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Julie's Low Dose Naltrexone FAQs: Dose Timing

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Updated June 04, 2014

A couple of you have asked about the best time to take your low dose naltrexone (LDN) for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Until pretty recently, it was widely accepted that LDN should always be taken between 9:00 pm and 3:00 am, as that is the time that natural endorphins are released. The LDN is supposed to work with these endorphins, both keeping them circulating longer and perhaps even stimulating the body to produce and release more endorphins.

However, one of the most common side effects of naltrexone is sleep disturbances, both in the form of insomnia and lucid dreams. For many people, these side effects are temporary and disappear after a week or two after starting the drug. Some people counter these effects during this short time period by taking a sleep aid, like Benadryl or a prescription medication.

For some people, the insomnia continues to be a problem long after the initial two weeks of taking low dose naltrexone, contributing the very MS-related fatigue that these people were hoping the LDN would help relieve. In most cases, sleep aids should not be used long-term unless absolutely necessary – these can also make people with MS feel drowsy during the day.

As it turns out, some docs are saying that people can take LDN in the morning and it will be just as effective as taking it at night. In fact, these docs recommend that it only be taken in the morning when it is used to treat people with chronic fatigue syndrome or people with very poor sleep quality.

Some of you have written to me to say that LDN has actually helped your sleep. As for myself, I notice that the LDN knocks me out about an hour after I take it (kind of like being hit with a sledgehammer), but that I wake up about three hours later, full of energy. I have worked to train myself to go back to sleep, but this can take as long as a couple of hours.

What do you think? Are any of you taking your LDN in the mornings? Have you noticed a difference? How do you feel during the day? Has your sleep improved? Share your experiences here – we all need to learn from each other.

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