, this means that ashwagandha is able to help the body and mind feel more relaxed or ‘wound down’ –  which is an important state to be in to fall asleep. Our own Ashwagandha has been clinically proven to support anxiety and stress; and works to modulate cortisol production. This is helpful for those who find it hard to switch off before bed when worrying about the day or just feel too stimulated before bed time. Clients of mine typically report finding it quicker to fall asleep and the next day, feeling as though they have experienced a longer, deeper sleep.”

So, there are a lot of studies done on the effects of the herb, and it seems to work for about everything. Now, the majority of the studies was done on mice – so if you’re a student, PhD, or professor doing any sort of health-related research… why not conduct another human trial with ashwagandha!

Ashwaghanda sleep experiment setup

Healthline recommends taking around 500 to 600 mg per day. This is for insomnia and other stress-related sources. So that’s what I’m going to do. 

My pot says to take more, but I’ve always had good experience taking less. So I’m not going to take 2 or 4 times more than what’s proven to work.

With supplements I always like to take as less as possible for a working effect 🙂

I’ve got myself a nice little weighing scale,

There’s no recommended time when to take it, but since the main goal is to reduce stress before and at night, I’ll take a fairly liberal approach.

So I’ll take it anywhere ranging from 2 hours before bedtime to right before bed. (as I’m sure I’ll forget on many occasions and have to get up to take some)

My pot says: “Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (approximately 1.3 to 2.5 g) and mix with juice or yoghurt. Don’t use if you’re pregnant.”

The only other supplements I’m taking at the moment are cod liver oil (1tbsp), vitamin D (3000IU) and zinc.

Note: as of writing this, my ashwagandha pot is from 2016. I’ve checked and the expiry date was 30-07-2019. That’s why I bought new fresh ashwagandha on the third day of my experiment.

Curious how my little ashwagandha sleep experiment went? Read below what the results were!

Daily sleep log

  • Week 1 
  • Week 2
  • Week 3

Day 1

Took half a tablespoon of ashwagandha last night. Woke up slightly more tired than usual. My girlfriend had the same thing, so maybe it’s something to do with the pressure (we live close to the sea) Slept 8 hours.

Day 2

The second day was better. I went to bed very early (10.30), and slept completely through the night, only to be waken up by my girlfriend’s alarm at 7.30. It’s now 8.55 and I’m focused and energized. Slept for 9.5 hours.

Day 3

I went to sleep approximately around 11. So slept for 9 hours.Read for 10 minutes and fell asleep quickly. However, during the night I was half awake and tossing for quite a while. Luckily fell asleep after half an hour maybe and woke up feeling fine.

So far ashwagandha doesn’t feel like it’s helping too much. Maybe it will change after taking it for more days.

Day 4

Weekend. Slept for 9 hours. I didn’t sleep in and woke up at 8. Still turning a lot in my sleep. Though I woke up feeling good. Maybe it’s because I’m going to Venice for a weekend with my girlfriend. Still keeping up the experiment there!

Day 5

Slept for 8 hours after 2 bottles of wine (for 2 persons). Remarkably no headache, even though it was red wine. Slightly dehydrated, also because the heating was on all night in our hotel room.

Note: need to check the effects of ashwagandha with alcohol/hangovers. And if there’s an effect with hydration levels.

Day 6

Second day in Venice. We were only here for a short 2 nights, so we’re waking up early to catch out flight back. We mixed beer, spritz, red and white wine. But again, feeling good in the morning – albeit very dehydrated and slightly tired. Mind is clear though. Got 8.5 hours of sleep.

Day 7

Back home. I slept very well in one go. Woke up a bit tired, but that might’ve been because my sleep schedule was thrown off a bit in the weekend. Slept for 9.5 hours.

Week 1 thoughts

It’s difficult to measure progress on a day by day basis. However, when you take a further view, things often become clearer.

Here are some of the things I’ve found this first week of taking ashwagandha before sleep:

I feel calmer in the mornings. And in general I’ve got the feeling that I’m a bit more emotionally stable. I was going (and still am) going through a stressful period in my life for my work and business, but taking ashwagandha at night seems to give me that extra edge in emotional resilience.

Also, my muscles (especially around my neck and shoulders), feel less tense. I’m unsure if this is because of ashwagandha, or because I stopped doing bar pull ups – instead doing them on rings.

So far, I haven’t noticed any negative effects. Sometimes I feel a bit too chill, and wasn’t too motivated, (which could happen because of too much GABA). But so far I’m enjoying the experiment and am happy to continue.

Day 8

Slept for 9 hours. Just woke up with surprisingly much energy. I do remember laying awake for 20 minutes or so in the middle of the night. Dreams were very vivid the last 2 hours of my sleep. Feeling ready to get to work!

Day 9

Slept throughout the night without breaks. No turning, which is good. Let’s see if this keeps going the next nights. Slept 9 hours.

Day 10

Slept alright. Approximately 8.5 hours. It was cold, though, so I woke up several times because of that. Feeling more tired than usual.

Day 11

Went to  a party with a friend of mine. Drank approximately 10 beers. Then I slept from 3 to 9. Upon waking up (it was a Saturday), I felt surprisingly normal. A bit tired from the lack of sleep and drinking, but that was it.

Day 12

My body noticed that I didn’t sleep enough yesterday and I slept in 1 go from 12 to 10. I’m noticing that I’m turning less in my sleep.

Day 13

Back to the alarm clock. Got a solid 8.5 hours of sleep. Again with minimal turning. So far taking ashwagandha has already become a habit, and I’m not forgetting it before sleep. The taste isn’t too good, but the brand I’ve got now, doesn’t have a too bad taste.

Day 14

Slept for 9 hours = woke up a bit later because my phone’s alarms didn’t work (was updating). Slept fairly well throughout the night. Great that I haven’t tossed in the last couple of days and my sleep quality seems to be up.

Week 2 thoughts

Ashwagandha has already become a habit. I’m enjoying the calmness before bed – sometimes I take it about an hour before I go to sleep. This makes me chill out a bit more, and virtually every night I fall asleep within 5 minutes (after reading for approximately 5-15 minutes to tire my brain).

I feel more focused in the mornings. Although it’s more of a slight increase in emotional control.

Also, I feel more relaxed and less bored throughout the day. Whenever I have nothing to do, I’m quick to take up a book or go for a walk (even though the temperatures are almost falling below freezing point here.)

Day 15

Slept for straight 9 hours. No night-time awakenings.

Day 16

Had a regular night’s sleep. 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It did take 20 minutes or so to fall asleep.

Day 17

8.5 hours of quality sleep. Although it was more difficult to fall asleep (took me 10 to 20 minutes), but I took a nap in the afternoon–so that might’ve been the culprit.

Day 18

Weekend. Had a good 8 hours (including sleeping in on Saturday). Plenty of energy and slept well.

Day 19

Woke up around 9. Eight hours of sleep again. Had a long day with family meetings and was in a very good mood.

Day 20

Back to work again. Slept 9 hours. Basically everything was in 1 go without tossing and turning.

Day 21

Last day of my experiment! Slept very well for about 9 hours. Again, no tossing or turning throughout the night. You might’ve noticed that my descriptions of the night have gotten a bit shorter. This is normal, since after a while not much new things happened. Read on for the results of my experiment!

