Home Healthy Home Mold Illness Insomnia and Other Related Sleep Problems

Mold Illness Insomnia and Other Related Sleep Problems

by Catherine

How to Get A Good Night’s Sleep, When Mold Won’t Leave You Alone

Have you tried EVERYTHING to tackle your mold illness-induced insomnia to no avail? Are you falling asleep, but not staying asleep, and waking every hour or two, so much so, that you awake unrested and irritated? Do you feel chronically tired, fatigued, and sleep deprived even when you do rest? You are not alone. I get emails from readers seeking advice and tips for getting to sleep, staying asleep, and combatting mycotoxin-induced fatigue almost every week. This is because sleep issues are at the top of the “most problematic and debilitating” symptom list for many people suffering from mold toxicity. And, while sudden-onset insomnia in an otherwise healthy individual should, in my opinion, be a clue for doctors to look for mold and mold exposure as the potential cause, or to at least rule it out, unfortunately, since insomnia is a symptom and side effect of almost every illness and drug, quite a long period of sleepless nights usually accumulates before mold is finally discovered.

I know too well how the whole sleep or lack thereof quandary can send even the most level-headed person into a downward spiral. My own experience of insomnia from mold toxicity put me over-the-edge and into a dark place of feeling anxious, overwhelmed and incredibly hopeless. I thought I was tough and could handle whatever the illness threw at me. Then I stopped sleeping. I was toast, because let’s face it, when you’re only sleeping 4 or less hours per night, your body is NOT recovering. It doesn’t even have the time to do all of its sleep-induced upkeep, like muscle and tissue growth and repair, immune system boosting and fortification, growth hormone release, appetite balance and regulation, brain energy and function enhancement, memory consolidation and retention, among many others. Without sleep, you stay sick and pretty much walk around with gauze over your eyeballs and in literal brain fog. Not getting sufficient sleep also causes your body to shut down to an even greater degree than it already is from the mold-toxin overload, which is obviously incredibly unhelpful when you are trying desperately to heal. (Note: During sleep is the only time the glymphatic system removes toxins from the brain via cerebral spinal fluid.)

So, to address this huge problem and to answer some of your questions in a longer format than I can in an email response, I thought I would write another post on sleep and insomnia in particular. (To read my previous post about sleep click HERE. That post establishes why mold in your environment can cause sleep problems.) This post will be focused on getting a good night’s sleep no matter where you are in the recovery process. Now, I realize that if you are living without sleep right now, this may seem impossible, but I assure you that there is always something that can be done and a remedy that can be tried no matter what. Some things will work for you and some things won’t. No one solution will be instant–sleep is one of those things that when you find what works, you may have to titrate up until you hit the perfect “dose” to get you sleeping through the night. You just have to keep plugging away and trying different things until you find what clicks for you. It may even be a combination of many things that creates the perfect solution. For example, I found insomnia relief from sleeping on the floor. Sounds crazy, but I will explain more in a moment. So, please don’t lose hope. A solution could be only one step away and could make an enormous difference in your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Why Being Mold-Toxic Affects Your Sleep

To start, and so that you can better understand my rationale behind some of my advice, here is a Cliff’s Notes– version of some of the biological changes happening in your body when you have mold toxicity that make it difficult for you to sleep: Mold toxins are assimilated inside your cells and stored in fatty tissue—thus, the rapid onset of neurological and cognitive issues for many people. Mold toxins tend to congregate in the brain—the  brain is mostly fat—causing pituitary damage, low or lowered thyroid, exhausted and low cortisol, and low growth hormone. Natural melatonin (a hormone primarily released by the pineal gland that regulates sleep-wake cycles and acts as a powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger in the body) production also dips and stops altogether for some people. It is truly a metabolic and hormonal disaster for many sufferers.

