48 Tips for Overcoming Insomnia

Insomnia is horrible and it can wreak havoc on all areas of your life. If you can’t sleep, you can’t think, and if you can’t think, you can’t do your job well. It puts your emotions on edge and relationships suffer. It can affect your appetite and sleep-deprived people will either eat too much or too little. Prolonged insomnia can have seriously detrimental effects on mental health, and after a while of not sleeping, people start to hallucinate.

Unfortunately, insomnia is something that many “floxies” suffer from. Fluoroquinolones inhibit the neurotransmitter GABA-A, “the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays the principal role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.” Fluoroquinolones have similar effects on neurotransmitters to what happens when people go through benzodiazepine withdrawal–antagonism of the GABA-A receptors which leads to anxiety, psychosis, paranoia, paraesthesia, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to light and sound, tremors, suicidal ideation and tendencies, and INSOMNIA.

There is a vicious cycle when it comes to insomnia–if you can’t sleep, your anxiety and paranoia increase, which can make you even less able to sleep, and the cycle goes on.

Fortunately, many people have found relief from their insomnia. Here are some tips that people have provided for things that have helped them to sleep, and have relieved the cycle of fluoroquinolone-induced insomnia:

  1. Eliminate all sources of caffeine from your diet.
  2. Sleep in a completely dark room–either black-out your windows or set up a cot in a closet.
  3. Use ear-plugs.
  4. Melatonin.
  5. Visualize sleeping soundly in a peaceful place.
  6. Eat a banana before bed.
  7. EHT from Nerium.
  8. Cannabis.
  9. Eliminate alcohol from your diet.
  10. Calm Spirit Pills (Chinese Medicine).
  11. Meditation.
  12. Epsom salt baths.
  13. Borax baths.
  14. Baking soda baths.
  15. Prayer.
  16. A few spritz of magnesium oil spray and a couple of drops of Frankincense oil on a piece of cloth under a pillowcase.
  17. Kavinace PM.
  18. Benadryl.
  19. Tylenol PM.
  20. Herbal/Supplement sleep aids
  21. Honey with sea salt under the tongue.
  22. Valerian root.
  23. Low-dose naltrexone.
  24. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
  25. Acupuncture.
  26. Zinc monomethionine.
  27. Magnesium.
  28. Tart cherry juice.
  29. Exercise 4+ hours before bedtime.
  30. Cut down on salt intake.
  31. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) supplement.
  32. No screens (computer, phone, t.v.) before bed.
  33. Gaia Sound Sleep.
  34. Natural Calm Magnesium.
  35. 5HTP.
  36. Emperor’s Tea Pills (Chinese Medicine).
  37. Hypnotization (through an app).
  38. Bioidentical progesterone.
  39. Ambien.
  40. Benzodiazepines.
  41. Turn off wi-fi.
  42. Avoid soy.
  43. Sleep-restriction therapy.
  44. Listen to the radio on a foreign station or a boring station.
  45. Relaxing music.
  46. Silva Meditation For Deep Relaxation.
  47. Breathing Exercises.
  48. Don’t eat red-meat for dinner.

I hope that these tips help you! Insomnia can be debilitating and tortuous. I hope that you find some relief from your insomnia through using some of the methods mentioned above!


  1. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, “Ciprofloxacin-induced neurotoxicity: evaluation of possible underlying mechanisms.
  2. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, “Neurotoxic effects associated with antibiotic use: management considerations

flu tox get help you need banner click lisa

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34 thoughts on “48 Tips for Overcoming Insomnia

  1. Elizabeth Lo January 18, 2016 at 8:13 am Reply

    Red Kratom in higher doses is sedating.

  2. Linda January 18, 2016 at 10:31 am Reply

    I’d nix the ambien unless it is a last resort. I did take zolpidem, the generic, for a couple months since I was not sleepy AT ALL, was very very sick, and had major breathing issues, but then I weaned myself off asap. But I would try all the others first for sure.

    • Lisa Bloomquist January 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm Reply

      I wouldn’t use any of the pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary, but, to avoid that bias, I listed them because people said that they helped.

      Just a note on Ambien –

      “In a recent paper in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, Daniel Kripke, a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, examined five years of electronic medical records collected by a health system in Pennsylvania. He compared more than ten thousand patients who had been prescribed a sleep medicine—most commonly Ambien—and more than twenty thousand patients who had not. After adjusting for age, gender, smoking habits, obesity, ethnicity, alcohol use, and a history of cancer, and after controlling, as much as possible, for other diseases and disorders, Kripke found that people who had taken sleeping pills were more than three times as likely to have died during the study period as those who had not. Those on higher doses of the drugs were more than five times as likely to have died.” From http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/09/the-big-sleep-2

      • Jason January 18, 2016 at 12:31 pm Reply

        Yes and of course it should be mentioned Benzos is “adding fuel to the fire” that already burnt up the Gaba receptors, and really Benzos are an AWFUL drug and should be avoided at almost ALL costs

        • Lisa Bloomquist January 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm

          I agree.