Thoughts after the experiment

I like ashwagandha. It’s perfect for calming your mind and getting into a chill mode.

It’s one of the few natural supplements (together with L-theanine) that you can take and expect to feel calmer within 20 minutes. (I suspect this is partly due to placebo, since I’m associating taking these supplements with the state they provide. So for you it might be longer until the real effects kick in).

In the beginning I started taking ashwagandha at night because my sleep was interrupted by short stretches (sometimes longer) of tossing and laying awake thinking. Unable to get comfortable or fall asleep again.

I hadn’t experienced this in the last 1-2 years. So I thought it would be a perfect timing to see how ashwagandha helps sleep. And it did.

Now I’m (most of the time) sleeping in 1 go throughout the entire night. I still wake up sometimes (bathroom or my girlfriend waking up early to go to work), but I’m asleep quickly again. So for that part I consider my ashwagandha for sleep experiment a total success.

But how about the other expectations I had?

Here’s a recap of what I was expecting:

‘Sure’ effects

  • Less stress
  • Easier to wake up in the morning
  • Less turning at night

‘Maybe’ effects

  • Clearer skin
  • Heightened libido
  • More progress in the gym?
  • Vivid dreams
  • Less dependent on coffee in the morning

Did I experience those?

8 Things I learned from taking ashwagandha for 21 days:

1.

I felt calmer throughout the days. It feels as if I have more emotional control now.

2.

I find I’m laughing more than before during the day.

3.

It’s easy to wake up in the mornings. My alarm goes off and I jump out of bed, make coffee, take a shower and go to work. My morning ritual solidified in the 3 weeks I took ashwagandha. before I sometimes used to sleep in a bit, or get distracted with other things. Now, it’s easier to just do what I have to do.

4.

My tossing and turning at night also decreased. It’s nice to sleep without breaks of being awake.

5.

I’m not napping as often anymore. Before I used to take at least 2 to 3 naps of at least 20 minutes per week. Now I’m doing maybe 1 or 2. And it’s only 10 to 20 minutes. I take this as a sign that my sleep quality has increased.

6.

I’ve found that I’m less prone to anxiety or overthinking specific bad things that are happening.

7.

Even though I felt calmer, I also felt less ‘life’ motivation. It was still very easy to get up and do things (no procrastination), but there was simply less desire to. I suspect this was because I’m already a calm person, so it might’ve been a GABA overkill.

8.

I started to like the taste of ashwagandha. There’s a reason why manufacturers put on the bottle to mix it with fruit juice or yoghurt. Because it tastes like sand water mixed with licorice. But after taking it for 3 weeks, the taste became more bearable and actually ‘tasty’ in a weird way.

When we look back on the expectations I had, I’ve got to say that the sure effects all were there.

But how about the ‘maybe’ effects? The truth is honestly don’t know. My skin may have improved. I could’ve made more progress in the gym. And libido? Probably about the same. I feel like I’m less dependent on coffee in the mornings, but since it’s a habit I haven’t actively checked this.

One thing is for sure: all these areas didn’t get worse. So I’d say that there probably were small improvements. But they were not so noticeable that without intense introspection I noticed them.

Am I going to continue taking ashwagandha at night?

Yes and no. My policy on supplements is that you should take them with a purpose. Ask yourself with every pill/powder/capsule that you take:

Why am I taking this exact supplement?”

For example:

I take vitamin D in winter when I don’t get any direct sunlight.

I take a spoon of fish oil because virtually everybody is deficient in omega 3. I notably feel better (and sharper) after taking it for a while.

I take melatonin very rarely when I need to fall asleep at a certain point or need to reset my sleep schedule (for jet lag).

Same with ashwagandha. Now that my sleep has improved, I want to take a couple of weeks to see what happens if I don’t take it.

I’m also travelling for a week next couple of days. I’d hate to be the person carrying 12 tubs of supplements through the airport customs.

Also, I think ashwagandha is a good supplement to be taken on an ad hoc base. Whenever you feel like you need that extra bit of calmness–on a rough day– take a teaspoon and relax.

Taking it everyday might be a bit overkill. But several days per week is a fine middle ground in my opinion.

Again, I won’t take it for the next couple of weeks to see if anything in my life changes. See it as the control group of the experiment 😉

Should YOU try this experiment?

Yes! Ashwagandha is not expensive–I got my second tub of 150 grams for $10. Which is enough for a year of daily supplementation. So taking it for 3 weeks will cost you less than 1 dollar.

The studies show that it might have great benefits for your health and mind, so why not try it? You don’t have a lot to lose. And if you’re feeling stressed out, or you’re not sleeping as well as you used to… there’s a lot to gain.

Thanks for reading! 🙂 If you enjoyed it, forward it to someone you know who’s not sleeping well. Would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see how useful ashwagandha can be.

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Sleep Related

Ikea Malfors Mattress Review: Is Ikea Foam a Good Choice?

Ikea also has foam mattresses, and one of the cheapest of these is the ikea Malfors. The mattress is made from only one layer – so it’s one of the more simpler mattresses around. Today we’re going to discuss whether this mattress is a good choice if you’re looking for a new mattress. Curious? Continue reading this Ikea Malfors mattress review …

It’s definitely not the best foam mattress available, but if you’re looking to dip your toes in the foam mattress waters, then it’s a solid choice to explore. Check the price here.

Ikea Malfors mattress review

We’ve reviewed different Ikea mattresses before. So if you want to know how the Malfors compares to them, feel free to browse the following reviews:

Here are the specifications of the Malfors mattress:

  • Ticking: 64% polyester, 36% cotton
  • Comfort material: Polyester wadding
  • Lining: Non-woven polypropylene
  • Comfort material: Polyurethane foam 28 kg/cu.m.
  • 12 centimeter thick (5 inches)

For more information and price of the mattress click here.

Two types of people who’ll enjoy sleeping on the mattress.

Since the Malfors isn’t a luxury mattress made for optimal sleep for the majority of people, I feel the mattress is best suited for the following types of people:

  • People who are sleeping on a spring mattress, and want to try foam for a small price –  foam offers many benefits compared to springs, but many other foam mattresses are expensive. The Malfors give you the perfect opportunity to see if you like sleeping on foam.
  • People who are looking for a great mattress for the guest room –  because the mattress is not expensive, it’s a great option to put in the guestroom. Your guests won’t complain and sleep well (compared to other cheap mattresses).

Five benefits of the Malfors mattress

Foam for comfort

As we spoke about before, if you’re used to springs, then you’re in for a treat with sleeping on foam. The foam conforms to your body and will offer more support where it’s needed, without pushing too much on your hips or shoulders (as with springs).

It’s a completely new experience, and it’s good if you’re not getting the optimal sleep you need. Maybe all you need to do is get a change in mattress? Or if you’ve always wanted to try foam, but was scared of the high prices associated with it, then the Ikea Malfors mattress is a solid choice for you.

Remove fabric for easy washing

This is one thing I always wonder why not every mattress has it: a removable cover. You never know what might happen and it’s just so incredibly convenient to clean the cover once a while. It’s also great to get rid of dust mites and any other small creatures that creep into your mattress over time.