Then, while hormones and metabolic processes are down-regulating, mold-toxic people are also suffering from increased brain activity and inflammation in the frontal cortex. This is likely because your body wants to “wake” you as a protective mechanism to get you out of the toxic environment. This chaotic signaling creates anxiety, alertness, and a brain that does not want to rest, because it is in the “flight or fight” mode, trying to stimulate you to get out of the mold. It is being damaged by mycotoxins, after all, not sure I’d go down without a fight either. The conscious, thinking brain has not caught up, so it is very difficult to calm down and ease into sleep naturally.   A more scientific description of this electric brain activity from Dr. Rick Sponaugle after compiling brain chemistry research on over 4,000 mold toxic patients is as follows:

“… Brain Chemistry research has proven that mold toxic brains suffer from excessive electrical current. Glutamate and PEA, two powerful excitatory neurotransmitters, are frequently elevated, causing excitoneurotoxicity. During the initial onset of mold toxicity, patients may only notice insomnia when trying to sleep. As their brain continues to accumulate more mold toxins, the brain’s electrical current continues to rise, causing daytime anxiety in addition to night time insomnia.”

Accompanying this kinetic brain activity is the aftermath of total body fatigue from the mycotoxin onslaught– immune suppression, neurotoxicity, brain destruction, lowered hormones, displacement of DNA base pairs, and many other things. Ugh. No wonder you feel so awful, angry, and crazy.

What Can Be Done?

While all of these symptoms can resolve with getting out of the mold and proper treatment to remove the mold toxins from your body, wellness doesn’t happen overnight. Thus, just being able to sleep could help so much, but for some, it becomes almost impossible. Additionally, the sleep piece, even when out of the mold, sometimes takes a long time to resolve, because there are so many different things at play in the body that need to be “fixed” first. So, as you can see, I’m not sugarcoating things here: Doing whatever you can to get out of or to fix the moldy environment must come first. Then, using some of the tools and tips I will outline below can work better to further enhance your body’s ability to sleep. And, when you find what works, you may have to stay the course indefinitely to safeguard your sleep. IT IS WORTH IT. Getting good sleep is one of the most important things for recovery and continued wellness and cannot be discounted.

My Tips and Tricks for Mitigating Mold-Toxicity Induced Insomnia/Sleeplessness:

(First, are you out of the mold? If you are still living in the moldy environment and haven’t been able to either leave or remediate effectively, all of my advice may be for naught, because, unfortunately, your body will still be in hyper-reactive-to-the-mold mode and will be hard to “quiet” enough to make sleep aids–many of which are VERY addictive and can lead to additional neurological disorders and illness–and supplements very effective. Before I knew that my insomnia had anything to do with mold, I tried every holistic and OTC sleep remedy known to man—none helped me even a little bit. It was only through righting the ship mold-wise that I experienced any relief or help from supplements later on. That is why, as you will see, I place having a mold-free bedroom at the top of my list of advice. It is definitely not as easy or straightforward as taking a pill to solve the problem, but it is the most important action you can take in your recovery. In other words, there is no way to solve the sleep problem without removing the cause of the problem.) 

1.) Keep a mold-free bedroom. Don’t stop reading. I know this sounds rigid, and like I’m beating a dead horse, but if you can’t totally get out of the mold, and can’t remediate completely, if you do nothing else for your environment, do whatever you can to sleep in a mold-free space. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. In order to get your brain and body out of that fight or flight mode (your autonomic nervous system or limbic system that controls the “danger-sensing center” of your brain) that it goes into during mold exposure, the room where you sleep needs to be totally free of the things that trigger you. For example, for me, that still means no scents, dust, mold, and other chemicals. Making a conscious and concerted effort to make and keep my bedroom a mold-free zone is tremendously helpful to my sleep.

To do this, I recommend the following actions:

 (I STILL do all of the things listed below, by-the-way.)

  • Test your room and bedding frequently for mold. I just use the cheaper EC3 Mold Screening Test Plates.

    My goal is to keep the mold counts in our bedroom and our mattress lower than 3 colonies. I have learned that 3 is my threshold. Yours may be lower or slightly higher. I am not doing any diagnostics here—just counting mold colonies after collection and incubation. To do this, I TAP test and air test in our bedroom every other month. You may need to do this more frequently at first and modify your cleaning, etc. to get things down where they need to be and to make sure that the counts are staying down. These tests will be your barometer, and will give you a great gauge of not only how your environment is doing, but also with how your body is doing. In other words, are you feeling well in your bedroom? With regular cleaning, are your mold counts staying down? It can be pretty eye-opening when you are actively testing your environment and you SEE how your body and symptoms respond to ambient mold levels. Let’s never forget that this illness was CAUSED by mold. To get well, you can’t be surrounded by high levels of mold. Eventually, your body can become more resilient, but please do what you can to help it heal. I also tell any doubters out there that this single action will make you a believer. If you live with a mold-susceptible person and see mold counts levels climb in your home and a day later, the person is very sick, the correlation is a lot easier to accept.

