I took the Kalms Night One-A-Night sleep aid for a week in the hope that it would help tame the insomnia and anxiety that had crept back into my life.
If you’re interested in trying a herbal remedy to help you relax or sleep better, Kalms is a well-known brand in the United Kingdom. You can buy it over the counter in many shops and pharmacies, such as Boots and Holland & Barrett.
Kalms Night contains valerian root extract as the main ingredient, which is also used in several other sleep aids, such as Sominex Herbal and Nytol Herbal.
In this review, I’ll be discussing my experience of taking Kalms in two different years, and how I felt a mild sedative effect with no side effects both times. I’ll also look at the research evidence that it works and some other key information if you’re thinking of trying it yourself.
A single tablet that’s easy to swallow
A few months ago, I tried the original Kalms Night version. With that one, you have to take up to four tablets per night instead of just the single one that you take with the aptly named Kalms One-A-Night.
My first impression of the One-A-Night version was that I preferred only having to wash down one tablet. Admittedly, it’s twice the size as each of the Kalms Night tablets, but it’s coated with an artificial sweetener and easy enough to swallow.
Another benefit of it being sweet coated is that you don’t get such a strong valerian taste as you do with similar products, like Nytol Herbal.
Deciding how well it works
Just to be clear, my way of judging how well sleep aids work is very subjective. I don’t do any tests in a sleep lab, and just take them in my natural home setting. I write notes on how I feel after taking them, how I feel in the morning, and how I feel during the day.
I do use a sleep tracker (a Fitbit Versa in this case) to see how my total sleep time and sleep score look compared to previous weeks. However, I prefer to trust my own observations most of all. Experience has taught me that the way I feel the next day is the best way to judge how effective a sleep aid is in improving my well-being.
During the day
I decided to take the Kalms One-A-Night in two different situations to try to really gauge if I could feel any effects – in the middle of the day, and then at night later in the week.
I first tried one in the middle of the day while working on my laptop, for three days in a row. I didn’t notice any sedative effect and I didn’t suddenly become more relaxed after taking them. This doesn’t necessarily mean nothing is happening though as they aren’t meant to knock you out.
It did make me realise that it would be perhaps trickier to judge if they were helping me with anxiety more than sleep though. I’m pretty busy during the day (as is my mind!), so I’m not entirely sure if I’d notice a small effect.
That said, the reality is that I didn’t notice anything special happening. Things that stressed me out continued to stress me out. I know they are supposed to be taken at night, but I was curious to see if I would notice a sedative effect when taking them during the daytime. The answer was no.
How I slept when taking Kalms One-A-Night
On the fourth day, I didn’t take a tablet during the day, but waited until bedtime instead, which is when you’re supposed to take the Kalms One-A-Night really. The clue is in the name!
I took one tablet each night before bedtime for three nights in a row, and I do think I felt a mild sedative effect each night. Whether it was a real sedative effect, placebo effect, or tiredness due to not sleeping well lately is hard to say. I did, however, sleep a little better each night than I had done recently.
My thought in the morning was that it had taken me slightly less time to fall asleep, and that I’d slept throughout the night with less wakings on all three nights. My sleep tracker data also backed that up, though the overall sleep time was only better by a few minutes. Still, every minute counts.
I mentioned that I’ve been having sleep problems recently, which I believe has been caused by feeling under a lot of pressure for various life reasons. Maybe the calming effect of the valerian helped me drift off a little easier, even if I hadn’t noticed much of an effect in the daytime earlier in the week.
No side effects for me
I had no noticeable side effects during the week I took Kalms One-A-Night, which is great. I often get side effects with antihistamine sleep aids, such as a dry mouth, headaches, or groggy feelings in the morning. And melatonin also gives me vivid dreams sometimes.
So I was pleased to see that I could take the Kalms One-A-Night without worrying about needing strong coffee or a cold shower to wake myself up properly in the morning.
Do keep in mind that this was just my experience though; some people might have a reaction to the valerian. For example, Heathline.com discusses possible side effects like heart palpitations, dry mouth, upset stomach, vivid dreams, headaches, and mental fogginess.
My conclusion & would I take it again?
I don’t think the Kalms One-A-Night improved my daytime stress levels, but I do believe I slept slightly better on the nights I took it.
The problem is that it’s so hard to tell whether something which is only meant to have a light effect is actually working or not. As I said, it could be a placebo effect, which has been demonstrated in research studies as a real effect for various health concerns – even pain relief.