The cover of the Malfors can be removed with a zipper. It’s child safe too, so small children won’t be able to open it and cause potentially dangerous situations.

Roll-packed (take it home in your car)

Since the mattress is made from 1 layer and only 12 cm (5 inches thick), it’s one of the easiest mattresses to take home with you. Its roll-packed and doesn’t weigh a lot, so you can easily put it in your car and take it home.

When you open it, be prepared though that the mattress still has to expend a bit. 12 cm is already  thin for a mattress, and it will be even smaller the first couple of days. This is normal and after 72 hours the mattress should’ve gained its full size.

Also, as with every foam mattress, the Malfors has to off gas. Which means that it will smell a little weird the first couple of days. Again, don’t worry. This is completely normal and will go away with several days. Keep the windows open for fresh air if you want this to go faster.

Good movement isolation

The foam in the mattress is great for motion isolation. (much better than springs). so if you or your partner wake each other up at night from turning and tossing, this is a great thing to have. It will make you both sleep better, since your movements are isolated to your part of the bed.

Warranty of 25 years and 100 day sleeping trial

Ikea is a large company and therefore you get the quality warranty that they have. If anything might be wrong with the mattress, you have a 25 year warranty. Also, you can also try out the mattress for 100 nights. This is a lot better than trying it out in the store. You will be able to get a real feel for how the mattress sleeps. If it might not work out, you can always return it to Ikea.

Don’t get the Malfors if….

… you’re looking for memory foam

Just to be sure in this Ikea Malfors mattress review: it’s not a memory foam mattress. So if you’re looking for the adapting foam qualities of memory foam, then the Malfors is not the right mattress for you.

… you want a durable mattress (3+ years)

Look, for its price the Malfors is a great choice. However, you shouldn’t expect the durability of a higher priced mattress. If you want your mattress to be still in top-shape in 10 years, then I highly recommend you get another mattress.

So how about alternatives?

#1

Nectar memory foam 

Mattress offers great support for your body. Made from 100% memory foam for comfort. Offers a 365 night trial for you to test it yourself. Lifetime warranty.

4.7 of 5 Stars#2

Nest Bedding Hybrid 

Premium bed for an affordable price. Suitable for back, stomach and side sleepers. 100 night trial and a lifetime warranty. Can be pricey, but worth it.

4.2 of 5 Stars#3

Amerisleep AS1

Luxury mattress with a celliant cover fabric for improved bloodflow. Thick support layer and great motion isolation. 100 night trial and 20 year warranty.

4 of 5 Stars

Final thoughts Ikea Malfors mattress review

We’ve made it to the end of this Ikea Malfors mattress review. It’s a good mattress, especially considering the price. It’s one of the cheapest foam mattresses from Ikea and is perfect if you’d like to try out foam after sleeping on coils. This also makes it a good choice for a guest room mattress.

 

Click here for the price of the Malfors mattress!

 

P.S. for a quick recap: the Malfors mattress is a solid mattress for the price.

Categories
Sleep Related

Ikea Hafslo Mattress Review: Can a Mattress This Cheap be Good?

 One of the cheapest Ikea mattresses is the Ikea Hafslo. Is it a good mattress to sleep on for  a longer period of time? And is it comfortable? Learn everything you need to know in this Ikea Hafslo mattress review …

Ikea mattresses are known for their affordability, but maybe the Hafslo pushes the limit. However, if you’re looking exactly for a mattress that you’d be using temporary, then it might be a solid choice for you.

More Ikea mattress reviews:

Ikea Hafslo mattress review

The Hafslo is made Bonnell springs and it’s not the most advanced mattress you’ll be able to find. Which is fine for the price. It might even remind you of mattresses from several years ago.

Here’s an overview of the specifications of the Hafslo mattress:

  • Ticking/ Total composition: 73% cotton, 27% polyester
  • Ticking, side/ Ticking: 64% cotton, 36% polyester
  • Ticking, underside/ Ticking: 100% polyester
  • Bonell spring units: Steel
  • Comfort material: Polyurethane foam 28 kg/cu.m.
  • Comfort material: Polyester wadding
  • Lining: Non-woven polypropylene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXa_S3l4yeY

Two Types of people whom the mattress is for

In general, I think there are 2 types of people who will get the most out of this mattress. See if you can identify:

  • People who want a temporary mattress – if you’re looking for a cheap mattress to sleep on for a couple of months (while moving for example), the Hafslo mattress is a solid option.
  • People with young children –  children grow fast and there’s always the chance of a little accident. In that case it’s good to have an okay, but not too expensive mattress.

Four benefits of sleeping on the Hafslo mattress

Cheap mattress

I would say the main benefit of this mattress is it’s price. You won’t be able to find much other mattresses for such a low price. And this means that it’s a great mattress, if you’re looking for a temporary mattress that you won’t really care about. For example, if you’re in the middle of a hectic period, or you might be moving in the near future, and you don’t want to take the mattress with you. Then this mattress is a great choice. Since the mattress is that cheap, you wouldn’t really care if something happens to it or if it might get dirty or lost somewhere.

Bonnell springs for support

Bonnell Springs are springs that have been used for a long time in mattresses. So the feeling of the mattress might be that of a mattress 20 years ago. Now, this does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. Bonnell mattresses are a great choice for a specific type of people. And another benefit is that they wouldn’t not sleep hot in summer. There is enough space between the springs, so that the heat can leave the mattress. So if you sleep hot in summer usually, that is mattress is a great choice for you, because of the springs in it.

Ninety days sleeping trial

Look, is difficult to test a mattress in the IKEA store. There are hundreds of passers-by, and you won’t get a real life experience from lying on the bed for 5 minutes. Luckily, when you order the mattress you get 90 days to sleep on the mattress and then you can make a decision. If you see in this time, that the mattress is not for you, then you can return it to IKEA.

Ikea 25 year warranty

Another thing that’s nice to have is the IKEA warranty. This means that if anything might happen to your mattress, which is not your fault, you can return it to IKEA and they will fix it.

Why you shouldn’t get the mattress

Can be uncomfortable

One down side of the mattress, and many other Bonnell Springs is that it can be uncomfortable for some people. Now, as might be expected of a mattress in this price range, but if you’re experiencing back pain, or have any other problems sleeping, then I highly recommend you get a more expensive mattress. This mattress is mainly suited if you’re really going to use it temporarily, or if you can literally sleep everywhere.

Poor motion transfer

Another downside of the mattress is it motion transfer. If you’re planning on sleeping on the mattress with your partner, and you or your partner tosses and turns and night, that it might not be the best idea to get this mattress. If one partner has Insomnia or tosses, then the other partner will probably also wake up. This is bad for your sleep.

Durability not too good

As we touch upon before with the durability of this mattress, it’s good for sleeping on it for a year or two maybe. Anything longer, and I highly recommend you get a more expensive mattress with better durability. Otherwise you might still end up spending more money for a lesser quality mattress in the long run.

Another downside is that if you want to get it delivered, it also will cost you money. This is expected for a mattress this price, but if you even go a little higher in mattress price class, then companies will already deliver the mattress for free.

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Adrianus

So how about alternatives?

“Here are the top 3 mattresses I recommend.”