  • Use a HEPA-certified vacuum to vacuum bedroom floors, furnishing, drapes, etc. 2 times a week. I know 2 times a week sounds like a lot, but dust collects quickly, especially in bedrooms. You need to keep dust levels very low, because you will be inhaling that dust as you sleep. Dust contains mold, bacteria, mites, and other allergens that can affect your sleep. I actually use the dusting attachment on our vacuum to dust our dressers and lamps too. I opt for and suggest vacuuming dust up over using a cloth, because you want to actually remove the dust as much as possible over just pushing it around. Doing this improves your air quality immediately and has a significant impact on spore counts.
  • Fog once a month or use the EC3 Mold Solution Spray on all hard and soft surfaces in the bedroom one time a week.

    This is an either or. I just mist or fog and walk away. I do this after I vacuum. It will eliminate any mold spores that I may have stirred up and makes our room smell fresh and clean. You will experience an almost instant improvement in air quality from doing this as well.

  • Wash ALL bedding, comforter and decorative pillow covers included, once per week. Your comforter and pillow covers are key to wash, because they are the outside “shield” of your bed and, as a result, tend to collect more dust, dirt, bacteria and allergens. We also bury our faces in them for hours/day. When I started doing this, it really, really helped how I felt upon waking in the morning. I had less congestion and upper respiratory symptoms. Think about it this way, your bed is often where you place things, sit when you have your outside clothes on, and it is open to the air and settling dust in your room, while your sheets are usually covered. It needs to be cleaned. When you do your wash, use unscented detergent and something with antifungal/antibacterial properties, like the EC3 Laundry Additive or Boraxsometimes, I use both.
  • Consider keeping pets, pet beds, litter boxes, etc. out of the bedroom, bedroom closets and bathrooms adjacent to the bedroom. I hope you don’t hate me for this one, but until you are sleeping better, this can help to give your overworked immune system a break. Pets naturally harbor mold and bacteria on their fur, which is easily spread to your bed and pillows—the spores and bacteria can be carried in the air or can get into and on your bed, if your pet jumps on it. (Note: You can spray their coats and paws with EC3. It’s non-toxic and will not harm them. This is especially useful when they have been outside and are coming back in.) Pets also sometimes move around at night a make noises that could inadvertently wake you or keep you up. The whole idea is to minimize disruption and further reaction to antigens as much as possible.
  • Place a HEPA air filter/purifier in your bedroom to clean the air and to dedicatedly remove particulates and dust in your sleeping space. This one can be a game changer for many sleep-deprived mold sufferers. I use an IQ Air HealthPro Plus and love it. There are other, less expensive models out there too. The main thing is that it is HEPA certified and with staged filtration to eliminate bypass. A filtration device like this in your bedroom will also help to cut down on dust accumulation. I enjoy the gentle sound of an air purifier running as it can be very soothing and helpful for lulling me to sleep.
  • Clean your body and hair and put on clean clothing before getting into bed. I like to shower before bed, but, at the very least, wash your hands and face and put on clean clothing that you did not wear outside of the house before getting into bed. This was tremendously helpful for my son as well. I have been working on an antifungal body wash to share with you, but in the meantime, the Candida Freedom Probiotic Soap is wonderful and really helps to eliminate fungus on the skin that causes inflammation. My children also bathe with this soap.

2.) Remove scents from the bedroom. Do not use candles, diffusers, perfumes of any kind, or scented cleaning products. You want to keep it a totally neutral-smelling zone. I know that some essential oils create calmness and sleepiness, and even combat mold, but it is my experience that anything that emits VOCs, natural or otherwise, will prolong inflammation related to toxicity. Scents also stimulate the brain, and you don’t need anything rousing your senses and clouding your recovery.

