Gary is plagued by Cluster Headaches and insomnia to begin with. The insomnia causes problems falling asleep. If he manages it, the CH wakes him up. He's lucky to get 2 hours a night.
He's tried everything - prescription, non-prescription.
Here's my recommendation based on Gary's experience. Go to a health food store and purchase Melatonin and 5-HTP (or L-5-HTP). Some health food stores have a "sleep aid" that combines both.
Melatonin is an amino acid that our bodies produce. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant with a lot of health benefits, Melatonin is critical in regulating the body clock and sleep cycles. The body produces melatonin in darkness - light prohibits its production. Normally, the secretion of melatonin peaks in the middle of the night. If you start with a 3mg or 5mg dose (people with cluster headaches often need to take more of everything than everyone else - when Gary uses it, he takes 15mg), and combine that with Heidi's suggestion (or for Gary, he reads a book he's read a million times so wanting to know what happens doesn't keep him up, but reading distracts his mind from all the thoughts that normally assault his ADD mind, providing a calm mental state in which he can fall asleep), I think you'll find it helps.
Here's an article from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/con...tract/89/1/128
The melatonin helps him fall asleep. The 5-HTP helps him stay asleep.
5-HTP is another amino acid the body produces. It is a precursor to seratonin, and in conjunction with vitamin B-6 it is metabolized, causing the brain's seratonin-producing neurons to increase production. Seratonin has been shown to play in important role in mood, sleep and appetite, among other things. It is sold as a sleep aid, an anti-depressant and an appetite suppressant. Like melatonin, there is research supporting its role as a natural sleep aid. There is inconclusive research in its role as an antidepressant. It is sold generally in 100mg supplements. A normal person should take 100mg - 250mg. Gary takes 2 250mg pills. Here's a link to Medquest on 5-HTP: http://www.5-htp.net/insomnia.asp
The melatonin and 5-HTP should be taken together about 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour before you normally go to bed to fall asleep.
There is a caution though - do not take either supplement if you are already on anti-depressants or on any kind of opiate-type pain killer (vicodin, hydrocodone, etc.) These things affect the seratonin receptors, and the extra production of seratonin while using opiates or anti-depressants is something that shouldn't be risked. Neither one is habit forming.
If this doesn't help, you can try valerian (also obtained at a health food store). Valerian is sold as a sedative, and there a fair amount of research out there supporting those claims. It has been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increase the length of time spent in deep sleep. If you have liver disease, do not use valerian. They don't know exactly how the valerian works, but apparently it works on the GABA(A) receptors. Here's a link you may find helpful: http://www.sleepandhealth.com/Newspa...October/08.htm
I sooooooooo sympathize with anyone with sleep problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please, give either the 5-HTP and Melatonin combo or valerian a try. They are far more beneficial than any prescription medication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!