It could also be a combination of the placebo effect and any other steps you’re taking to cope with anxiety or sleep problems.
So my belief is that if you think a sleep aid helps, then that’s arguably good enough. You just might never really know for sure exactly how much it’s helping directly, or how much the act of taking a sleep aid is contributing to your confidence that you’ll have less trouble sleeping.
Personally, I would take Kalms One-A-Night again if I needed to because of the (possibly) mild sedative effect, natural herbal ingredient, lack of side effects, low cost, and easy availability.
Eight years later – trying it again
I originally published this article way back in 2014, which is when I first took the Kalms Night One-A-Night. Eight years later, in April 2022, I saw it on a local supermarket shelf and decided to give it another go.
The packaging and information seemed pretty much the same as when I first took it, with the same ingredients. And the effect it had on me was very similar too. This time, I used the latest version of the Fitbit, the Fitbit Versa 3. The sleep tracking has improved, so it was interesting to see if it would show any objective improvement in my sleep.
I took it for a week again, and the effect was very similar (as far as I can remember). No discernible sedation during the day or reduction in stress levels that I could tell. Once again, I do think I felt slightly more relaxed when going to sleep, with both my mental observations and sleep tracker data suggesting a slight improvement in the time it took me to fall asleep, as well as the total sleep time.
Nothing miraculous, with no more than ten minutes more sleep on average each night. Still, that’s ten minutes I’ll gladly take.
Who makes it?
Kalms is a brand owned by the UK company Lanes Health, which has been operating for over 90 years. They also own several other health product brands, such as Pro Plus and Olbas. You can find out more about them on Laneshealth.com (not a sponsored link).
The five types of Kalms
There are five different types of Kalms. The first two are intended for anxiety during the day, the two night versions to help with sleep, and the latest one is for fatigue.
1. Kalms Day
Kalms Day are made to help with mild anxiety. The ingredients are valerian and hops, and you take two tablets, three times a day. They used to contain gentian as well, but that was removed.
2. Kalms Lavender
Kalms Lavender is a capsule containing lavender oil 80 mg, and is intended to help with anxiety. Lavender does have some research evidence for its sedative properties.
3. Kalms Night
As you’d imagine from the name, Kalms Night are intended to help you sleep. You take four tablets one hour before going to sleep. Each pill contains valerian root extract 96 mg, so you can take less than four if you prefer.
4. Kalms Night One-A-Night
Rather than having the option to take less tablets if needed, Kalms One-A-Night is a single pill at a stronger dosage of valerian root extract 385 mg.
5. Kalms Rhodiola
Kalms Rhodiola was created to help with stress-related symptoms, such as fatigue, exhaustion, and mild anxiety. It’s in tablet form, containing the root of the Rhodiola rosea plant. You take two tablets per day, one before breakfast and one before lunch.
You can find out more about the different products on the Kalmsrange.com website (not a sponsored link).
What evidence is there that Kalms One-A-Night work?
Because it’s classed as a herbal remedy/supplement, UK law doesn’t require Kalms to undergo the same rigorous clinical trials as prescription sleeping pills. The same applies in the United States, for example, where supplements don’t need to be passed as safe and effective in clinical trials either.
So, no scientific research on the effectiveness or safety of Kalms has been done.
However, the gov.uk website does show that Kalms One-A-Night has been granted a traditional herbal registration.
What evidence is there that valerian works?
An alternative avenue to explore is whether the ingredient valerian has been found in any other research to help with sleep. The answer, according to research, could be summarized as ‘sometimes’.
As I wrote in my article about valerian, it does have some research evidence showing a sedative effect, but it’s not consistent from one study to the next.
Interestingly, in 2020, a team of researchers in Japan and the UK conducted a meta-analysis of many previous studies of valerian’s effectiveness for sleep and anxiety to work out why the evidence is so inconsistent.
They suggested that the variable results could be explained by researchers using different quality valerian extracts in each study. They have one positive conclusion that gives some room for optimism:
In conclusion, valerian could be a safe and effective herb to promote sleep and prevent associated disorders. However, due to the presence of multiple active constituents and relatively unstable nature of some of the active constituents, it may be necessary to revise the quality control processes, including standardization methods and shelf life.Shinjyo et al.
What others say
It’s always interesting to see what other people have to say and to check websites that have large numbers of customer reviews.
When I checked Amazon.co.uk, there were over 700 ratings for Kalms One-A-Night, with an average score of 4.1 out of 5 stars. 57% of people gave it 5 stars and 6% gave it one star.
