question about sleeping pill

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Legend, Aug 16, 2001.

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  1. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    First, good luck to everyone taking MCAT in two days!

    I had a bad experience of not being able to fall asleep the night before April MCAT. I am really afraid if the same thing will happen tomorrow. As a result, I just bought 'diphenhydramine hydrochloride', a common sleep aid in case I have difficulty falling asleep again.
    I have never taken sleep aid in my entire life so I don't know how I would feel the next morning.
    Anyone ever used it?
     
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  3. NubianPrincess

    NubianPrincess Perpetually Bored

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    I've used it, and i've never had any side effects the nexy day. Just make sure to give yourself enough time to sleep. About 8 hours and you'll be fine. Good Luck on your MCATs!
     
  4. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    legi, if you are sleeping later, like past midnight, I suggest you take half of the recommended dose. YOu do NOT want to wake up half dead the next morning. I have a history of not being able to sleep before big exams myself and I have taken everything from cough syrup to various sleeping pills to try to sleep. But sometimes, when you are too nervous, you just won't be able to sleep no matter what you take. It's all psychological.
     
  5. ckent

    ckent Banned
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    I don't think now is the time to experiment with new sleeping aids. Instead of using your medicine, try and exercise a lot on friday, take some time in the afternoon to stress out to get it all out of your system, give your self at least two hours before you go to bed to unwind, and no caffeine of course. When you are lying in bed, try not to worry so much about falling asleep, just realize that even by being in bed you are getting some rest. If you find yourself not falling asleep after 2 hours, get up and walk around. Remember not to try not to think about anything while you are trying to fall asleep too. Relax, realize that you have studied a lot and will be prepared to do well on Saturday. Also realize that you will be able to function fine even if you do not have a complete night of sleep on Friday night so try not to stress about it, remember that in the future people's lives will be dependent your ability to function with even less sleep ;) . Good luck.
     
  6. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is the generic name for Benadryl. It's a good sedative (in my book). I actually used it every night for about 2 weeks before I took the USMLE Step 1, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sleep at all!

    A couple of warnings about it: as some of the above posters stated, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sleep. I would not recommend taking it less than 8 hours before you have to get up in the morning because of the risk of oversleeping. If you take it too late at night it can make you feel very drowsy when you wake up.

    If you've never taken it before as a sleeping aid, I would suggest giving yourself a "test run" on it tonight to see how you feel in the morning. The night before the MCATs really shouldn't be the first time you try it.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Denilson

    Denilson Senior Member

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    Take MELATONIN..1-3 mg works wonders for me and you don't feel like crap in the morning... :cool:
     
  8. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    I usually pull an all nighter the night before I need to go to sleep early. Then around 8pm the next day (after being up for about 34-36 hrs), I'm tired enough to sleep the night through. If you're not used to this, you might want to use a different method, but try it some day. I sort of enjoy it. And it's good practice for surgery rotations, too!
     
  9. IlliniEMT1

    IlliniEMT1 Member

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    I didnt have a good experience with Diphenhydramine HCl. I often have bouts of insomnia, but almost never take meds for it. I took a little more than the reccomended dose (1.5 or 2 doses i think). It made me feel very tired but I still couldnt sleep (If that makes any sense). The closest thing I can think of is a drunken feeling- I dunno, just kinda felt "out of it" but I still tossed and turned most of the night. However, once I got up and ready- I didnt feel groggy at all. Maybe it's just me- people react differently to sedatives. Maybe try a nice stiff drink instead... or both- alcohol greatly intensifies the effects of the sleep aid :D
    Good luck
     
  10. Tideguy

    Tideguy Member

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    IlliniEMT1,
    I have had exactly the same experience with "sleep aids". They make my entire body feel weak and exhausted, but I still don't fall asleep. Have you been able to find any other methods to battle your insomnia that have been successful? I have had this problem for years and I'm finally starting to worry about future health problems. Any suggestions?
     
  11. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    Yeah, people do respond very differently to sleeping aids, which is why I suggested trying it out on a not-so-important night before Legi uses it the night before MCATs. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work -- you really shouldn't take more than 50mg.

    Now I'm going to play doctor for a second: please, please, *please* do not mix alcohol with sleeping aids! While it will help you get to sleep, it can also be *very* dangerous given that their combined effect is much greater than the sum of the two individual drugs.

    As far as other things you can try, it kind of depends what the problem is. For acute insomnia (only a couple of nights), you can try Benadryl or drink a glass of wine or the like to help you get to sleep. If you suffer from insomnia on a long-term basis, you should try making some lifestyle changes instead. For example: exercise, stop drinking caffeine, go to bed at the same time every night, and make sure that you only use your bedroom for sleeping and that you don't study in your bedroom (has a huge psychological effect). Also, depending on your type of insomnia, you may have obstructive sleep apnea, which can cause some very serious health problems. If you suffer from chronic insomnia, I would really recommend that you go to see your physician about it.
     