3.) Remove any “smart” or wireless devices or routers from your bedroom. Better yet, turn your wireless “off” completely at night before you go to bed. Some people even decide to have a “kill switch” installed in their homes, so that they can just flip it and “kill” the wireless whenever they need to. Many people affected by mold illness are also sensitive to and stimulated by Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs). It is the sensitivity issue that usually occurs with or closely after Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

I literally feel a buzzing in my body, if I lay down and our wireless is still on. Drs. Klinghardt and Mercola have a lot of information about the negative effects on EMFs on their sites and how to mitigate them for  further reference. This is not to mention the work and experimentation currently being done on EMFs and their influence on the harmfulness of mold. One study often cited by other doctors was done by a scientist in Switzerland. He incubated toxic molds on a test plate and observed the molds’ activity first under a cage that guarded against EMFs, and then outside of the cage. He found that the production of biotoxins went up more than 600 times when the molds were not guarded against the everyday EMFs. And, not only did the EMF-exposed molds suddenly put out significantly more mycotoxins, but also much more virulent and poisonous mycotoxins. Also, researchers at NYC’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University found evidence that certain types of fungi have the ability to use radioactivity as an energy source for growth. (Read more here.) Those two studies alone were enough for me to limit wireless use in our home.

4.) Keep indoor lights low at bedtime and block or shut off blue light from electronics and screens at night. Choose the time of night you are going to bed and 2 hours prior, try to conduct things with lowered and dim lighting to encourage the down-regulation of your nervous system and to stimulate melatonin. Many mold patients have decreased melatonin production already, so anything that can be done to “tell” the body that it is nearing bedtime is a positive step. Blue light also disrupts circadian rhythms and keeps the brain turned “on” and alert. You can invest in blue light blocking glasses or you can block blue light on your phone or other devices with apps or special covers and filters. We just shut everything off and do not use screens or watch television in that time before bed. The big ones to avoid are your TV, Tablet, or Phone.

5.) Sleep on the floor. The first night I tried this was my “Aha moment” for finally getting to sleep. I had read so much about the importance of proper spinal alignment for sleep and for improved circulation that I decided, what the heck, I’ll just lay on the floor and see what happens. Well, the first time I did it in desperation at 4 AM, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up at 7 AM to my alarm to get the kids to school. It worked, so I tried it again the next night. It worked again and continued to work for me. To this day, if I am having any sleep anxiety or trouble settling, I just grab my pillow and a comforter and situate myself on the floor–no elaborate set-up required. Within minutes, I am asleep. If you aren’t ready to give up your bed, you can try laying on the floor until you start to drift off and then getting in the bed to sleep. Many people work up to a full night by sleeping on the floor for longer and longer increments until they can last the duration.

6.) Purchase a grounding mat to put under your bed or to sleep on. Grounding, or direct contact with the earth’s surface, is one of the key mechanisms by which your body maintains equilibrium and health. The human body evolved in constant contact with the Earth, and your body needs this continuous interchange of energy in order to function properly. Consistent grounding also helps calm your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability, which then helps in balancing your autonomic nervous system. Pain relief, improved sleep, and a sense of well-being are but a few of the health benefits reported from grounding. According to Clint Ober, a leading expert in this field, a lack of grounding may actually be an underlying factor of most chronic disease—a phenomenon Ober calls “electron deficiency syndrome.” It makes sense that because we are charged beings and the Earth is also charged, that in order to be well, we must directly exchange energy. It also makes sense that, if you are deficient in electrons, your body would be weaker and less effective at combatting inflammation. Dave Asprey of Bulletproof fame actually did his own grounding-sleep experiment and found that sleeping over a grounding mat significantly decreased cortisol and inflammation levels and improved his sleep by 30%.

7.) Use CellTropin 2-3 times a day to support your pituitary, endocrine and immune systems. This is the sublingual homeopathic spray designed by Dr. Dennis to support the endocrine and pituitary systems. The spray can be used every day and in conjunction with other medications to address hormone dysregulation—a MAJOR issue for mold sufferers. The endocrine system’s hypothalamus and pituitary work together to monitor hormone levels and send signals to the glands to either make more or make or less of the hormones that regulate the body’s physiology.  This communication system is complex and exquisitely, tightly managed. When mold toxins interfere, signaling is disrupted and hormone production slows and sometimes halts. CellTropin introduces Pituitary factors 3x, 6x, 12x, and 30x to normalize the hormone deficiencies, L-Arginine to support improved circulation, and astragalus root to decrease the DNA damage inherent with toxic exposures. To learn more about CellTropin, click HERE. The bottom line is that it encourages healing at the cellular level. Consistent use will help to rebalance the hormones that you lack to be able to sleep.