Many people say they work really well and help them sleep better, while others say they don’t help, or only help a little bit. This is a common pattern with non-prescription sleep aids that I’ve seen with several others.
I read through 50 reviews of each star (which took a while!) and discovered some interesting points about side effects too. Most people didn’t mention any or said that there were none. The most common side effect I read was about strange dreams.
Since first writing this review, there have been many comments from readers describing their experience. Once again, some say it worked well, but others aren’t so convinced.
This raises a key point: it’s very hard to predict whether Kalms One-A-Night will work for you or not.
Your expectations and previous experience of sleeping or anxiety pills might also play a role. If you’ve taken strong prescription medication before, you might find the lighter effect of Kalms just isn’t enough, or takes some adapting to.
However, if you’ve never dabbled in the prescription heavyweights before, then the gentle calming effect might be enough.
As per the instruction leaflet, the active herbal ingredient is:
- Valerian root extract 385 mg (equivalent to 1.54-1.93 g of valerian root).
And the other ingredients are:
- Extraction solvent: Ethanol 60% v/v.
- Excipients: Maltodextrin, Colloidal Anhydrous Silica.
- Core: Croscarmellose Sodium, Magnesium Stearate, Silicified Microcrystalline Cellulose, Talc and Silicon Dioxide.
- Coating: Hypromellose, Talc, Titanium Dioxide, Macrogol, Saccharine Sodium.
The manufacturer has the following warnings on the patient leaflet:
- Don’t take it if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients.
- Don’t consume excessive amounts of alcohol when you take it.
- Avoid it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You should avoid driving, operating machinery or tools.
- You should consult your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines, including those that make you drowsy or any other non-prescription medicines.
Possible side effects of Kalms One-A-Night
The manufacturer only lists two possible side effects. If you experience these or any other adverse symptoms, stop taking them and consult your doctor:
- Abdominal cramps.
The other versions have different possible side effects, so please make sure you read the label carefully before taking them.
To find out more about the potential side effects of valerian itself, take a look at the WebMD.com article on valerian or the Rxlist.com article.
Have you tried Kalms?
I’m interested to hear your thoughts about any of the Kalms range. Have you tried them, and if so, what effect did they have on you?
I believe I’m getting mixed success with Kalms. I’ve always had problems with sleep so had been prescribed Zopiclone almost a year ago but as time marches on, these have been becoming less effective ie, taking longer to fall asleep and waking up at 0330 for 2-3 hours before falling back to sleep and when I wake up properly second time round, I tend to be a bit sleep drunk and takes me a while to get the oomph to get moving. In my experiment, I’ve been a little naughty and combined the prescription sleep tablets with kalms Night to try to gain an extra sedative effect. I have noticed that although still taking a bit of time to fall asleep, I’m less anxious and overwhelmed by my night time thoughts making the going to sleep process less torturous. Instead of waking up at 0330, it’s now between 0400-0500 and only awake for 1-2 hours. When I have my second wake up, I’m less sleep drunk and now only taking me about 20 minutes to get my mojo in gear. I believe I’m getting better quality sleep by not being so anxious when I go to sleep as I’ve also noticed the incidence of night terrors have decreased and my sleep is less active (I’m sticking to my side, no longer losing the covers several times a night and no more nearly falling out of the wrong side of the bed).
I think I can call this a success, though I’d love to figure out a way to get my 7 hours continuously rather than having a gap in the middle.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I know you already know it’s a bit naughty, but I feel obliged to point out that it’s not generally a good idea to mix sleeping aids. I’d talk to your prescribing doctor and ask if they think it would be okay, or if there are any potential interactions you should know about.
I’ve stopped taking Kalms one a night as they gave me anxiety the following day and headaches. I’d taken them for a few months and they did initially help me sleep quicker but that was all as I still kept waking up. I think I took them for too many months which is why they’ve caused me side effect problems. I have Zopiclone but my GP only wants me to have it once a week so for 6 nights I don’t sleep properly and am always tired.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry to hear you had that reaction to the Kalms. My experience is often that taking over the counter sleep aids eventually leads to worsening side effects, so I’m not surprised by what you say.
I hope you find a long-term solution to your sleep problems.
I’ve been sleeping so so badly since last March and thought I’d give Kalms Night a go (was a bit cynical if I’m totally honest). I don’t like big tabs so take the four small ones. Wow this stuff works! As long as you take them an hour before you want to sleep, you’re out like a light and I’ve slept right through. Very happy 😁
Thanks for sharing your experience of Kalms. It’s good you found something that helps.