  12. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    Two nights ago, I drank 5 bottles of corona plus 3 shots of Chivas, and still got only one hour of sleep. It was extremely stupid because not only I stayed awake, but I had to go to bathroom every 20 minutes.
    But, last night, I was so tempted to try sleeping aid, but instead I drank a liter of Ice Wine (tasty!!) and was able to sleep for 4 hours!!
    Hopefully tonight, I can sleep more.
     
  13. sweetz1180

    sweetz1180 Senior Member

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    what happened to popping an old boring movie into the VCR, wouldn't that put you to sleep in 2 minutes???
     
  14. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    Hey. I tried that! and I even tried reading MCAT Verbal passages!!

    ;)
     
  15. kreno

    kreno Candy Man

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    i say a beer or glass of wine, and don't sleep the night before (but i guess that's to late)? if you get this and slept 10 hours last night, then just go running and get yourself tired. lata
     
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  17. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Are you suggesting I give up my tried and true cold medicine--a shot of bourbon and Nyquil? Bummer. ;)

    As for sleeping, Benadryl knocks me out for way more than 8 hours. I have used melatonin before, and it did work very nicely, and without the groggy effect in the am. Just don't take too much!

    Personally, I wouldn't try it the night before the exam for the first time.

    good luck,
    --kris
     
  18. IlliniEMT1

    IlliniEMT1 Member

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    I was only joking about mixing alchol and drugs- we should all know that is a no-no, as is overdosing (unless you enjoy having EMT's show up and feeding you activated charcoal)

    But seriously, the thing that has worked the best for my insomnia is getting on a regular excercise routine, although you have to avoid working out too close to bedtime. On the days that I lift or have a long run, im usually too exhausted to stay up. Ive also greatly reduced my caffeine intake. I still have some bad nights- and sometimes being sore only makes it worse. In that case the only thing I do is get up for a while- eat, read, or watch tv, and try again.

    I have heard good things about Alluna (an herbal supplement), but havent tried it myself. And although Paulista would disagree and it may work for you, the jury is still out on Melatonin- Ive heard from many people that it didnt work.
    Having a regular sleep schedule would probably be of great benefit, but that is nearly impossible for me as well as many students.
     
  19. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    Before you try the drugs, try drinking warm milk, eating lots of turkey, or having sex if you wanna get to sleep. These don't always work, of course, but are much safer than chemical aids.
     
  20. Barin

    Barin Member

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    You can also get 7-8 doses of amphetamine. Take it every 3 hours starting right now. It would be enough to stay awake and well focused till the very end of tomorrow's hell.
    Good luck to you.
     
  21. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Go to the doctor and get some Ambien!
    I LOVE IT!
    Amazing drug! It normally takes me 1 or 2 hours on AVERAGE to fall asleep. With ambien, I am out in 10 minutes and good for the night. Other good alternatives for me are mixing herbal pills called "calms" and a shot of vodka. Works like a charm. Don't try this the night before an exam if you never have done it before :)
     
  22. Intrepidation

    Intrepidation I wear PASG underwear

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    Use what the pros use: titrate 5mg of versed :D helps millions get to sleep in under two minutes!
     
  23. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Hey guys, it's way too late to be of any use to the OP. But I have heard good things about Ambien.
     
  24. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    I am the original poster.
    It is 5 a.m. Pacific time and obviously I couldn't get any sleep again. I tried sleeping pill but it had no effect at all much less side effects.
    Well..The nightmare is coming.
     
  25. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member

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    A few other notes:

    --alcohol is good for making most folks sleepy, but it disrupts sleep cycles. It does not produce restful sleep.

    --Benadryl is relatively safe, as far as serious side effects go, but as with all sleep aids it's good to try it a few times in non-critical situations to figure out how and if it works for you.

    --Melatonin studies are as of yet inconsistent. There is no agreed upon dosage, strength, or time for taking it for best benefits. Until this is well resolved with strong, peer-reviewed literature, I'd look to other sources. Anecdotal evidence is nice but not a substitute for good research.

    --Some of the benzodiazepines can be used short-term for insomnia (Ativan is an example). They are quite effective, but over a long period of time can result in total insomnia when not taking them.

    --Ambien, and other new sleep aids, are off to a great start in the market. Some require 7-8 hours in bed once taken, others only 4. I think it would be great for you to talk to your doc or PA/NP to figure out options and get you some sleep. The regular exercise recommendations are wonderful and will be really beneficial in the long run; until you get in the swing of it and see its effects I think you'd benefit from some Better Life Through Chemicals approaches. Good luck!
     
  26. SeeGulz

    SeeGulz Senior Member

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    I took an ambien before the exam. Normally after 20 minutes I feel drunk, and am asleep 10 minutes later. This time around my anxiety had a strong opposing effect. At about 40 minutes my face went numb, but I still could fall asleep for another 30 to 40 minutes. I woke up before the alarm too, because of some kind of exam nightmare. Still, I got 6 hours of sleep. I don't think I would have gotten a wink otherwise.
     
  27. goft20

    goft20 Do Right and Kill Everything
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    Having lots:boom: of sex helps me fall asleep..
     
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