8.) Choose to ONLY use supplements that encourage your natural sleep cycle, rather than OTC sleep aids, or highly additive prescription sleep aids. At this point, everything you take should be to replenish depleted levels and depleted production to restore homeostasis and an optimal environment for healing and health. The truth is that you probably NEED some supplements right now. Your body is lacking and not assimilating nutrients and vitamins/minerals efficiently when you are mold toxic—your cells are holding onto the toxins and essentially dumping everything else. I am also of the belief that you do not need to add fuel to the inflammation fire right now. If at all possible, eschewing prescription sleep aids or OTC remedies containing diphenhydramine, like Benadryl is advisable. Diphenhydramine is an anticholinergic drug, which means it blocks activity of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which plays a role in muscle activation and also in brain functions like alertness, learning and memory. It can also cause constipation and inhibit detox. Prescription sleep aids have been linked to increased cancer risk, mortality, depression, and anxiety. You don’t need that heaped onto you with all you are dealing with right now. Plus, and to me this is the most important reason for not using them, none of those sleep aids address “why you aren’t sleeping,” so are temporary aids and not helpful solutions.

Here are some supplements that I recommend specifically for helping with sleep:

 (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice, nor am I making promises that these supplements will work for you. Please go over any supplements you wish to take with your own trusted medical authority to make decisions about your health. Drug interactions with some supplements can occur, so only take )

  • Melatonin – I find supplementing with melatonin extremely helpful and continue to do so. It has helped to re-establish my normal sleep/wake cycle. Fortunately, melatonin has been studied and shown to be effective for managing disturbances in circadian rhythms. A meta-analysis of 17 studies concluded that melatonin supplementation decreases the time it takes to fall asleep while increasing sleep efficiency and total sleep duration. In fact, melatonin has been shown to increase the speed of falling asleep and the quality of sleep in about 60% of people who use it.  The only caveat is that it must be taken 30 minutes to 2 hours prior to going to sleep, depending on the brand.
    I like QuickSilver Scientific Liposomal Melatonin for that reason, because it is a faster delivery. My children have great results from Nordic Naturals Sleep Gummies.
  • Glutathione – Glutathione is one of the body’s most powerful detoxifiers. It can support healthy immune function and can neutralize a broad spectrum of free radicals. Taking oral glutathione will not usually cut it, though, because your body digests it before you can use it. Liposomal glutathione is therefore superior and helps your liver to clear toxins better while you sleep. HERE is my in-depth post on glutathione.
  • Methyl B-12 – Supports nerve tissue, brain cells and promotes better sleep. Many mold sufferers are deficient and have a difficult time absorbing it due to low stomach acid and leaky gut. Liposomal delivery is the best way to take it to ensure absorption. This is another supplement that I like QuickSilver Scientific’s product the best so far. Taking it will also help with methylation and glutathione synthesis.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and is fundamental to a number of important physical processes, including converting carbohydrates and protein into ATP (the body’s energy source), blood clotting, activating B vitamins and relaxing muscles. Magnesium is needed to transport electrolytes like potassium and sodium in and out of cells assists in calcium and potassium absorption. Supplementing with it creates a relaxing and calming effect in the body as it continues the flow of energy that causes muscle relaxation. If you are on binders and having trouble with motility, Natural Vitality’s Calm is a great product for relaxation, magnesium supplementation, and moving the bowels. If a laxative effect is something you need to steer clear of, taking an Epsom Salt Bath, or using a magnesium cream or body oil can be options.
  • Non-THC CBD Hemp Oil – Creates a calming effect in the body that sets you up for better sleep. CBD does not put you to sleep, but, rather, encourages normal sleep patterns. I use it as a precursor to sleep and take it at night about an hour before bedtime. My favorite brands are Endoca and Pure Spectrum. I take tinctures and oils by mouth.
  • L-theanineL-theanine reduces stress and relaxes your brain by increasing alpha wave activity. Alpha waves occur when you are awake, alert and relaxed. They help you to concentrate and promote creativity. L-theanine, which exerts its stress-reducing effects without causing drowsiness, is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier. When taken in combination with melatonin, it promotes a healthy sleep cycle and increases melatonin’s effectiveness for inducing restful sleep. It also works well to combine it with GABA.
  • GABA GABA supplements are recommended for calming the nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety, helping with sleep disturbances, as well as boosting the immune system and stimulating natural Human Growth Factor (HGH). GABA is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps induce relaxation and sleep.
  • Phosphatidylcholine (PC)– A natural phospholipid molecule and the major lipid, or fat, of cell membranes and blood proteins. It serves as the body’s main source of choline, an essential nutrient. PC is a powerful anti-inflammatory, supporting gastrointestinal health, cell repair, as well as normal liver and lung function. Supplementing with it encourages cellular healing and absorption of other antioxidants. My preferred way to supplement is with IV PC, but obviously you need a doctor or naturopath to prescribe and administer it that way.
    The next best thing, in my opinion, is QuickSilver Scientific’s Micellized Pure PC.
  • EPA/DHA – The body needs fatty acids to survive and is able to make all but two of them: linoleic acid (LA), in the omega-6 family, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the omega-3 family. These two fatty acids must be supplied by the diet and are therefore considered essential fatty acids (EFAs). Omega-3 fatty acids, found in coldwater fish (and fish oil), perilla and flaxseed oils, are essential elements of a healthy diet. Omega-3 oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are usually lacking in the typical Western diet, which is filled with foods containing high amounts of omega-6 fats. Taken in combination, EFAs reduce inflammation, promote circulation, and enhance feelings of satiety and well-being, all of which is helpful for sleep. I like the all-in-one convenience of Logos Nutritionals Essential Omegas. Udo’s Oils 3-6-9 Blend is also a favorite of mine. I love the taste and take it by the tablespoonful.