Fortunately, a couple of day Kalms help me get through an England rugby match. Unfortunately, they don’t ensure an England win. They do however leave a slightly unpleasant after effect, like a tightness in the brain!
I must try Kalms night, my Nytol is very effective, like Kalms I don’ take them everyday!
If they did help England win, I would have bought them all by now!
Kalms 1 a night or the odd 10mg Benadryl seem to work for me.
Had anxiety since November even the occasional night sweat. Hope this continues to work made my days sooo much better.
The kalms lavender were hopeless and nytol 1 a night not as good…for me anyway.
Hi I’ve just starting taking kalms and they give me a horrible headache like pressure or tension he’s have, do you know how long this will last?? Thanks
If I were you, I would stop taking them and speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the headaches. It might be that Kalms is just not the right sleep aid for you.
I take Lamictal for epilepsy morning and evening, plus levothyroxine for thyroid and a small dose of ramipril for blood pressure in the morning. I have had insomnia for at least a year. I took one-a-night that temporarily made me so dizzy that I could hardly walk. However it did help me to get a good night’s sleep. I would like to take it regularly for two weeks or so, do you think the dizziness was a combination of the Lamictal and one-a-night? I would really like to continue with the one-a-night.
Thanks for your comment. As I’m not a doctor, I usually avoid answering specific medical questions like yours. What I would say though is that considering the severity of the dizziness, I would personally want to get medical advice about the combination before taking any more.
Check your thyroid medication dose – I was the same dropped my daily mgs by 25 and sleep like a baby
just bought kalms night today hope it works
Hi everyone. I’m a young lad. I have just got the first serious anxiety/panic attack in my life and going through withdrawals too. Got advised to take kalms so I bought the day ones for anxiety etc and nytol simply sleep one-a-night to help me sleep. My question is if I can take both medications. Also how many hours in between kalms do I wait before taking them again (2 ? + 2 ? +2)? I would appreciate an honest answer please? hope you all get better as well. God Bless
Personally, I would just choose one and see how it goes. Does the pack you bought not explain how often to take them? If not, I imagine spreading them evenly throughout the day would be sensible.
Hi I have been taking Kalms day for about 3 and a half weeks now, I feel they have helped me but I’m now getting anxious about finishing them and not being able to take after 4 weeks recommended use . Can I change to Kalms night or Kalms lavender when these ones finish or can I continue with these for another month. Thankyou I’m also having C.B.T to help my anxiety
Have you considered trying a herbal tea that contains the same ingredient, valerian? It won’t be the same dosage, but you might find it’s enough to help you relax. You could also try a lavender pillow spray or diffuser – I know some people speak highly of inhaling lavender rather than ingesting it.
Six weeks or more you can take them for, they’re not addictive.
Kalms is a CON. However, as a PLACEBO, it might have a psychological effect in some cases.
I bought kalm day. I am so stressed from a few days. But I read that “you start to feel different after 2 weeks”. I thought that they start working as fast as paracetamol. Any experience folks?
I think with sleep aids like this, people will have different experiences. Some people might find it helps right away, perhaps also if there is some placebo effect at work (my opinion). However, I have seen that some say valerian takes time to build up in your body to reach maximum effect. That’s where the two weeks thing comes from. If you search online “how long does valerian take to work?” then you can do some reading into that point.
I have taken kalms day about 4 days and apart from diarrhoea, have not really felt any benefit. what do you recommend?
I personally wouldn’t continue with them if they did that to me, and I was pretty sure nothing else could be causing it. Or at least, nothing else is likely to be causing it as the rest of my food etc was just the same as always. I would also be tempted to put any valerian product on my blacklist until I’d spoken to a doctor.
Kalms contain macro Gil. This is also an ingredient in various laxitives such as laxcido and movicol. It possibly isn’t the valerian root?
I’ve been suffering from terrible anxiety for a few months and I rarely have a good night’s sleep for various reasons. Recently when I’ve woken in the night I’ve taken two day time Kalms, had a hot drink and then settled down to sleep. The last two weeks I’ve taken Kalms without the lavander three times a day and have felt an improvement. I’ve been having an alcoholic drink after my evening meal as usual and taken my final dose of kalms maybe an hour before bedtime and have slept like a top. To get a good night’s sleep I think that you need to wind down during the day without being drugged up with pharmaceuticals or you’ll need something stronger than Kalms night time.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I definitely agree that winding down before bed is one of the keys to getting a good night’s sleep. I have a fairly consistent routine designed to help me slow down and relax, and it definitely helps.
