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Yohimbe and sleep

By Serge Kreutz

For me, the worst side effect of yohimbe is that I cannot go to sleep for at least 20 hours after having ingested even just a small amount of the herbal.

This is not the case for all those who try yohimbe. Some people sleep perfectly normal, even after ingesting yohimbe just two or three hours before retiring. It’s the same group of people on whom yohimbe also doesn’t have much of a sexual effect.

However, in those subjects in whom yohimbe (the root) in dosages equivalent of 5 to 20 milligram yohimbine (the active ingredient) has a pronounced pro-sexual effect, the dosage needed for sleep avoidance is considerably less than the one for pro-sexual effects.

If yohimbe is taken daily, the sleep problem typically is worst on the first day.

My own approach is to take yohimbe on one day, and on the next day not to take any, as I really feel that I need yohimbe-undisturbed sleep in the second night.

Another approach (which I think is inferior because it diminishes the pro-sexual effect of yohimbe) is to take it every day for about a week or two, and then to take a few days off. When I followed this approach, I slept a lot on the off-days, up to 12 hours. On the first off-day, it may even have been 16 hours.

By taking yohimbe in cycles of a week or two, I achieve an almost normal sleep pattern after two or three days. In the first night of such a yohimbe cycle, I usually did not sleep at all. When I was lucky, I did get some sleep before noon on the next day. On the second day, I took my daily yohimbe dosage directly after having had a little sleep (as little as two hours). The next night, I got to sleep at 2 or 3 in the morning, and actually slept for five or six hours. On the third day, I would ingest my yohimbe only a few hours after waking up, to have the ingestion time closer to the most likely time for sexual intercourse. Sleep would still be light, but I could be quite sure that I would get some sleep. On following days, I would have an almost normal sleep pattern, so sleep would be light.

The crux with this approach is that I during such a course, the yohimbe loses its pro-sexual power. This of course defeats the logic of any yohimbe regimen.

I have tried everything I could think of in order to force sleep after taking yohimbe when not having ingested any on the previous day. Nothing really works.

The worst has been melatonin. After having ingested yohimbe, melatonin does nothing to get me to sleep. It just makes me feel drowsed until it is cleared from my system.

Kava-kava doesn’t induce sleep after yohimbe. But it does make me feel more relaxed while still being kept awake by the yohimbe.

A tea that contains valerian helps a little bit in falling and staying asleep after yohimbe usage. It doesn’t work all the time, though. But unlike melatonin, it doesn’t make me feel drowsed when it doesn’t induce sleep.

Valium, on the other hand, does make me feel typically valium-drowsed. It may force sleep for an hour or two, but I don’t find the Valium-induced sleep sufficiently regenerative. I prefer not sleeping for 20 hours after yohimbe ingestion over two hours of Valium sleep.

I have tried one herb that on the occasion of trying it did induce sleep. It also reverted the pro-sexual effect of yohimbe, so I do not see much wisdom in pursuing its use. I cannot even recommend it for inducing sleep, if just for the reason that this stuff is outlawed in many countries (but not the Netherlands). I’m talking about marihuana.

I have seen reports that actually promote marihuana as an aphrodisiac. But I have also read reports on alleged pro-sexual capacities on almost every herb, even such strong anti-sexual herbs as saw palmetto or pygeum. It’s usually obvious why claims to pro-sexual activities are made: people want to sell their wares.

In the case of marihuana, those who seek the weed’s legalization increasingly take the route of promoting the benefits of “medical marihuana” the use of marihuana to treat specific conditions, ranging from eye pain to epileptic seizures.

Wouldn’t it be great if marihuana also were of use to treat sexual dysfunction? As a viable alternative to sildenafil citrate, who would dare to prohibit its pharmacological use?

Fewer people would be enticed to support marihuana legalization if its pharmacological use shall be to dampen a patient’s libido. There are already enough dampeners on the market. Unfortunately, marihuana’s effect on sexual function is exactly this: to dampen it, which is not surprising for a sedative.

After marihuana use, a certain dumbness will engulf one’s body, described as being “stoned”. This dumbness also extends to the primary reproductive organ, making its proper use (and the enjoyment to be derived from that) more difficult.

But, as mentioned above: marihuana has some efficacy in putting you to sleep after yohimbe ingestion. (Don’t plan another round of pleasure after your smoke.)