Relaxation & Sleep

Depending on how long you’ve been dealing with the side effects of accutane, you may be experiencing issues with not being able to relax, poor sleep quality, and/or insomnia. Here are some things that may help:

Red Light Therapy

During some the worst times, I had gotten to the point where I would only sleep about two hours within a 24 hour period. It was a nightmare. I would spend the other 22 hours in a fog, unable to do anything. Having recovered now, I sleep normally, 6-7 hours per night and am getting to the point where I don’t even wake up in the night. It’s heavenly. Red light therapy has played an important role in getting me there. I use it every day.

Infrared light stimulates melatonin production in the body. This is why you feel deeply relaxed after laying out at the beach.

Melatonin is one of the strongest antioxidants in the body (read: pain relief). Its production can provide deep relaxation and I’ve found that it’s a powerful tool to combat insomnia and sleep issues. Taking melatonin orally never worked well for me. Even the smallest amount would cause stomach upset the next morning.

The beauty of red light therapy is that it stimulates the body to produce melatonin naturally. 15 minutes in one sitting, up to three times day, is the maximum recommended exposure. I sit under an infrared light for:

  • 15 minutes when I get up in the morning
  • 15 minutes in the afternoon if I’m having a stressful day
  • 15 minutes before bed

For me, I notice that I definitely sleep better when I sit under the light right before bed. I also use it if I wake up in the night and feel too alert to go back to sleep. It has worked every time. The recommended distance is 18″ from the skin.

Red Light Bulb
Light Fixture

That light fixture doesn’t have a switch, so I use it with this countdown timer. It’s nice because it has a 15 minute setting. I’ve also tried this on/off switch which works well.

I’ve found the easiest way to use the light is on my back with my shirt off. This way I don’t have to bother putting on eye protection. Eye protection is needed if you are facing the light. I couldn’t find any definitive information on just what eye protection is needed and so ordered this sleep mask to be sure my eyes were protected. It might be overkill but that’s what I ended up with. Again though, if you just use the light on your back, you don’t have to have eye protection.

Vitamin B12

“Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication.” [1]

Among other things, B12 is required for the functioning of the central nervous system. Two of the known causes of B12 deficiency are celiac or Chron’s disease and people who have used a lot of antibiotics. In other words, people with digestive system problems. As B12 absorption in the gut is a complex, 5 step process performed by the digestive tissues, I think it’s entirely possible that the ability to absorb B12 can be compromised by accutane damage.

I have found that taking B12 in a supplement form helps my nervous system. I take 10,000 mcg before bed most nights as it helps with sleep. I might also take it on a stressful day.

I’ve had quite a journey with B12. It’s too long to include here, but if you’d like to read about it, click here…

Liposomal Glutathione

Glutathione is one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Taking it can provide, in some cases, nearly instantaneous improvement in physical health. For more information on this subject, I recommend the book “Dirty Genes” by Dr. Ben Lynch. His “Soak & Scrub” protocol is good. In trying to get better myself, I worked through that book. I learned a lot but unfortunately, it still wasn’t the answer! (I didn’t yet realize that accutane was the root problem with my health.)

Liposomal delivery of glutathione is preferable. Here is a brand you can order online. Liposomal glutathione is a refrigerated product and I’m able to find it at my local Pharmaca. You can order it online, but I recommend trying to find it locally first. I use it every day to support the body since it has has endured the most extreme stress imaginable.

Vitamin B6

I also use vitamin B6 as a sleep aid. There is more information about this on the next page.

What’s Your Experience?

If anything on this page helps you, or if it doesn’t, please be sure to come back and leave a comment. Your experience is important and may end up being a critical part of someone else’s accutane recovery.  If you’d like to contact me, you can contact me here.

Back to Part I: Digestion & Food
Continue to Part III: Mental & Emotional Stability