Hi. I am also suffering from anxiety. I take kalms day (6 tablets per day). But can I also take kalms 1 a night as well?
I’ve looked everywhere for the answer to this question, but nowhere tells me if I can take BOTH kalms day and kalms 1 a night.
Hope you can tell me
Thanks for your comment. I know, I haven’t found an answer either. Personally, I would just stick to one. I don’t think it’s necessary to take the night on top of the day, as the dosage from the day should in theory be enough to help with both relaxation and sleep. If you’re able to at some point, this is a question to ask your doctor to get a medical opinion.
Hi, I have just started taking kalms lavender one a day. I have been working from home & felt anxiety first time in my life, didn’t know what that was. Looked up online & I could tell that it’s anxiety. I have mild anxiety so thought to start with a herbal remedy such as kalms lavender. I just want to ask if my anxiety does get better after a month, can I stop taking them, or do I have to have them for all my life.
You can stop taking them, yes. And even if you felt you needed them for longer, or a doctor recommended it, I don’t think it’s a good idea to resign yourself to taking them all your life. Ideally, you’ll get through this difficult patch, and look for some other ways to manage the anxiety. For me personally, for example, I find exercise and morning yoga helps a lot when I feel anxious. For other people, it could be going for a long walk, meditation, watching comedy movies, spending time with their loved ones or friends (when possible), or even playing with their pet. There are many ways to tackle anxiety, and hopefully without taking pills in the long term.
My pharmacist said you can mix day with night as they are only herbal.
I find that they tend to work well as long as I’m actually ready to sleep soon after I take them- if I stay awake for any more than an hour after I take one (and therefore it’s past when it would normally work) I CAN’T sleep. They’ve definitely made a difference, its not like with prescribed ones where you just get knocked out but if you work with them they’re really helpful. That said, I take them with my bedtime dose of 40mg propranolol for anxiety so perhaps that has something to do with it (although I also take 40mg of propranolol in the morning). Either way, I’ve been taking them for about a month and a half and I don’t see any changes to that in the near future. I like that they’re safe to use for longer periods of time and also that they won’t kill me when combined with my medication, which is always handy.
Thanks for sharing your experience. You’re right in that they don’t knock you out like strong prescription sleeping pills often do. I think the goal is to just add enough relaxation/sedation to help someone sleep a little better. I like your final comment by the way!
I haven’t been able to sleep well at night and then end up exhausted and drained during the day at work. I have been using the Kalms one a night tablet for the past few nights and I have to say they have worked really well for me!! I manage to get a good 8hrs solid sleep and don’t wake up at all during the night which is a first for me.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I imagine it was great to get some decent sleep again. I hope you manage to get on top of the sleep problems without needing to take the Kalms long-term.
My daughter is 34, no longer drinks alcohol, doesn’t take any medication but has severe insomnia. She tried 4 kalms night for first time and suffered palpitations within 20-25 mins of taking. They didn’t help her sleep at all and of course the palpitations were frightening
Thanks for sharing your family’s experience. Palpitations would definitely put me off taking it as well. Has she spoken to a doctor about it?
Hi, I bought kalms day tablets as I feel very anxious and emotional since my mum passed away. I want to take the edge off my anxiety for mums funeral. Will taking 2 tablets on the day be enough, or should I up the dose? Sorry for being personal, but I don’t know what else to say.
First of all, my condolences on the passing of your mum. It must be a very difficult time for you, and I genuinely feel for you. Unfortunately, it’s not my place to give advice about dosage of sleep aids. However, I think it’s usually a good idea to stick to the recommended dosage of a sleep aid, and only take more if it’s recommended by a medical professional. I can understand your anxiety about the funeral, and the desire to have some help in getting through the day. Hopefully, the standard dosage will help you if you don’t have a chance to speak to a doctor beforehand.
I’ve been over thinking for months now which has resulted in stress and anxiety in my body and mostly in my brain, which has caused some effect in my behaviour as well. Please, can I take KALMS because I have used some medicines but it’s only reduced and I still feel the symptoms in my behaviour and in my head, I forget things easily sometimes too.
Hope to read back from you. Thanks Helen.
