Sleep, OTC Sleep Aids and Mag-a-hol (don’t drink it!)

Sleep is really important. But it’s really hard to get for some people.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, do you take a sleep aid? When I need something, I sometimes use Nature’s Made 3mg melatonin with L-theanine. Many people use Benedryl because it makes them tired. The active ingredient in Benedryl is Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg. If you’ve been sold on Nyquil’s new product Z-Quil, you should know that it’s actually the exact same active ingredient, except 50mg of it. Generic sleep aid products are also the same thing, for example Target sells one for as little as $5.99.

So you’re getting the same active ingredients, and you might as well pick the least expensive one. Better yet, pick the least expensive one AND the one with the fewest artificial colors or any other added ingredients (read the inactive ingredients to know what those are). Even better, see if you can make some lifestyle changes to improve your sleep like keeping your phone in another room on silent and using a traditional alarm clock instead, not eating within two hours of bed time, cutting out caffeine in the evenings (and possibly after lunch), not watching tv right before bed or at least not watching the news (I don’t even have a tv in my bedroom), journaling to help get those pesky thoughts out of your brain and keeping your bedroom cool and as dark as possible.

Keep in mind that new studies are coming out linking chronic antihistamine use to dementia as we age, and check out this article from Huff Post about OTC sleep aids.

There are natural ways to help yourself sleep, like taking daily magnesium. You can also use magnesium oil to help your body relax. Spray or rub it on the bottom of your feet or on your adrenal glands (just above the kidneys). Some people find this works without having to take anything orally, and since magnesium aids over 300 bodily functions, it’s a win-win for your body.


Here is a recipe for Mag-a-hol, a liquid form of magnesium that can be applied to the skin, which absorbs much of what we put on it. It can be particularly useful for those with digestive issues, gastric stasis or gastric paresis.

Mag-a-Hol Recipe by Hemant Trivedi
“To make MAG-HOL complex, you will need
Ethyl Alcohol 100 proof (Everclear) or Vodka 200 ml (6.5 oz) Magnesium Chloride flakes/powder. 120-140 gms (4.34 – 4.9 oz) Glycerin 1.5 to 2.0 ml. (only if using Ethyl Alcohol) (.06 oz) One glass Wide mouth Jar/Bottle One stirring Spoon One or two Spray bottles made of Glass/Polypropylene/pet. Do not use metal containers, spoons, or lids to prepare, store, or dispense Mag-a-Hol.
Fill up the Alcohol in Glass Jar first and start adding Magnesium Chloride little by little. Keep stirring. After 100 gms of Magnesium Chloride, it will take some time to dissolve. Put the lid on and vigorously shake the jar and let it rest for five to ten minutes. You will see more Magnesium chloride dissolving.
This way, go on adding till no more Magnesium Chloride dissolves. Now add maximum 2 ml of Glycerin and shake the bottle vigorously. (Do not add glycerin if you use Vodka)
Let it rest for couple of hours. You will find that the complex has cleared and little sedimentation is at the bottom. Carefully fill the spray bottle with MAG-HOL complex. Do not heat the mixture. Test it out on affected body part just like you would use Magnesium Water. If you use Vodka, do not add Glycerin because Vodka already has Glycerin. The rest of the process is same. Magnesium chloride readily dissolves in Alcohol giving a complex of Magnesium Alcohol. Some 60 additional compounds of the type MgCl2•nEtOH (6 ⩽ n ⩽ 1.4),are formed between magnesium chloride and ethanol. Glycerin stabilizes the mixture and helps prevent evaporation.”
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