        • Honestly September 17, 2019 at 11:41 am

          Benzo’s are addictive.

      • Linda January 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm Reply

        Eke. I seriously would not have gotten through the worst period without that one hour I got with a sleeping pill. It was the only relief I got from the suffocating. But like I said, as soon as I was able (still having major breathing problems, but not quite as severe) I stopped. Glad I did since seeing this post.

        • Cindy Jones October 20, 2016 at 3:08 am

          Linda Benzos depress the respiratory centre in the brain. Should not be taken especially at bedtime. Sorry to appear pushy on this but worried in case anyone suffers due to this crap.

        • L October 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

          cindy—I don’t know how to begin to respond to this. I literally was GASPING for every breath. I felt like I was being water-boarded 24/7. I did not care at that point if I lived or died. I KNOW WHAT these pills can do. I have read your posts, and quite frankly, they are all over the map and you are the last person I would ever take advice from on this site. Sorry, but this has been building for a while now.

  3. Denise Ramser January 18, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply

    Check for parasites. My own leviquin experience just about ruined my life . I researched and came up with candidas and parasites. The leviquin was so powerful it knocked all the good bacteria out of my system allowing all the little creatures to invade. I went from horrible joint pain, uti’s, brain fog, insomnia, torn ligaments, back pain, literally ready to die. Now I sleep like a baby with no medications involved. It’s been a horrible journey but all of you can do it.

    • Lisa Bloomquist January 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Thank you very much for the note, Denise! If you would like to share your story on this site, please let me know. You can reach me through the Contact link above. I respond decently quickly.


    • Jason January 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm Reply

      Yes very good point indeed, really lots more could be added here about causes of Insomnia that the Quins cause, and without knowing the root causes, someone WON’T solve their Insomnia.

      The GUT is quite literally destroyed in many Floxies (which affects TONS of body systems/processes), and it is coming to light that some of those “good bugs” may be gone, for good. It does quite literally open the door for many infections, which does include Candida very commonly but yes even Parasites, which are known to commonly cause Insomnia, so yet another root cause.

    • jwinn March 8, 2016 at 11:13 am Reply

      Denise Ramser, That is WONDERFUL NEWS! I would really like to hear more about your story of recovery and healing. I am sure that it would be helpful to all of us on this site who are struggling to find the right path for recovery and healing. How did you do it????

    • Lois Johnson May 22, 2016 at 10:53 pm Reply

      I have been floxed by Levaquin from about late nineties until just last year. I am suffering from most of the symptoms I have learned about through your posts, including having totally dehabilitating IBS. About a year ago, before I even knew that the Levaquin was the cause, I read Trudy Scott’s book “The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution”, and I changed my diet to gluten free and organic, using probiotics to replace the good gut flora, and have had almost no IBS symptoms, unless I eat something I know I shouldn’t. I am convinced the Levaquin totally ruined my gut bacteria. Also, using GABA and tryptophan supplements to help with insomnia. Also, I had been on two SSRI’s for depression for a long time, and was able to wean myself off of both of them with the advise of her book. I still take Ambien and Xanax though, but I have almost total insomnia now and can only fall asleep with Ambien, but wake up in 1-2 hours wide awake. Then, I have to use Xanax to get back to sleep at all. It’s terrible. I never feel rested. Also, even though I haven’t taken Levaquin for over a year, my insomnia and anxiety is getting worse and I don’t know where to go next for help. Getting on the Ambien and Benzo merry-go-round is not a permanent solution, as their effectiveness wears off and then what?i want to get off of them, but I am SO AFRAID of not being able to sleep at all. Would like to know exactly what Denise Ramser did to get through it. Thanks.

      • Lisa May 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm Reply

        I’m so glad that Trudy Scott’s information has helped you, Lois! I’m going to be on her Anxiety Summit shortly – http://www.theanxietysummit.com/s4/speaker-gift/.

        I hope that Denise gives us some more information about her recovery too!


    • Kevin July 5, 2016 at 7:55 am Reply

      How did you get rid of the parasites?