#1

Nectar memory foam 

Mattress offers great support for your body. Made from 100% memory foam for comfort. Offers a 365 night trial for you to test it yourself. Lifetime warranty.

4.7 of 5 StarsGet $100 off#2

Nest Bedding Hybrid 

Premium bed for an affordable price. Suitable for back, stomach and side sleepers. 100 night trial and a lifetime warranty. Can be pricey, but worth it.

4.2 of 5 StarsSee price#3

Amerisleep AS1

Luxury mattress with a celliant cover fabric for improved bloodflow. Thick support layer and great motion isolation. 100 night trial and 20 year warranty.

4 of 5 StarsGet $200 off

Final thoughts Ikea Hafslo mattress review

Alright, we’ve made it through this Ikea Hafslo mattress review.  The mattress is alright in general. But it’s mainly for those who are on a budget. Or if you do not plan on sleeping on it for a long time, then it’s also fine. However, if you plan on sleeping on the mattress for more than 2 years, or do you have any postural or back problems, then it is not recommended to get this mattress.

Check the price on Amazon!

P.S. Enjoyed reading this Ikea Hafslo mattress review? But looking for something with better quality? The Nectar mattress might be more expensive, but it will last you much longer. On top of that, if you order it now, you get $125 off. Order the Nectar mattress now!

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Sleep Related

Ikea Hamarvik Mattress Review: 4 Reasons NOT to Order This Mattress

 I don’t think I’ve been in a house or apartment the last 3 years and not seen at least one Ikea product. Either it’s the couch, or these easily-recognisable 8-sided glasses. Have you experienced the same? The only thing many people seem to be a bit wary off are Ikea mattresses. Are they from the same quality as other products? Can a mattress be that cheap and still sleep well? Today we’re going to discuss the Ikea Hamarvik mattress review …

It’s an affordable mattress and if you’re on a budget it’s a solid option. Curious what exactly the specifications and advantages are? Continue reading to find out:

Ikea Hamarvik mattress review

The most likely reason that you’d want to get an Ikea mattress is because they’re affordable. here are the specifications as described on the official site:

  • Ticking/ Ticking: 64% polyester, 36% cotton
  • Ticking, side/ Ticking: 64% cotton, 36% polyester
  • Ticking, underside/ Ticking: 100% polyester
  • Bonell spring units: Steel
  • Comfort material: Polyurethane foam 25 kg/cu.m., Polyester wadding
  • Lining: Non-woven polypropylene
  • Comfort material: Polyurethane foam 28 kg/cu.m.

Also the mattress is available in different sizes. The length is always 200 cm, but the width ranges from 80, 90, 140 or 160. So you can get different sizes depending on if you live alone or like your mattress ot be larger.

Two types of people who’ll enjoy the Hamarvik mattress

The mattress is suitable for many people, but I think the following people will get the most out of the mattress. See if you identify:

  • People who want a temporary mattress –  since the mattress is cheap, it’s a perfect option if you want a mattress now, but wouldn’t care too much if you had to move in a year and couldn’t take the mattress.
  • People with kids – since kids grow fast, and accidents can happen that spoil the mattress, getting a cheaper mattress is a good choice.

Four advantages

Non expensive mattress

We’ve already touched on this in the previous paragraph. This is the main selling point from the mattress. It’s cheaper than the Hovag mattress (which we previously discussed), and more expensive than the Hyllestad mattress.

Bonnell springs for good support

Bonnell springs are springs that have been used for long times in mattresses. They might not be as comfortable as memory foam, but it’s a solid option if you’re looking for a mattress that supports your weight. One of the benefits is that they have plenty of space in between the coils, so that you won’t sleep as hot as you might do on a more expensive mattress.

Soft layer on top for comfort

The only downside of Bonnell springs is that they can be too uncomfortable to sleep on. Ikea has solved this problem by adding a soft layer on top for extra comfort. This means that you’ll be able to sleep with the right support AND comfort for your body.

Note: comfort depends on your body composition, sleep position and other preferences. More on that later in this Ikea Hamarvik mattress review.)

Warranty 25 years

With Ikea you’ve got the pleasure of dealing with a reputable company. That’s why you get a warranty of 25 years. So in the case something happens that’s not your fault, you can call Ikea and get it fixed.

Also important to notice is that you get a 90 night sleeping trial. Which means that you can try out the mattress in the comfort of your own home. Benefits of this? That you won’t have to quickly *test* the mattress in store with hundreds of people passing by. You’ll get some quality time to sleep on the mattress and see how it fits for you.

Downsides of the Ikea Hamarvik mattress:

Softer than advertised

Many people have noticed that the mattress is a bit softer that noticed. Medium feels like soft and firm feels like medium. This effect gets more pronounced after several weeks of sleeping on it. So keep this in mind when ordering 😉

Might sag after several years

Bonnell springs are known to sag when there’s continuous applied pressure on them for a long period of time. This can happen to the mattress. It’s uncomfortable if there’s a spot that doesn’t have the same level and support anymore after a while.

Might need a mattress topper

Ikea has done everything to make the mattress as comfortable as possible. However, for this price there simply isn’t it too much that they can do. That’s why the mattress might be uncomfortable for some people. (mainly if you sleep on your back or are on the heavier side). In That case it might be worthwhile to invest in a mattress topper that will give you extra comfort.

Delivery costs

So many mattress companies deliver for free nowadays. Unfortunately, if you get the Hamarvik mattress, you’ll pay for delivery. This depends on where  you’re located, but I have to pay at least 20 euros o get it delivered.

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Adrianus

So how about alternatives?

“Here are the top 3 mattresses I recommend.”

#1

Nectar memory foam 

Mattress offers great support for your body. Made from 100% memory foam for comfort. Offers a 365 night trial for you to test it yourself. Lifetime warranty.

4.7 of 5 StarsGet $100 off#2

Nest Bedding Hybrid 

Premium bed for an affordable price. Suitable for back, stomach and side sleepers. 100 night trial and a lifetime warranty. Can be pricey, but worth it.

4.2 of 5 StarsSee price#3

Amerisleep AS1

Luxury mattress with a celliant cover fabric for improved bloodflow. Thick support layer and great motion isolation. 100 night trial and 20 year warranty.

4 of 5 StarsGet $200 off

Final thoughts Ikea Hamarvik mattress review

The Ikea Hamarvik mattress is a solid choice if you’re on a budget. You’ll be able to get a solid mattress that you can get good sleep on for an affordable price. The downsides? It might not be as comfortable as a more expensive mattress. Also, if you’re planning to sleep o the mattress for the next 10 years, I wholeheartedly recommend you invest more money into it. After all, you sleep for ⅓ of your life and the couple extra hundred dollars you’d spend will pay you back in better quality of life.

P.S. Enjoyed reading this Ikea Hamarvik mattress review? But do you want a mattress with better quality? Then I recommend you check out the Nectar mattress. It’s more expensive, but it will definitely give you better sleep quality and more comfort. Plus they have a sale right now where you get $125 off! Order the Nectar mattress now!

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Sleep Related

Slumber Solutions vs Casper: Which of These Is Right for You?

Are you wondering if you should get a Slumber Solutions vs Casper mattress? It’s a common comparison that people think about. Today we’re going to discuss both mattresses and see which is the better choice.

