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Thread: Any Kava users?

  1. #1
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Any Kava users?

    Hi all-

    I have anxiety here and there and at times, trouble sleeping. I have a prescription for Xanax and I hardly ever take it but when I have trouble sleeping, I will take it every night. It works well and I don’t abuse it but I want an alternative. I tried Kava once in college when a professor brought it (that would never happen nowadays!). It gave me a massive headache but then put me out for like three hours and I am someone that does not EVER take a nap. So, I’m wanting an alternative to help me sleep and a friend of mine told me to go to this Polynesian hole in the wall and get some Waka. I did and I have it here. I have the typical virgin fears like, will it make me feel weird or will I freak out, etc.? Anyone that can help with advice and expectations would be super helpful. I have the cloth from Fiji and he told me how to squeeze and squeeze and he told me to use a heaping tbsp and start with one cup. I told him it freaked me out all those years ago to have my entire mouth go numb. I thought I was having an allergic reaction and that I was dying because my professor never told us that would happen. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Sometimes when I need to sleep, I take a benadryl. Works great.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Any Kava users?

    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    Sometimes when I need to sleep, I take a benadryl. Works great.
    Great advice but that isn’t strong enough for me anymore :-) It used to work wonders when I was a kid.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Melatonin, it will make you sleepy. Warm milk will too. Or eat some turkey.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Any Kava users?

    Originally Posted by melancholy123
    Melatonin, it will make you sleepy. Warm milk will too. Or eat some turkey.
    Thanks, melancholy!

  7. #6
    Gold Member leseine7's Avatar
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    I second melatonin. I used to use Xanax during a period of time when I was have panic attacks round the clock and my general anxiety was ruining my life. The problem with Xanax is it really is not intended for long term use, and your brain gradually wants more and more of it, making it even more difficult to manage anxiety without it. I found that as soon as Xanax wore off I had a depression hangover for at least the next day, and would catapult into another anxiety attack shortly thereafter.

    For this reason, I swore off prescription meds to manage my psychological symptoms years ago and fought to find natural remedies. I found a new therapist (because for anxiety, unless there is PTSD or another very big reason for it becoming a constant occurrence, I firmly believe that cognitive behavioural therapy is the ONLY way to beat it), and worked with a hypnotist to cure the panic attacks (this worked like a charm), removed caffeine from my life and took melatonin as a way to promote sleep.

    Be aware that even melatonin has its downsides. You only really need 3mg at max, and you should not use it every single day, but rather as a way to set yourself on good circadian rhythm so that you can fall asleep without an aid over time. Also note that if you take melatonin when it is still light out, it can cause you to feel groggy and weird - the point is to try to take it as soon as it is dark out (or to be sure your room is completely dark), so that your body fully understands that it is nighttime and that = sleep.

    If anxiety/ persistent anxious thoughts keep you up at night, I recommend downloading some apps for sleep hypnosis to help with the anxiety. This always worked well for me, and I was someone who was usually NEVER able to stop the endless cycling thoughts before I tried this option. It takes a little while to adjust (especially if you are used to using prescription meds), but it's worth it to try to tackle anxiety with these options instead of needing a crutch.

    I also found that just keeping a Xanax on me (but never taking it), helped me ward off anxiety. Just telling myself that the relief was there if I needed it was enough to make me feel less panicked, which showed me that it really was all in my head to begin with.

    For all these things, consult with your doc (even melatonin) and do the research to figure out what's best for you, but I hope this helps!
    Last edited by leseine7; 07-09-2019 at 05:50 AM. Reason: clarification

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Maybe this helps, maybe not.

    I've never self-identified as having anxiety, suffering from anxiety, so perhaps I'm not the best person to weigh in. That said, I've had "trouble" sleeping most of my adult life—trouble put in quotes because what I found worked best was to stop thinking of it as problem.

    I probably average 6 hours a night—sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, and on rare occasions (maybe 5 times a year?) I get 8 or more and emerge feeling like a grizzly taking his first steps after hibernation. Sometimes I wake up at 5am, can't fall back asleep, and start my day before daylight. Sometimes I drift back off and start my day when I come to again. I don't see either one as better than the other. Maybe I'm a bit more tired one day than the other, but is that the worst thing?

    Anyhow, once I started thinking of it all like this something funny happened: I started sleeping better because I stopped freaking out about sleeping. Prior to this I'd tried just about everything, here and there. I'd borrowed some Ambien, I'd smoked pot. I'd sipped bourbon, I'd stopped drinking. Ear plugs, sleep masks, dubious apps. Probably a tea or two or three. I eat very healthy, am ridiculously active physically, do yoga 5-7 days a week and have for a decade, so there wasn't really anything I could add on those fronts.