    • Ben April 29, 2020 at 10:05 am Reply

      What parasites should I check for? Please help. My email is: benjie5@gmail.com

  4. Jason January 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm Reply

    This really should be included in the article as it is almost for sure another root cause for some Floxies, the Fluorine from the Cipro gets into the Pineal Gland (and in fact it has been said by at least one expert it is “drawn to that Gland” maybe more than any other place in the body, and calcifies it), and reduces Melatonin production, which of course ruins quality of sleep AND screws up the sleep cycle both causing Insomnia.

    So Melatonin IMO is VERY important, and I am quite sure I have read that Melatonin is ALSO a free radical scavenger (acts as Antioxidant) and will help protect against Fluoride damage, so another reason to raise levels back up, it may even help chelate it. (Can’t remember for sure just how accurate these are but I believe I am right here)


    Some studies on Pineal Gland linked here:


    “studies have found that calcified deposits in the pineal are associated with decreased numbers of functioning pinealocytes and reduced melatonin production (Kunz et al., 1999) as well as impairments in the sleep-wake cycle. (Mahlberg 2009).”

    • Amy R. February 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm Reply

      How much melatonin did you take? I have a 5 mg supplement that I took once before I was floxed, but that has not helped me fall asleep.

      • Jaci October 12, 2016 at 9:19 am Reply

        In one of the summits (maybe Lisa remembers) as Lee specialist recommended just 1mg of melatonin. He said less is more. And did not like it that such high doses were out there.

  5. john wilkinson January 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Because we have a string of problems including joints , tendons,thyroid and because we may sleep on our back, front or side, I think having the right support is essential. This includes the right type of mattress and pillows, also a body pillow may take the strain from limbs and joints. Temperature building up can also make a difference. I imagine its all experimental until you get it just right for you.

  6. Jason January 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm Reply

    Here are my tips I have posted in older articles, and I will not Anxiety and Insomnia VERY often go together, so things that help one can often help the other


    This article shares some important tips (references are not great in it, though, very incomplete) on using Iodine and Borax to chelate Fluoride from the body. The one thing this article incorrectly omits is the importance of taking Antioxidants in any detox

    I include this here because the other important thing this article points out is how Fluoride screws up the Pineal Gland (much like the Thyroid Gland) which screws up Melatonin production which causes Insomnia.

    So there are IMO at least FOUR BIG common root causes here for Insomnia for Floxies and very easily someone could have all 4 issues: GUT issues, having the Pineal Gland screwed over by Fluorine AND having Gaba/Glutamate balance thrown off, and Fluorine/Fluoride stripping Magnesium right out of cells. There is likely more I am forgetting, but these 4 will be very common.

    I had very bad Insomnia at the beginning myself (I already had some pre-Flox too) and I
    took lots of Melatonin along with a few other things and they all helped a lot, BUT ONLY BECAUSE I TOOK MANY THINGS ALL AT ONCE. I have to stress this point, because any Floxies who think taking one or two things is going to curb Floxie Insomnia are sadly mistaken, this is a severe infliction, and thus severe measures need to be taken, high amounts of MANY supplements to try and counter the gross imbalances created by the Drug. (including robbing Magnesium as mentioned which is relaxing to system)

    So I am very sure I would have got a LOT less sleep without these things I took, and only because I took about TEN things total did they probably help (which eventually as I healed and Fluorine toxicity was alleviated I was able to taper them down more and more to finally nothing) . I tried taking less and/or smaller doses, and I would have to get up after an hour and take something else or more of something, again and again until finally I would fall asleep. I eventually learned that a LOT of stuff in large amounts was the only way I could get sleep when the Insomnia was at its worst, and took those an hour before bed so I would not have to keep getting up. Here is some of the things I took/did, probably in order of importance (sometimes several of them would be included in one supplement)

    – Chelate Fluoride and avoid more exposure
    – Heal your Gut – Get testing if necessary (though it is often inaccurate)
    – Diet/Supplements – No caffeine, no stimulants of any kind, no junk food, etc
    – Magnesium definitely – It is calming and robbed from body, take LOTS and good forms!!!
    – Melatonin – Also very important IMO see above
    – Gaba & L-Theanine (by countering Glutamate the tired and wired type of Insomnia)
    – Cherry Tart juice (adds to Melatonin again, I took this ON TOP of Melatonin supplements)

    Notice those are addressing root causes, then I also used more things as well:

    – Valerian Root
    – 5-htp
    – L-Theanine
    – Passion Flower
    – Hyland’s Calms Forte (homeopathy)
    – Lavender aromatherapy
    – Lemon Balm
    – Hops
    – Catnip Herb

    • Jason January 18, 2016 at 1:03 pm Reply

      Here are 18 things total for Insomnia, many I have listed already but a couple more here:


      Some of these things are bandaid fixes, some address the root causes, of course without knowing your own root cause its hard to treat it properly, I listed 4 possible and probable ones above, however there are many more possibilities, like: Other Neural Transmitter imbalances (Amino Acid’s can help) and other Hormone imbalances, both very common in today’s society and even more common among Floxies. Insomnia can also be caused by Electrolyte and Mineral imbalances.