Now, since everyone is different and has different preferred sleeping habits, what might be the best choice for you, might not be the best choice for the majority of people. That’s why I want you to ask yourself what you prefer in a mattress. Armed with this knowledge, it will be 10 times easier to come to the right conclusion.

Slumber Solutions vs Casper

Before we check all the differences between the 2 mattresses, let’s first check which similarities there are between the mattresses. That will make it easier for you to see if any of them fits with what you are looking for.

Both the Slumber Solutions and Casper mattresses can be bought online and have many happy customers. So you’d be good to go with each of them.

Slumber Solutions: wide variety of choice

Now, the main difference is that Slumber Solutions offers a wide variety of different mattresses. All these mattresses are in the medium price range, which means that – while they’re not cheap as some Walmart mattresses – they’re also not as expensive as some other brands. The Slumber Solutions mattresses are made from quality materials and you’d be hard pressed to wrong with any of them.

Most customers are very happy with their purchase. For example, on Overstock.com you can see more than 4000 reviews of customers. out of those 4000, 80% was very satisfied with their mattress purchase.

Most of them report that they sleep well on the mattress. Some even say that it’s better than some of the more expensive brand mattresses that they bought before. the brand isn’t too widely known (they don’t spend a lot of money on advertising), and it might be a bit of a leap of faith buying a Slumber Solutions mattress, but you will probably be happy with it.

You can order Slumber Solutions mattresses on Amazon. The most popular ones there are the gel memory foam mattresses, as they offer great comfort and support for the price. They’re available in different sizes, ranging from twin to king.

You can also get their mattress topper, which als gets great reviews on Amazon.

Check the price of the Slumber Solutions mattress here!

Casper: solid mattress

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGZdAsezJsM

Casper is a great choice if you do not want to spend much time comparing different mattresses. They have just 1 mattress, which is suited for the majority of people.

The Casper mattress is a premium latex foam mattress, which makes it incredibly comfortable to sleep on. What will surprise you when you sleep on it, is that it hits the sweet spot between not too soft and also not too firm.

If you’ve slept on mattresses before that were either too firm or too soft for you, then the Casper mattress will surprise you.

the customer service from Casper is also up to par. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with it, but one thing they do for example, is take away your old mattress ifneeded. This can save you quite some trouble from trying to get rid of it (especially if you live in an apartment building.

It’s a small thing, but it shows how Casper takes care of its customers.

The mattress can be bought in virtually every size, from twin to california king. So you won’t have to worry about that.

Also, Casper mattress has a great edge support. So if you enjoy that when getting up in the morning (or laying down at night), then this can be very comfortable and nice.

The great thing about Casper as well is that they offer a sleeping trial. So you can try out the mattress in the comfort of your own home. This makes it much easier to make a decision as you can actually see how you sleep on the mattress. And if you find you do not enjoy it – no problem, you can simplys end the mattress back and continue your search.

The only persons I wouldn’t recommend Casper to is if you tend to sleep very hot (also outside of summer). In that case I’d recommend you get a mattress that focuses on more airflow, that decreases the temperature. Also, if you’re looking for a mattress that is not medium firm, then you’re better of not picking Casper.

Check the price of the Casper mattress here!

Decision guidelines

Maybe you’ve already made a decision which mattress (Slumber Solutions vs Casper) is the better choice for you. If you haven’t yet, then here’s an overview of some questions that will help you make the right decision:

  • Do you prefer top-notch customer service? Then choose Casper.
  • Do you want comfortable mattresses for affordable prices? Pick Slumber Solutions.
  • Want to keep things simple? Pick Casper.
  • Do you want good edge support on the edges of the mattress? Casper again.

Final thoughts Slumber Solutions vs Casper

So, that’s it on slumber solutions vs Casper. In general, I think most people would be better off picking Casper, as it’s more versatile for the majority of people. It also takes away the choice stress that Slumber Solutions has. This latest thing can also be a good thing if you know exactly what you want: then you can shop around for Slumber Solutions mattresses and see which one suits your sleeping style better.

if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Also, check out the following links for more information about each company and mattresses. There you’ll find extra knowledge and useful facts about the mattresses.

Learn more about the Casper mattress!

Learn more about Slumber Solutions!

P.S. having a tough time making a decision? In that case I recommend you go for Casper, as it’s more appealing to the majority of people. Plus they have a sleeping trial, so even if you decide it’s not for you, you can still change it.

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Sleep Related

What Causes Melatonin Nightmares? (+ 3 Solutions)

melatonin nightmares

Thousands of people around the world take melatonin to experience wild dreams. But what if you need to take melatonin to fall asleep, but experience horrible nightmares? Why does this happen? And what can you do to stop them? In this article we’ll discuss why melatonin nightmares happen and what you can do prevent them (while still taking melatonin).

Melatonin is a natural hormone in your brain that signals your brain and body that it’s time to shut down and go to sleep. This is great if everything works perfectly. But if you do not produce enough melatonin for some reason, then you lay in bed unable to fall asleep. Or you only get tired by 3 AM while you need to be at work at 9. Taking melatonin as a supplement can be incredibly helpful in these situations.

That is, unless you wake up drenched in sweat because of your extremely vivid nightmare. That you otherwise wouldn’t experience without melatonin.

Melatonin nightmares: why do you get them?

In my article about melatonin and its effect on dreams I discussed 3 theories why melatonin increases your dream-ability and chance of lucid dreaming. In that article I’m speaking to the audience who want to INCREASE the weird dreams. However, the theories behind it work the same. here they are:

  1. Melatonin increases your time in REM sleep – the more REM time, the more time to experience dreams. Hence you statistically have  more chance of experiencing a nightmare.
  2. Melatonin makes you sleep deeper – sleeping better also increases the depth of your REM sleep. The deeper this is, the more intense your dreams can feel.
  3. Melatonin causes REM rebound – which type of people are most likely to take melatonin? Exactly. Those with sleep problems. When you finally do sleep well (with the help of melatonin), you’re REM-deprived brain will take every opportunity to get as much of it as possible.

if you’re looking for more information behind these theories (and sources), go check my melatonin dreams article.

it’s very well possible that these 3 theories work together to create the melatonin nightmares effect.

Why do some people get nightmares and others have nice dreams? I don’t know. I guess it’s the natural distribution and that some people are just more predisposed to nightmares than others.

If you’ve suffered trauma, then this often already comes up in dreams without melatonin. So when taking melatonin, this might be intensified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JUwYcRZgW8

Can you stop melatonin nightmares?

There are 2 keys to stopping melatonin nightmares. The first one lies in regular nightmare treatment. Here’s what the mayo clinic has to say about lifestyle remedies for treating nightmares:

Establish a regular, relaxing routine before bedtime. A consistent bedtime routine is important. Do quiet, calming activities — such as reading books, doing puzzles or soaking in a warm bath — before bed. Meditation, deep breathing or relaxation exercises may help, too. Also, make the bedroom comfortable and quiet for sleep.

Offer reassurances. If your child is struggling with nightmares, be patient, calm and reassuring. After your child awakens from a nightmare, respond quickly and soothe your child at the bedside. This may prevent future nightmares.