9.) Don’t forget all of the “sleep hygiene” basics. Sometimes, we miss the forest for the trees and overcomplicate (and sometimes overmedicate) things. Sleep is one of those. It is so easy to get caught up in all of the latest and greatest sleep aids, that we fail to do the simplest, easiest things that could help.

I hope you found all of this information helpful and beneficial on your journey to a good night’s sleep. Please comment below of write to me at catherine@moldfreeliving.com with your sleep hacks and questions about anything mentioned in this article.
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Anthony July 29, 2022 - 4:36 am

Thank you for breaking it down this way. It gives hope to the hopeless.

Catherine July 29, 2022 - 12:28 pm

Thank you for writing. I truly only want to give hope. You can heal! It just takes time.

Melanie July 18, 2022 - 10:38 pm

Great post! Sleep has been one of the hardest things for me to regulate. After 2 years out of mold, I finally started sleeping for 9 hours straight plus naps which was like a hallelujah for me. Then we got mold in garbage disposal and bathroom, and having a hard time regulating it again. We are currently cleaning, HEPA vaccuming , mold spray and mold candle, everything in kitchen and living room.
Fyi, those who tell you use lemon in a garbage disposal to clean it, DONT DO IT. We had kept out free of mold until I started using lemon. Now feels like a duh moment as numerous times I’ve seen mold on the rind of lemons meaning we started feeding mold in garbage disposal. Ice and rock salt is what worked but had to run mold laundry detergent down it this last time to neutralize mycotoxins. Usually that’s all it takes to get me back on track but don’t seem to be working this time. We had already cold fogged but found some synthetic flowers that had black spots that I had used for decor in win rack above garbage disposal. I had started becoming comfortable being out of mold and hadn’t been as cautious with things I’ve brought into home. Live and learn I guess.