Thanks for your comment. Sorry, but it’s not right for me to tell you if you should take a medication, even one that can be bought without a prescription. This is your choice entirely. But if you want some outside help, your personal physician or doctor would be a better person than me to give you an opinion.
I have a problem in that I wake anywhere from 3am and then can’t get back to sleep. I tried the one a night tablet last night it made no difference at all
Sorry to hear that Katherine. I hope you find a solution soon!
I’ve been taking 1 Kalms tablet when I go to bed for stress related anxiety. I go to sleep without much problem and I find taking one of these helps me go back to sleep more easily if I wake in the night – most of the time. I’ve used Night Nurse in the past and other over the counter remedies but never prescribed ones. I’m now in the rut like most people I guess where I panic that I’ll sleep badly if I don’t take one. 6hrs is a good average so better than most I suspect. I’ve just started to get a pain/ache at the top of my ribs on the right side. Seems worse in the evening sitting watching TV or going to bed. I’ve googled this and am thinking it might be something to do with taking valerian root (one of the components in this) which can affect your liver. Is this right? I know I probably need to see a GP but just wondering if you know anything about this?
Thanks for your comment. I don’t know of any connection myself between the pain you describe and valerian. But if you develop any new condition after starting a sleep aid, I’d say it’s definitely worth getting your doctor’s advice. I’d also just want a check-up for any chest pain, personally.
Thank you for your article. I too am struggling with insomnia bought on by anxiety & don’t want to go on medication. I have initially tried Nytol one a night but stopped taking after 2 weeks as this is what is advised. I’ve just started taking Kalms one a night tablets and they help a little… my question is can you get addicted (other than psychologically) over a long period… just hope my insomnia resolved itself over time as it has before. I’m also trying hypnosis which is also helping.
Thanks for your comment. I don’t believe valerian is addictive, so there couldn’t be a problem there.
Has there recently been a change of formula in Kalms, and is the new formula as effective as the old?
Not that I know of. They do have more than one type though, which can be confusing if you’re used to one and then see another one in a store.
Can I take kalms for as long as I like?
Sleep experts normally advise not to take any sleep aid forever. Having said that, at least herbal remedies are generally thought to be less damaging in the long run than stronger pharmaceuticals. Still, I think even with herbal remedies, the long term effects are still a little unknown.
I’m looking for some advice, I’ll soon be starting night shifts in a care home and my sleep the next day will be very limited due to young children. What tablet would be best to help me get to sleep, I’m worried I won’t be able to sleep without a little help :)
Thanks for your comment. I can understand your worry – it’s not always easy keeping on top of sleep when working night shifts. Are the children yours, and will need caring for? If that’s the case, I’d be more hesitant to take sleep aids. But if not, and you just will be in the same house, perhaps something light like a herbal remedy will help – such as kalms. I’d also look into sleep tips for night shift workers as there is a lot of good advice to be found online about that. For me, a good set of earplugs and a sleep mask are a good start point even!
Hi I am just about to try Kalms one at night. I am on Nitrazepam and have been for many years so am hooked on it. My main aim is to cut out the prescription meds and go onto herbal ones. I am so addicted to my meds that I doubt I will ever come off sleeping aids but I do believe that some element of my insomnia is all in my mind as as soon as I take the tablets I go straight to sleep. Without them I do not sleep at all which makes me extremely depressed. So here goes Kalms one a night. Good luck to all of you trying it.
Thanks for your comment. Let’s hope that they work well for you – or if nothing else, the placebo effect still works even though you seem to know about it!
I have spent 15 years self-medicating with cannabis to sleep, I’ve had insomnia since a teenager. I quit the weed 7 years ago for a few months, then had a mental breakdown and ended up taking diazepam and Xanax bought online to help my anxiety and insomnia, I was very depressed.
I did go to the GP multiple times asking for some anxiety meds, every time they just FOBBED me off and I’d leave there distressed not knowing how to ease my symptoms. So what option did I have apart from buy meds online?
The benzodiazepines nearly killed me as I would buy in bulk 1000x 10mg diazepam at a time, the dosage would go up all the time to get the same effect to the point I would take 150mg of diazepam every day, that would be lethal to someone without a tolerance. To most people 20mg is lights out, you wouldn’t even be able to stay awake! I was a walking zombie that could barely remember my own name. Ended up very messed up for about 2 years after that, was on anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, had to go through benzo withdrawal which is literally the worst thing you will ever go through, a lot of people die withdrawing from benzos, you have to taper the dose down very very slowly over about 4 months.
