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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Insomnia Breakthrough!

I've been long plagued by insomnia (runs in the family) and it has gotten worse as I've gotten older. I had hoped that taking up running would help cure it, but it didn't seem to have any effect.

I tried melatonin, but it didn't seem to help much, if at all.

I seem to have two types of insomnia: a mild type where I sort of drift in and out of a light sleep for hours. Sometimes five minutes seems like an hour and sometimes an hour seems like five minutes. I seem to wake up OK in the morning and it isn't that big of a deal, more of a nuisance.

The other type is where I feel like I'm on intra-venous caffeine (I avoid caffeine after 3:00 pm). I get jittery, can't lay still, can't relax. Very nasty.

After 20 years, I may have found the problem re: the nasty type. I hadn't had it for about a month then got it three nights in a row last week. The third night I suddenly noted a correlation that had long escaped me. Nutrasweet (aspartame).

This started around 20 years ago when I switched from regular to diet soda. Recently I had cut back on soda altogether and last week I bought some caffeine-free diet Dr Pepper and drank some the three evenings I subsequently couldn't sleep. I've been sleeping fine since.

Correlation doesn't prove causation, but I can live without diet soda. Time will tell if the nighttime jitters come back or have been banished forever.


Mike Cunningham said...

Interesting insight. I'm curious to see to what happens, or I guess in this case, doesn't happen.

David Haddon said...

I'm delighted to hear that both you and Mike are getting off the Aspartame. But I'm surprised to learn that you've been dosing yourselves with that chemical. Do you believe that FDA approval of such additives (or even of prescription drugs) means they are safe? If so, I've got a bridge across the Sacramento River I'd like to sell you. . . .