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Who's been successful overcoming insomnia?

By Anonymous March 7, 2009 - 12:40pm
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I'm 58 and have been plagued with insomnia and occasional night sweats for a year and a half.

I've seen my pcp and 2 sleep specialists and the best they can do is prescribe a 30-day trial of ambien.
If it helps reset my sleep cycle, great. If not, back to zero.

Also consulted with a naturopath but didn't 'feel' this individual was what I'm looking for.
None recommended hormone testing, stating the numbers are basically meaningless because we expect the levels to be off with menopause and don't really know what they 'should' be.

Since my insurance will not cover naturopathic medicine, it's all out-of-pocket monies.

I need to find an effective practitioner without having to spend a fortune MD-shopping. Doubt my insurance would look favorabley on me shopping through multiple providers who are covered. Always some out-of-pocket there as well.

As a medical professional and certified life coach, I realize that wellness and well-being have many components and that naturopathic medicine takes a look at the whole individual, not just slices in areas where the deficits are. I regularly work on my own 'life wheel' and strive for balance and harmony in my life. I have many spiritual practices in place, which serve me well. (Thanks, Oprah).

Perhaps I'm missing something here in the grand scheme of naturopathic medicine but though I'm open to explore options, I'm really not interested in a prolonged trial-an-error approach to this issue.

I'd like advice on what works for others like me and I'd like advice/clarity on the changing hormone levels as contributing factors to the insomnia. Perhaps tweaking my nutritional habits as a boost to more body harmony.
I'm sure I can do better in this area. My work has me on the road 5 days a week and I'm limited to some degree in what I eat. I never have a lunch hour and rarely eat fast food.

Anybody with suggestions for a practitioner? I live in SW Portland, near I-5 and Capitol Hwy.

Mary Bigler

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EmpowHER Guest

I use this Chinese Herb tea in packets for insomnia. It's also helped my night sweats. Most nights I drink half the cup of tea before bed and when/if I wake up, I drink the other half and go right back to sleep. I'm really happy with the results and it's all natural. You can get it at isleepherbpac.com

November 29, 2009 - 4:14pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I responded to this post at another thread Acupuncture for Insomnia, and wanted to include my comment here as well:

Thank you for sharing this product. I just looked at the website, and the ingredients for this herb pack include: Spiny Jujube, Chuan Xiong, Poria, Licorice, Anemarrhena, Light wheat grain, Flowery knotweed seed, Ophiopogon, Arbortitae seed, Starch.

It would be interesting to review these list of herbs for their medicinal properties. Please know that anytime you begin taking supplements (even "healthy" or "natural" herbs) or other OTC medicines that you get the "OK" with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure there are no drug interactions with your current prescriptions, supplements and OTC medicines.

To the original poster: you may want to review the thread (orange hyperlink above) regarding insomnia and acupuncture, as some women provided excellent information there as well!

November 29, 2009 - 7:54pm


I agree with Susan, I'm also surprised that your doctors brushed off the notion of hormone testing, considering your age and your symptoms. I am dealing with menopausal issues myself and, as in many things, we really have to be our own best advocates, seeking out doctors who understand what we are going through and work with us to solve the issues.

This women's health office specifically mentions menopause and hormone treatments on their web page; you might be interested in calling and asking them to see a doctor about hormone testing and menopausal symptoms. They also list complementary medicine on their web site, so I am sure they would be interested in your whole-body philosophy:


They list six doctors, with some biographical information about each. It may be that one or two of them has a special interest in menopausal issues; I noticed at least two who also work with alternative and complementary medicine.

I also noticed that a couple of the doctors associated with this women's care group have a special interest in menopausal issues (click on "about us"):


Hang in there, you are right to seek answers to your insomnia and hot flash issues. With your work, I know it's not easy to make appointments and constantly seek new opinions. Perhaps one of the doctors' groups above has a specialist that will be of help to you.

March 11, 2009 - 8:45am
HERWriter Guide


Thank you for taking the time to write! I'm sorry you've been experiencing these symptoms. It seems that the combination of your age, your hot flashes and insomnia symptoms that this is all relating to menopause and the hormonal imbalances that ensue.

I'm a little surprised that hormone testing was completely brushed aside. While it's true that there is no common level of where hormones should be during menopause due to the wide variety of numbers and symptoms, many women find that intervention can bring their hormone levels back to a number that is right for them.

You might like to read our Menopause page here : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/menopause

and some SHARES written here, with the emphasis on insomnia: http://www.empowher.com/community/share/how-improve-your-night-sleep-after-menopause

Both medical and natural methods are discussed.

Please also take a listen to a menopause expert - Dr. Regine Sitruk-Ware, interviewed by Empowher's Todd Hartley on an Empowher broadcast - (a written transcript is also available here). Dr. Sitruk-Ware is the executive director of research and development at the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research in NYC.


Let me know if these links help you!

March 7, 2009 - 1:19pm
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