      Note for any of these additional things without knowing which deficiencies and imbalances someone has it is impossible to recommend anything as there are too many possibilities and things to counter them. In my case the Sodium Bicarbonate I was taking for Acidic issues was causing me Insomnia (even pre-Flox I just didn’t know then), once I realized and cut way back on it and started balancing my other Electrolytes and Minerals it helped a lot.

    • Jason January 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm Reply

      As I mentioned Anxiety and Insomnia often go together (many of the root causes are shared) so here is the link to Lisa’s Anxiety article, note I have posted about 60 comments below the article of potential things to help:


    • Jason January 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm Reply

      I mentioned Diet, and about the Gaba/Glutamate balance very commonly being off in a Floxie causing Insomnia, Anxiety, Brain Fog and other issues.

      For diet, any Floxies with any of these 3 issues will need to pay particular attention to the ingredients on this list and Glutamine since it is a precursor to Glutamate, and Glutamate is a stimulant in the brain and in a Floxie’s brain the “brakes” for this, Gaba, is not working correctly.


      For anyone that feels there “mind of racing”, won’t shut off at night etc this applies in spades, even if you don’t notice those effects, if you have any of the 3 issues anything on the left side of that list is VERY likely to initiate and/or exasperate them.

  7. Daniel Hsieh January 27, 2016 at 7:23 am Reply

    How about trazodone? anyone get help from this drug? it is not benzo…

  8. Lisa November 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm Reply

    For those who struggle with insomnia and/or anxiety, this may be helpful.

    “Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) being both carminative and antispasmodic, is active specifically on that part of the vagus nerve which may interfere with the harmonious functioning of the heart and the stomach. Recent experiments at the University of Heidelberg have confirmed that the action of the volatile oil begins within the limbic system of the brain and subsequently operates directly upon the vagus nerve and all of the organs that are innervated by it. Accordingly, neurasthenia (complete nervous prostration), migraine, and nervous gastropathy are amenable to its healing power.”

    Just in looking through amazon, the reviews on this are interesting – https://smile.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Melissa-Capsules-100-Count/dp/B00020HQU0/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1478573160&sr=8-3&keywords=Melissa+officinalis+%28Lemon+Balm%29

  9. metrogirlblogger April 27, 2017 at 11:30 am Reply

    I’m going to add something here that might be a little controversial, but if it helps someone, then it’s worth it. I had a neurotoxic reaction to another antibiotic called metronidazole, and it appears that it causes the same CNS problems as floxed patients, by affecting GABA. One thing I suggest to other patients with metronidazole toxicity who have horrible insomnia that can’t be treated with natural means, is to try an antidepressant called mirtazapine. I know it’s a drug and it’s not a solution for everyone, but it was a life-saver for me. I know a few other people with MT toxicity who have also had improved sleep because of it. It’s taken at bedtime and has a sedating quality to it. My biggest suggestion is to start slow–I literally never even took the lowest dose because it was just that strong–I started with half of that dose.

    • jwinn April 27, 2017 at 12:56 pm Reply

      I use it. I did not shut my eyes for 4 months, and something had to give. It also helps with my anxiety. I only take a half dose, and it helps tremendously.

      • Amanda May 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm Reply

        Are you still taking it? I’ve been on it for two months and was wondering when to start tapering.

      • Jill November 15, 2020 at 11:32 am Reply

        jwinn and Amanda – are you still taking mirtazapine? I was floxed 7 months ago and the anxiety, depression and insomnia are still a struggle. About to start working with a functional MD and she suggested it to help stabilize me so I can try to start healing. Any advice, tips, etc?

    • Jill November 15, 2020 at 11:46 am Reply

      H Erin! How long were you on mirtazapine for? Did it help both anxiety and depression? I know it helped your sleep, but curious if you felt a big difference during the day with anxiety/depression. Would greatly appreciate to hear your experience!

  10. Garrett December 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Will the insomnia end? I was floxed Oct 2017, and up until last week was able to fall asleep, but only for 4 hours.

    Now there is no sleep at all, period. Started taking ambien, which is leaving me a bit foggy, but I have no other options, nothing is working!

    I’ve read a bit about GABA and Cipro causing issues with it. Does this repair?

    • Ben April 29, 2020 at 10:10 am Reply

      Hi Garrett. Did your insomnia get better? I am dealing with this too. My email is: benjie5@gmail.com

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