Talk about the dream. Ask your child to describe the nightmare. What happened? Who was in the dream? What made it scary? Then remind your child that nightmares aren’t real and can’t hurt you.

Rewrite the ending. Imagine a happy ending for the nightmare. For your child, you may encourage him or her to draw a picture of the nightmare, “talk” to the characters in the nightmare or write about the nightmare in a journal. Sometimes a little creativity can help.

Put stress in its place. If stress or anxiety is an issue, talk about it. Practice some simple stress-relief activities, such as deep breathing or relaxation. A mental health professional can help, if needed.

Provide comfort measures. Your child might feel more secure if he or she sleeps with a favorite stuffed animal, blanket or other comfort object. Leave your child’s door open at night so that he or she won’t feel alone. Leave your door open, too, in case your child needs comfort during the night.

Use a night light. Keep a night light on in your child’s room. If your child wakes up during the night, the light may be reassuring.

The second key has to do with melatonin itself. I did a lot of research on how to invoke melatonin dreams. So it makes sense that if you want to not have them, you just need to do the opposite.

Take small doses

Most people who accidentally stumble upon the effect of melatonin on dreams take large doses. Ten milligrams is no unheard of. For some reason in the U.S. manufacturers put way too large dosages in their melatonin pills.

Starters should better take half a milligram. Melatonin does not become more effective if you just take a little. The fall-asleep-effect gets cut off somewhere after half to one mg. Unless you’re looking to get crazy dreams.

So be sure to check your dosage per pill (especially if you’re in the USA). And look for a brand that has small dosages.

Take it regularly

People looking for wild melatonin dreams, often report that it loses its effect after taking it for a while. Maybe they get used to the dreams, or there is an adaptation in the brain against such vivid dreaming. I don’t know.

But you can use this knowledge to your advantage if you want to get rid of melatonin nightmares. Taking a little bit on a regular basis can help you. Maybe you’ll get nightmares the first couple of nights, but after that things will slow down. You’ll still experience the sleepy effect, just without nightmares.

Don’t sleep in

REM sleep is predominantly present in the second half of the night. The first half is mainly for deep sleep.

I know that my most vivid dreams are always there on weekend nights. I still wake up at 8 (habit from the working week), but often choose to get another 1.5 – 2 hour sleep. During this part my dreams are the most intense and I recall them best.

So for melatonin nightmares, it’s best to skip this phase.

Final thoughts

What are your experiences with melatonin and hangovers? What did you do to make them less intense? Let us know in the comments!

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Sleep Related

To Which Doctor Should You Go if You Suffer From Insomnia?

insomnia doctor

Did you lay awake last night for at least an hour before you could finally fall asleep? Then you might have insomnia. It’s becoming more prevalent in society every year. some say the culprit are smartphones, others say there is something else at play. While we don’t know for sure what is causing the global increase in insomnia, we do know different cures for it. And who knows them better than the insomnia doctor?

Most cases of insomnia can be solved by taking the right measures. However, not all of them. Some people have such a persistent insomnia that they it’s’ better to go see a doctor.

Which doctor is an insomnia doctor?

The right doctor to go to is a doctor who’s sleep medicine certified. The American Board of Sleep Medicine is the medical board that provides these certifications. Physicians and PhD’s who have passed the board’s qualifications are certified to have a high quality standard in sleep medicine.

In short, these are doctors that can help you treat insomnia. It’s important to treat this, because if you don’t get the right amount of sleep that you need, then this increases your chances of (chronic) health conditions or accidents.

When to go to an insomnia doctor?

The first step to take if you have sleep problems is to see your regular GP. Often a quick consultation with him or her can pinpoint the issue. Your doctor can give you tips and treatment strategies that make it easier for you to fall asleep.

They can recommend you to make certain changes in your life, sleep habits or overall lifestyle. It’s also possible that you’re taking specific medication that makes it difficult to fall asleep. If this is the case,then your doctor can see this issue and resolve it (either by recommending other medication o changing your regime).

If the first treatment strategies from your GP do not work, then your doctor can refer you to a specialist (the insomnia doctor).

If your child has insomnia, then it’s a good idea to go see a pediatrician.

Insomnia can be caused by many different factors

There are many root causes of insomnia. Each patient is different and therefore it’s difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution for falling asleep. Here are some types of factors that can cause insomnia:

  • Lifestyle factors
  • Brain chemical imbalance

Different doctors who can help with insomnia

Since there are different causes of insomnia, not every person who suffers from it goes to the same doctor. Different causes require different specialisations.

For example. for most lifestyle factors can be solved by a quick talk with your GP. Lifestyle factors can be that your sleep habits are out of order, and that you may need to keep a balanced lifestyle in order to fall asleep faster. If you (try to) go to bed during the week at 11, but at the weekends stay up until 4, then this might be a factor in your disrupted circadian rhythm.

It’s also very well possible that some underlying condition i your brain is causing insomnia. Most people with bipolar disorder, for example, also suffer from insomnia. If you suspect it’s more than just your lifestyle, it might be a good idea to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist.

You can also be referred to neurologist. This doctor has intensive experience with disorders in your brain and nervous system. If you have an imbalance between specific chemicals in your brain (for example dopamine), then this can cause insomnia. A neurologist can prescribe specific medicine that will help you with this imbalance.

Some easy home tips to fall asleep faster

While I recommend you to go see your doctor if you have insomnia, it can never hurt to try some home remedies. As long as you stick to the tried and proven ones.

Here are some tips and strategies that might work for your insomnia. It’s important to realize that several small wins can add up to victory. If a technique makes you fall asleep 5 minutes faster, then that may not sound like a lot. Compound this together with some other tips that also decrease your fall asleep time by 5 minutes – and you might find yourself falling asleep half an hour or more earlier.

Check your sleeping environment

Is there a big street lantern light shining into your room at night? Is there a lot of dust underneath your bed? Or do you sleep next to a big busy road? All these factors can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Or they frequently wake you up at night. Even though you cannot physically move the lamp or road, there are solution for these problems.

Install blackout curtains. Buy some quality ear plugs that are made for sleeping (so they don’t bother you). Clean the bedroom once every month completely.

Electronics away

When you’re laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, it can be so tempting to read some articles on the internet on your phone. Harmless right? Unless you get that alarming work email or notification at 12.30 from a colleague who’s working through the night to get that project finished. Now you’re thinking about work tomorrow. And how you’re already behind schedule. And how you need o be fresh tomorrow to get all that work done. And how you need a good night’s’ rest to be productive tomorrow. Which you’re not getting. Which is stressing you out.

Do away with all electronics in the bedroom. Get an old-fashioned alarm clock. And install a blue-light blocker on your phone and computer. Also, don’t hang a TV in the bedroom. All these distractions are not helping your insomnia.

Sleep doctor infal thoughts

It’s a good idea to see your doctor if you have insomnia. He’ll be able to pinpoint the reason why you can’t sleep much more accurately than 50 articles on the internet for insomnia tips. He’ll give you some strategies that work for your specific case – or else he’ll refer you to an insomnia doctor. Who can help you treat your insomnia even better.