ALA seemed to help me in some ways for sleep. I wasn’t able to tolerate glutithione and that’s what my doc recommended next. What got me to start sleeping prior was coQ10 which doc also put me on. Ironic as if you look up side effects, insomnia can be one for coQ10. I was low and it was dysregulating my sleep. But when I took too much, it did cause wakefulness. That being said, low coq10 can cause wakefulness just as much as high. The bedroom being a safe zone has been a big help. Sometimes it’s all I need to get sleep back on track. Before I developed histamine intolerance, I could take omegas which did help. Now, I am not able to tolerate them. Low histamine diet and low fodmap help along with DAO before meals help my sleep. I can have all things right in environment and if histamine increases, I won’t sleep. Adrenal supps also helps that lower cortisol. If my cortisol is high, I can take melatonin and it do nothing. Crazy. I need high doses just like Jill Christa advised in her book. It’s taken so many modalities for myself but after a recent exposure back tracking to figure out how to get back on track. Mold overules almost all of it. Ugh! I am still very sensitive to most things so it’s def a battle. My doc wants me to do hyberaric oxygen treatment but we just can’t afford it right now. Hopefully we can save up and I can do it next year. Anyways, your site has been helpful through my journey. Staying on top of my environment has beena major key during my recovery but also one of the most frustrating. Seems small amounts that for most would be minimal is what gets to me. We have to check out fridge drain pan monthly or I will have issues. Mold can be such a pain. And def has sucked us dry financially. Anyways, I am so thankful for the info you provide. Hope you have a blessed day.

Catherine July 20, 2022 - 4:19 am

Thank you so much for writing, Melanie. I appreciate everything you shared and feel the same as you do–the environment is key and the most important thing for healing. Have you tried Sinus Defense? Using that daily–max dose–really does help to lessen the inflammatory cascade from mold exposure. Hyperbaric would be very helpful too–home O2 as outlined in this article: https://www.sinusitiswellness.com/the-mechanism-of-home-oxygen-therapy-and-its-use-for-treating-mold-toxicity/ could be helpful. Some insurance will help to pay for the O2 concentrator and supplies depending on what type you have and what your diagnosis is. You can speak with your doctor about it. I still use mine and find it helps especially when I have to be somewhere for prolonged amounts of time that is moldy.

Melanie July 29, 2022 - 6:07 pm

No I haven’t tried the sinus defense. I bought but read so much of many saying to avoid antifungals if super sensitive but I’ve really been thinking of trying as there’s so much false information out there. Plus, I use citrisafe mold spray on tons of things plus their candles and I’ve got to be inhaling small amounts of the citrus seeds lol. Thanks for the link. I’ll def go read and talk to my doc. Hyperbaric is really want doc wants me to do and I would like to but so expensive. We are trying to save up for treatment. Hopefully next year I can.

Melanie July 29, 2022 - 6:21 pm

Interesting on the at home treatment. I wonder why my doc hasn’t suggested or mentioned. My doctor actually worked with dr rhea for 19 years and only still practicing physician who has a year of a year long fellowship training from him. So I’m assuming he would be aware of at home oxygen treatment but I wonder why he hasn’t mentioned yet. He had his own hyperbaric oxygen facility on site but when we asked if I could do treatment somewhere else as we have to drive 2 hours to see him, he said it usually didn’t go well when he sent patients to other facilities. Basically he wanted me to do it there so he could monitor me. I trust him though and his prices are any more expensive than other facilities plus he’s considered an expert in the field of hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The at home treatment would def be more ideal bc we’ll have to stay in a hotel to do some sessions. But I do wonder if he’s being extra cautious and seeing how I do with a monitored facility before sending an at home treatment with me. I’ll ask him nine the less. Thanks for the info and thanks for All the info you provide on your site!

Catherine July 30, 2022 - 1:42 am

Home oxygen treatment requires you to purchase the concentrator, which is expensive, but would be most effective than hyperbaric in the long run. The way Dr. Rea taught it, it uses the face mask NOT the cannulas, which is very important. Many mold docs do not use it bec it requires a mold-free environment. You cannot have the concentrator exposed to mold and used for treatment. Only using hyperbaric eliminates the probability of the device being exposed. Hyperbaric is very effective and is a higher dose each time. I think it just depends on the preference of the practitioner.

Catherine July 30, 2022 - 1:37 am

Sinus Defense is not an antifungal. It is a homeopathic formulation. It is the gentlest step for someone sensitive.

Kate June 14, 2022 - 1:32 am

Hello! This is a GREAT and comprehensive article. Thank you! I wish I found it earlier in my mold toxicity journey. The grounding mat is showing “unavailable” on Amazon. Do you have another recommendation? Wouldn’t these be a cause of concern for EMFs?