    Still, most of that stuff proved only temporarily productive. But once I stopped thinking of it as something to think about? Boom—easy. When I'm stressed with work or stressed with life, I probably don't sleep as well. Fine. That's my brain tending to stuff, demanding I tend to it. Sleep will come once it's tended to—tomorrow, the weekend, whenever. If I'm wide awake at 5am it means...I'm supposed to be wide awake at 5am, not that I have a "sleep problem," am "suffering" from something, or that something is "wrong" with me. If I sleep in until 7 or 9 it doesn't mean I "slept well." It just means I slept until I woke up.

    Woo-woo, I know. But, hey, it works for me so here I am sharing it. Again, I don't want to dismiss anxiety etc. as real issues, and I may simply not struggle with anxiety in the acute way of some. But I also don't think feeling anxious—about work, about love, about whatever—is a bad state to be in. It happens. It passes. Doesn't always need to be diagnosed or seen as something to fix or address.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Sleep supplements or drugs don’t work for me... I still get break through anxiety that wakes me up, or I get woken up by hot flashes, or restless legs or some other nonsense. I also have an addictive personality and those types of drugs are dangerous for me as they lead me to a truly dark place in life.

    A few years ago when I was going through my divorce I started using an app called Headspace... guided mindful meditations that come in various forms... I used it pretty consistently every night for a year to manage my anxiety and sometimes during the day... it helped a lot with teaching me how to relate to my anxiety and how to let things go... I am also strict about my sleep hygiene... no TV or computer in the bedroom, no social media or phone calls before bed, black out curtains, white noise, all seem to help. I also do intense exercise, acupuncture and eat really well which all seems to help level me out.

    Much like blue I gave up on the idea of what a good nights sleep “should” look like and learn to accept that it is what it is.

    I also echo leseine’s points about getting to the root cause of your anxiety and dealing with it, otherwise no amount of drugs in the world will help you get a restful nights sleep.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I've used Xanax almost every night for several years. I also don't have any dependency issues with it. I realize that sounds like a contradiction.

    My morning commute is 90 minutes in the morning and I pretty much have the same sleep anxiety Blue described. I have to get up very early and being someone who needs 8 hours a night to function, I can pretty much head trip myself out of sleeping. I'll wake up periodically staring at the clock and doing the math.

    Driving makes me sleepy, so without any aid I can be considered a liability on the road. (I used these same words to a new dr who wanted to deny me the xanax. Without any further argument, he wrote me the prescription)

    I notice on days off or an extended vacation, where I have the luxury of falling asleep when I am tired and waking when rested, I don't need to take anything.

    I've read all the horrors of benzo dependency and for reasons I can't explain, it hasn't happened.
    I wore out benadryl years ago and tried melatonin with absolutely no success.

    Looking forward to the day that I don't need anything.

  11. #10
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leseine7
    I second melatonin. I used to use Xanax during a period of time when I was have panic attacks round the clock and my general anxiety was ruining my life. The problem with Xanax is it really is not intended for long term use, and your brain gradually wants more and more of it, making it even more difficult to manage anxiety without it. I found that as soon as Xanax wore off I had a depression hangover for at least the next day, and would catapult into another anxiety attack shortly thereafter.

    For this reason, I swore off prescription meds to manage my psychological symptoms years ago and fought to find natural remedies. I found a new therapist (because for anxiety, unless there is PTSD or another very big reason for it becoming a constant occurrence, I firmly believe that cognitive behavioural therapy is the ONLY way to beat it), and worked with a hypnotist to cure the panic attacks (this worked like a charm), removed caffeine from my life and took melatonin as a way to promote sleep.

    Be aware that even melatonin has its downsides. You only really need 3mg at max, and you should not use it every single day, but rather as a way to set yourself on good circadian rhythm so that you can fall asleep without an aid over time. Also note that if you take melatonin when it is still light out, it can cause you to feel groggy and weird - the point is to try to take it as soon as it is dark out (or to be sure your room is completely dark), so that your body fully understands that it is nighttime and that = sleep.

    If anxiety/ persistent anxious thoughts keep you up at night, I recommend downloading some apps for sleep hypnosis to help with the anxiety. This always worked well for me, and I was someone who was usually NEVER able to stop the endless cycling thoughts before I tried this option. It takes a little while to adjust (especially if you are used to using prescription meds), but it's worth it to try to tackle anxiety with these options instead of needing a crutch.

    I also found that just keeping a Xanax on me (but never taking it), helped me ward off anxiety. Just telling myself that the relief was there if I needed it was enough to make me feel less panicked, which showed me that it really was all in my head to begin with.

    For all these things, consult with your doc (even melatonin) and do the research to figure out what's best for you, but I hope this helps!
    Thank you, leseine!! I have a few sleep hypnosis/meditations and I will start to do them every night. Last night I tried but I was so frustrated from being overtired that I wasn’t in the headspace to do it. Tonight should be better. Thanks!

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