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Sleep Related

Is it Safe to Combine ZzzQuil and Alcohol?

zzzquil and alcohol

Unfortunately, too many people think you can combine different sleep medication with alcohol. Today we’re going to discuss ZzzQuil and alcohol. Is this a dangerous combination? And is it smart to use ZzzQuil medication and alcohol before sleep even faster? The short answer is no…

The answer is that they’re quite some complications when you take ZzzQuil and alcohol together. They can both cause drowsiness and if you take them in large quantities they can cause their side effects. In this article we’re going to discuss most of the side effects that combining both can cause you.

Can you combine ZzzQuil and alcohol?

No, as it’s a dangerous combination. However, it’s all about the dosage. If you’ve taken a glass of wine at dinner, and then you’re taking ZzzQuil around 11 at night, then there’s no problem. Your body will have already handled the alcohol, and there will be no interactions anymore. However, what is dangerous is if you’re having several drinks, or if you’re binge drinking, and then taking ZzzQuil to fall asleep. So it’s better to not mess around with this.

Active ingredient of ZzzQuil is diphenhydramine (benadryl)

The reason why alcohol does not mix well with ZzzQuil is because the active ingredient in it is diphenhydramine. This substance is also better known as benadryl. Here’s a short description of benadryl (taking from my article comparing melatonin and benadryl):

Diphenhydramine on the other hand is a drug that is being used against a wide variety of disorders (such as insomnia, anxiety, allergies, movement disorders and nausea), and can cause adverse reactions. It’s also possible to overdose on the drug, which is a magnitude easier to do with diphenhydramine vs melatonin. It’s estimated that on average, users will fall asleep within 30 minutes of taking Benadryl.

Side effects when mixing ZzzQuil and alcohol:

Since alcohol and ZzzQuil are both depressants, their effect will strengthen each other. Here are the side effects of taking alcohol and ZzzQuil:

Note: especially with alcohol, the effect is dosage dependent. Having 1 glass won’t make too much of a difference. Having 10 glasses with ZzzQuil, however, will definitely make you feel bad in the morning.

Lethargy/drowsiness

Now, since both alcohol and ZzzQuil cause lethargy and drowsiness, this effect gets pronounced when you combine them. For some, this may seem as a desirable effect, but it’s not.

Alcohol will help you fall asleep in the beginning, but later on during the night, you will wake up often.

If you want to fall asleep well, it’s best to stick with just diphenhydramine. Otherwise you will hamper your sleep. And wake up with the exact opposite effects.

This increased lethargy and drowsiness can be especially dangerous if you still have responsible tasks to do. Driving under influence of alcohol is already dangerous – add to that ZzzQuil and you might well pay with your life for that.

So it’s definitely not recommended to combine ZzzQuil and alcohol and then do something that you need your full sensen for.

Unconscious

One other thing that can happen if you drink alcohol and then take ZzzQuil is that you become unconscious. This is very dangerous, since you can slip and fall.

Thirst and dehydration

Everybody knows that alcohol dehydrates. But did you know that benadryl (and thus ZzzQuil) also dehydrates your body? So when you combine both, you also double the dehydration effects. Which in turn makes the alcohol cause more damage. It’s also incredibly uncomfortable and your hangovers will be even worse.

Memory loss

One study found that long term dosage of benadryl can cause dementia. The link between this is that anticholinergic drugs (such as ZzzQuil) block the effect of acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory. Alcohol is also linked with this, and such a combination will make things worse.

Can drinking alcohol and taking ZzzQuil kill you?

The answer is yes. The chances of this are small if you just drink several glasses and take a tab to sleep. However, if you drink more, and you still have things to do. For example driving, then this combination is very dangerous, as you can pass out.

So, just drinking one glass at dinner and taking ZzzQuil several hours later is unlikely to cause any adverse effects. However, more alcohol and closer together will very likely be an unpleasant experience. And you will wake up feeling lethargic and with a hangover. So the exact opposite of what you’d want when taking ZzzQuil.

One person describes his experience

“It was a typical Sunday night, and I wasn’t ready to let go of the weekend yet, so I popped open a bottle of red wine and proceeded to drink the whole thing (about 4 glasses) over the course of about an hour. Feeling slightly loopy and with my inhibitions dulled, I spontaneously decided to swallow 6 Unisom Maximum Strength capsules, each containing 50mg diphenhydramine, for a total of 300mg. I figured that the worst case scenario would be to fall asleep and wake up groggy in the morning. The best case scenario might be an enjoyable, introspective experience. About an hour later I began to realize that the possibilities could be much worse.

I was lying on the couch watching a movie, and began to have extreme difficulty keeping my eyes open. I also had a strong medicine taste in the back of my throat. My muscles began to ache, and I was having trouble focusing on anything. My vision was distorted and it became very difficult to follow the action on the TV screen. I decided to grab a blanket and just pass out on the couch. As I lay there trying to let myself fall asleep, I felt more and more uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. Thought patterns were highly non-linear and my attention floated groggily from one idea to another without coming to any natural conclusions. Short term memory was virtually nonexistent. Images on the TV screen melted together, as did sounds, many of which were not even there, in retrospect. While my heart rate seemed close to baseline, my breathing was extremely slow. Gradually I drifted off to sleep (around 2 AM, T+2hr), which was really more like a drunken stupor than actual sleep.”

Source (read the entire story)


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Sleep Related

What’s The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Brain Fog?

sleep apnea brain fog

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Then you probably feel tired throughout the day. Not getting the correct sleep at night, is a sure fire way to feeling horrible during the day. What is the cause between sleep apnea and brain fog? And if you treat the sleep apnea, will the tired feeling in your brain go away? In today’s article will discuss the link between brain fog and sleep apnea…

If sleep apnea would only affect your nights, it will be slightly more handable. But since this condition affects your entire life. Every waking moment is affected by your sleep apnea. For that reason it’s important to attend the root cause of this. Luckily, these days there are many treatments for sleep apnea. Either lifestyle changes, or medical interventions can do wonders for you. But will they work if you’re feeling awful throughout the day because your brain doesn’t seem to function as before?

Can sleep apnea cause brain fog?

Dr Steven Park rides on his website that there are 5 areas get damaged in your brain because of obstructive sleep apnea:

  1. Right insular cortex
  2. Ventrolateral medulla
  3. Cerebellum
  4. Hippocampus
  5. Mammary bodies

(For more information what each of these areas exactly does, see Dr. Parks website)

These parts of your brain have important functions. And it is no wonder that if a part of your brain is damaged, that you think less clear. Another common complaint of people with sleep apnea is memory loss. The Hippocampus in your brain is responsible for short and long-term memories. And if it’s damaged, it will have a profound influence on your mental landscape.

Here’s what Dr Park says about the hippocampus and sleep apnea:

“The hippocampus is found to be significantly smaller in people with obstructive sleep apnea. This area of the brain processes short and long-term memory and spatial navigation. One study found that hippocampal damage can be partially reversed after a period of CPAP. The hippocampus is also one of the first areas to be damaged in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Other symptoms of brain fog are:

  • Memory problems
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to focus

Other causes (apart from sleep apnea) of brain fog are:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormonal changes
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions

Why is there a link?