Catherine June 14, 2022 - 1:45 am

Here is an updated resource: https://grounded.com/earthing-mat These mats are not wireless and some do not require an outlet–you can use a grounding rod. It is all a matter of cellular power and energy. When you are in sympathetic mode and buzzing from stress and anxiety, grounding can really help. I found it to even help with EMF sensitivity.

Michael March 19, 2019 - 1:20 pm


I got a Molekule early on as well. It def has kinks. What kinks have you noticed?


Catherine March 22, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Mine had a distinct and unpleasant smell when the filter needed changed at first. I contacted them and they sent two replacements, one for the 1st stage and one for the HEPA filter. That seems to have fixed the problem. I also notice that the machine really pulls the air from the bottom of the unit, which is great for mold spores, but not as great for dust and VOCS. I do not have ours WiFi enabled, but I have heard that there are kinks with that, although they may have been resolved. I know the newer units have had less complaints. Their customer service is phenomenal, though, and they are really working to make a great, affordable filtration solution.

Jen davis March 18, 2019 - 9:41 pm

I bought a new fogger from amazon and fogged EC3 in my bedroom for a couple of weeks and I ended up with a new high level of aureobasidium pullulans (4200!), which they say often develops inside of things like humidifiers or foggers. (I don’t use a humidifier). I had not cleaned the fogger during those two weeks because EC3 is antimicrobial I didn’t think I had to clean it out every day. There is no visible mold, but a mold testing company analyst thinks this mold did come from the fogger. Do you have a recommendation for getting rid of mold inside of a fogger?

Catherine March 18, 2019 - 10:47 pm

First, you should NOT be fogging everyday or saturating a room or your things, so that moisture sits on things. After fogging, you need to employ fans and drying techniques to fully air and dry out anything or areas fogged. Also, are you only using distilled or purified water? Tap water has microbes in it and could cause microbial growth on things if sprayed. Likely the levels are from excess moisture and humidity–both things caused by humidifiers and found in homes where people use humidifiers. You don’t have to clean the fogger everyday, but I definitely would dump it and clean it per package instructions after about 5 days. Are you controlling indoor humidity and making sure that you don’t have interior condensation or water issues? Both of those things can cause that mold to grow. When you tested prior to using the fogger, was that mold present? The fogger should not create mold in anyway, but if you were fully saturating carpet, upholstered furnishings, etc., the water mixed with the EC3 could soaked in, mixed with dust, dead skin, etc., and started to grow mold. Those are all of my best guesses. To clean the fogger, there should be an instruction booklet that came with it. You must detach the hoses, and open the tank and use hot soapy water to flush the lines and the tank. Dr. Bronner’s soap is the best thing to use. After it is cleaned, you can pour a little straight EC3 in the tank, or hydrogen peroxide. Swirl it all around and let it sit. Then dump it, and allow the fogger to drain and dry out.

Rhonda Else March 12, 2019 - 2:20 pm

Hello Catherine,

Paralysis by analysis hits me again! Can you point me to the best air purification system.

I am considering IQ Air and Molykule. I have 4 bedrooms to consider for treatment so all get quite costly, but as you know you can’t really put a price on Health. The IQ filters seem to make it quite a bit more expensive than the molecule from what I am able to see. I would welcome any feedback you have.

Knee-deep into mold remediation contractors for when I would term a mild HVAC issue caused by faulty air exchange, it is even more frightening to make a sound decision and risk not having things remidiated!

My immediate goal is to make the sleep space as clean as possible well I fine-tune the rest. That said, if a whole house system costs $the same as 4 Molykules or IQ Air, that’s a whole new though.

Thank you kindly!
Rhonda Else

Catherine March 13, 2019 - 5:27 pm

Hi, Rhonda,

I am an admitted IQ Air fan. They are the best air filtration/purification devices I have found so far. They are expensive. The Molekule is ok. I got mine early on in production, and I think they have worked out some kinks with some issues that were arising. IQ Air also makes a whole-house system that could be less expensive in the long run. They also make the Atem, which is a smaller device, designed for a desk, but that could be used for a small bedroom. I would go to the website to see exact space specifications. Blue Airs are also very good, as are Air Oasis devices. Both are lower price points and would be just fine for bedrooms. I hope I helped and did not confuse you more.


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