Now 7 years later I’m trying to quit weed again, but I know benzos are not the answer, not touched them in 7 years.
Problem is there is nothing out there that does what cannabis does for my sleep that is not equally or more detrimental to my health. I’ve tried all the sleeping tabs, zopiclone, zolpidem, they make you sleep but it’s not good sleep and you feel hungover all the time and they’re also addictive. Cannabis was a very expensive habit for me, I used to smoke around 1.5 ounces of high-grade weed a month so costs like £250-£300 a month.
I have started a good job where I am drug tested reguarly so must quit for my own future. Life without the relief of smoking weed after a hard day’s work is killing me right now though!!
I’m thinking of buying some Melatonin 10mg tabs (the natural sleep chemical your brain produces to make you tired) from America to get me through this period as they’re sold openly in shops there and I’ve heard they are very effective and not addictive and also NOT illegal to import as they are not scheduled drug. In the UK though they are only available on prescription and very rarely prescribed. Going to the GP for me is a complete waste of time, they will not give me anything, it’s like they just want to see me suffer. Ive gone there in agony with toothache, face swelled up etc and they wouldnt even give me 1 tramadol until I could get to emergency dentist. I found it inhumane and absolute madness, I was so angry at the GP. In Spain for example, I sprained my wrist pretty bad and visited a Spanish doctor, he give me 28 tramadol tabs. But in the UK you don’t even get 1 tab when your clearly in bad pain, its just madness. I now hate GPs they are the most useless overpaid people in the country, they have never helped me, ever!
I have a friend who recently had breakdown too, he told his doctor he smoked cannabis and when he left they wrote to the DVLA and had his driving license revoked, just because he said he smoked cannabis. Well he’s now lost his job as a result of losing his licence and his life ruined, he won’t come out of his house anymore. They’ve parked him on olanzapine and now he’s a zombie and lost everything.
So after knowing all this, I will never tell anyone in the NHS about cannabis or mental health ever again, I can’t believe they can do that but apparently they are now obliged to. Same goes for alcohol, so if you tell your GP you drink half a bottle of wine every night to sleep they will also revoke your license for minimum of 6 months.
What the hell am I supposed to do?!
If I ask for help I will probably become homeless due to loss of driving license on mental health grounds.
Sorry for the life story, but it feels better off my chest!
Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling so much over the years – I can totally relate to the frustration in not being able to find the right answer to your sleep problems. I’m not sure where to start in sharing my thoughts on your story. On the one hand, I feel that perhaps an over-reliance on medication (or self-medication) might be worth steering away from, by looking at other ways to calm yourself at night so you can sleep. On the other, I also know from personal experience that melatonin can be useful, as can some herbal remedies – depending on the person and the situation they are in. Have you ever spoken to a counsellor or had any form of talking therapy, such as CBT, within or outside of the NHS? Perhaps it might help to talk through with a professional the issues which led to your breakdown, and your ongoing worry about sleep etc. I’d also strongly suggest trying (if you haven’t already) more long-term tactics to reduce stress/anxiety etc and get into a calmer mental space each day. For me, that means doing yoga and meditation every morning – even if it’s just 10-20 minutes – and then doing more in the evening if I feel myself a bit wired before going to bed. But there are other options if that’s not your cup of tea. I do think it’s worth exploring though.
All the best
Thank you for telling your story. I too am a cannabis smoker. I’ve used it to self medicate for epilepsy and insomnia since I was a teenager. I’m now in my mid 30s. Prescription medication for epilepsy never ever worked no matter the brand, type or dosage but cannabis did. Luckily my epilepsy has really calmed down and I now have very few seizures. I’ve never taken anything other than cannabis for my insomnia. If I do not smoke cannabis I lay awake most of the night, only sleeping for about an hour a night. I remember telling my GP once about the fact I used cannabis to sleep and I wanted to find another way. They printed a leaflet for me to read! Obviously that didn’t help! I haven’t smoked cannabis for a few days so tonight I tried a one a night kalms for the first time. Although I feel calm and relaxed, not feeling uptight for not smoking, I still cannot sleep. I came here looking for suggestions, wondering if anybody has taken more than the advised one tablet? Is it safe? Can you overdose? Thank you in advance x
I have been taking Kalms Day tablets for about 3 weeks. 2-4 per day, morning and afternoon. For the past 25 years or so, 4 hours sleep has constituted a good night if I can get that far. I am a cheerful person, happily married and no special reasons to worry but I do. Random thoughts at night about absurd topics. By day I am pedantic. Whether Kalms are making me feel calmer or whether I think they are, the fact is that I am. I do not seek medical help or take prescribed medicines unless my life depends upon them. I have taken nothing since cancer treatment 10 years ago. Why I didn’t think of trying something before, I don’t know but they seem to be doing the trick. I am calmer by day and sleep 6-7 hours at night with minor interruptions. I am 70 years old.
Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience with Kalms. It’s great that they have helped you. I hope you continue to feel better, with or without the Kalms.
I have tried kalms 1 a night tablet. It indeed helped me. But if you are using it for a few days in a row, it becomes less effective.
Thanks for your comment. That does tend to be the case with many sleep aids!
Why does Kalms Day contain Ethanol. I have been taking these tablets for quite a few years and have only just noticed that Ethanol is in these tablets.
I think Ethanol is included in many drugs because of its solvent property, so it’s used to help dissolve one or more other ingredients.
I have been using Kalms one a night for a while and they’ve helped no end, but I wake EVERY morning with the worst anxiety ever!! Like I’m choking and can’t breathe. I took a one a day Kalms this morning as I was so bad. Made me feel very tired but brought my anxiety down within minutes.
Not sure if I’ve taken too much having a one a night one then a one a day one first thing but hey ho. I’m thinking of trying St John’s wort again alongside them, has anyone else tried that?
Thanks for your comment. If you’re not sure about your dosage, you could ask your doctor or write to Kalms customer service. But personally, I’d probably stick to just one over the counter sleep aid at a time, not mixing different types of the same brand or adding another one altogether unless my doctor agreed or I’d seen research or medical organisations saying it’s ok to do so.
I sleep around 1hr per night, and I work shifts also. I have had this trouble since I was 16, I am now 20 and looking to move forward with my career, the only thing that is stopping me is my insomnia. Everything I have tried (prescription medicine) has not worked, the only thing that has worked is a cannabis joint 30 mins before my sleep, though recently my family have introduced me to Kalms – if I stop taking them, will my sleep pattern return to the horrific state it was once in? It has been so awful that I have experienced many lucid dreams, though due to my age they say it’s just a “phase.” I’m really looking for help as my doctors won’t. Kind regards. Anonymous, United Kingdom.
Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’re having such difficulties sorting your sleep out. I don’t know what will happen if you stop taking the kalms, to be honest. Perhaps you could look further into taking valerian in different forms rather than just taking kalms pills. There are other ways to prepare it, down to simple valerian tea even. And for many people, I don’t know of any serious problem with drinking valerian tea for longer periods of time. If the cannabis worked, have you considered trying CBD oil instead? I can’t say for sure how effective it is for sleep, though am planning on testing it for an extended period soon as I’ve seen a lot online about it’s reported benefits for sleep. So please don’t take my word for it, but it might be an avenue to explore if you want to avoid the negative effects of cannabis and go down the legal medical route instead.
I’ve had chronic diarrhoea, has anyone else had this?
Not personally. I’d stop taking them if that was happening to me.
Yes Lisa I have
Yes I have!!
I am suffering from anxiety and sleeplessness. this causes a panic attack as well, which makes me cry all the time. i started using kalm night which is helping me. I am coming back to life. Now its a week and i am looking for some answers.
1 can i stop taking kalm suddenly. Or i need to reduce dose to avoid any side effect? I read that if i stop this tablet my sleeplessness will come back again.
2 For how long i should take the medicine. can A long use of this medicine makes me addict to it Although its helping me now but i dont want to be on it for life.
3 is this medicine a cure or like other medicine just a time pass.
Please help me
Sorry to hear you’ve been having a difficult time. I am not the definitive expert on kalms, but here are my personal views:
1. I don’t think it’s a problem to stop valerian suddenly. but reducing the dosage slowly might actually help reduce the rebound insomnia. no guarantees though.
2. The standard advice is to take sleep aids for no more than 2 weeks before talking to a doctor if you still have sleep problems.
3. It’s not exactly a cure – it depends what you are trying to cure really. it might help with a temporary sleep problem. But if you suffer from anxiety on an ongoing basis, then it probably won’t cure it. This is again something to get profesional advice about.
Hi was wondering can I take kalms with other medication. (Eyedrops for glaucoma) and cholesterol tabs. Finding it hard to sleep. Thanks. From Maureen.
Do you have access to a doctor you can ask? I would ask them if they think it’s ok to mix kalms with your cholesterol medication.