It’s estimated that around 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. And 80% of these cases go undiagnosed. The reason for that might be that people attribute the lack of (mental) energy and bad sleep to ‘just getting older’…

Now, sleep apnea blocks the airways from getting enough oxygen at night. This affects your entire body – but your brain gets a double attack:

  • Lack of oxygen
  • Lack of restorative sleep

Everytime your airways are blocked, you will wake up (sometimes even barely noticable). And this will take you out of your deep restorative sleep.

Oxygen is essential to life. And if you deprive your brain for a long period of time every night in small bouts, then some parts are going to get damaged.

Also, sleep is a restorative mechanism in the brain and clears up all the waste molecules that form throughout the day.

So the worse your sleep apnea is, the more your brain is affected. When it works less well, then your thinking won’t be as clear. Your brain literally is damaged, and that explains the link between sleep apnea and brain fog.

If you treat your apnea – will the brain fog go away?

Look, the most common question from people after they read this is if they treat their sleep apnea, will the brain fog go away? Now, this is a great question. And a very important one. Luckily, research has shown that with treatment, many of the damages can be reversed.

However, this depends on how long you have been affected by sleep apnea, and how severe it was.

We’re lucky in the fact that the brain is a remarkable structure, that is capable of healing many things. If you give your brain the sleep and oxygen at night that it needs to function normally, chances are that you will feel a lot better over time.

With that said, if you are seriously worried about your apnea: I’m not a doctor, and if you suffer from sleep apnea, I highly recommend you go see a professional.

Success stories from others

Here are some success stories between sleep apnea and brain fog from Dr Steven Parks site.

“Judith is a 55 year old woman who used to have a sharp memory, but now is having trouble with names and losing her keys all the time. Things got much worse when she gained more weight, which worsened her snoring. She was eventually placed on CPAP for her moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and is now happy to report that while her memory is not back to normal, it is much improved.”

“I have been utilizing my CPAP for about a year. I do feel more rested in the mornings and no longer wake up feeling like I have a headache. I found it very interesting OSA can cause memory loss. I am 43 and have noticed a significant decline in my ability to remember information for both the long and short term”

“A week later, I was sleeping like a baby and my life began returning to normal. I have been on the CPAP for almost five years and am so used to it now that it is as normal to me as brushing my teeth–and about as noteworthy. My memory has returned; my energy level is up; and I have even gone back to work on a part-time basis as an analyst. Life is good again. Despite the advance in years, I feel better than I did 10 years ago. It’s truly amazing what a good night’s sleep can do and conversely what its lack can do.”

Source


Final thoughts

Have you tried treatment for your sleep apnea? What were the results? Did you see an improvement in your mental state? Let us know your story in the comments between your sleep apnea and brain fog.

Categories
Sleep Related

Does Sleep Apnea Go Away With Weight Loss?

does sleep apnea go away with weight loss

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? It’s a terrible condition that can cause havoc in your life. Bad interrupted sleep can you feel like a zombie throughout the day. Sleep apnea is correlated with being overweight – but does sleep apnea go away with weight loss?

Today we’re going to answer that question. So if you’re suffering from sleep apnea and wondering if it’s worth trying to lose weight to beat it – you’ll find the answer here.

Note: I’m not a doctor. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, I recommend you go see your own GP about that. He will be able to give your personalised advice and diagnosis – which is probably better than a self-diagnosis from the internet. However, sleep apnea can get better with small steps, and it’s important to educate yourself as well.

Does sleep apnea go away with weight loss?

Harvard has mentioned that the most effective treatments for sleep apnea are weight loss and breathing devices. In their article they mention that the American College of Physicians emphasizes lifestyle changes for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s their recommendation for weight loss:

“The ACP’s first recommendation centers on weight loss for people who are overweight and obese. The link between excess weight and sleep apnea is well established. People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep.

Though losing weight is easier said than done, it can yield real results. “If we can get people to lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems [such as heart disease] go away,” says Dr. Epstein. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.

I have emphasized the main important things here. if you’re overweight, then extra tissue in the back of your throat can obstruct the flow of air. Once you lose weight, this extra tissue can become smaller and this can improve – or cure- your sleep apnea.

The relation between weight and sleep apnea

One problem between weight and sleep apnea is that sleep apnea also causes weight gain. Studies have been done showing that the less you sleep, the more calories you eat during the day. People who are sleep deprived, eat on average 385 kcal more than their well-rested counterparts.

“They found partial sleep deprivation did not have a significant effect on how much energy people expended in the subsequent 24 hours. Therefore, participants had a net energy gain of 385 calories per day.

The researchers also found there was a small shift in what sleep deprived people ate — they had proportionately higher fat and lower protein intakes, but no change in carbohydrate intake.”

Now, the problem lies in the fact that sleep apnea decreases the rest you get at night. So you’re sleep deprived brain will compensate and eat more.

So here we have a classic case of a virtual cycle. Excess weight adds tissue in the back of your throat. This causes sleep apnea. And apnea in turn make you sleep worse. Which makes you eat more during the day and you gain weight. And the circle continues…

Stories from people who lost weight and cured their sleep apnea

Losing weight is not easy. Especially if you sleep badly at  night. One thing that can give you extra motivation and inspiration is to read the stories of others who lost weight and made their sleep apnea go away.

Kate

“I had been feeling tired and fatigued for months. In 2013, I finally went to the doctor, and I was diagnosed with weight-induced sleep apnea. To add to that, my doctor also told me I had poor circulation and high blood pressure. At just 32! I had to wear a huge mask that forced air into my nose while I slept each night — it was awful. I couldn’t believe I was barely into my 30s and dealing with all these life-threatening issues.

After having lost weight, I was anxious and excited for my next check-up. My doctor was absolutely thrilled with the changes that I had made. All of my medical issues have been corrected.

Source

Jeff

“Fast forward a few years. At age 46 I weighed in at 305 lb. I had sleep apnea, arthritic pain, constant stomach problems, I didn’t exercise. Going up stairs was a bit of a chore. I had had episodes of atrial fibrillation since I was about age 25 and those episodes were getting more frequent and more severe.

Within 6 months I had lost about 60 lbs. I felt great all the time. The aches in the joints subsided, my cholesterol plummeted to 167 mg/dl (4.39 IU). My sleep apnea disappeared. My episodes of atrial fibrillation did not stop entirely, but were less frequent and milder in intensity. I took no medications, not even vitamins.”

Source

Jim

“After eating this way for six months, my energy level was amazing and I could tell my brain was much sharper. My blood pressure and cholesterol numbers went into normal ranges, and I was sleeping better. In fact, I found I no longer needed my CPAP machine to sleep at night (I had been diagnosed with sleep apnea four years prior).”

Source

Does sleep apnea treatment (PAP) cause weight loss?

On The other side of the spectrum, many people also find that when they get treatment for sleep apnea, they start to lose weight. This can happen either together with other weight loss strategies – although some people have also found that treating sleep apnea gave them good sleep back. Which in turn gave them the energy to move throughout the day – after which they started losing weight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ZmTRzBVFI

Final thoughts

So, does sleep apnea go away with weight loss? Sleep apnea is a personal condition and what works for one person might not work for the other. However, much scientific literature and personal success stories point to the fact that losing weight can indeed improve – or cure – sleep apnea.

So if you’re suffering from sleep apnea, then losing weight, together with treating it should be number 1 priority.