frog1

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I have been get up very early in the morning in the past/first week of my internship, I have been having some intermittent drowsiness during the day. I would like to get something OTC to help me get rid of the drowsiness episodes and stay fully awake throughout the day. Does anyone else have such need? What would you recommend?
 
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docB

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frog1 said:
I have been get up very early in the morning in the past/first week of my internship, I have been having some intermittent drowsiness during the day. I would like to get something OTC to help me get rid of the drowsiness episodes and stay fully awake throughout the day. Does anyone else have such need? What would you recommend?
I noticed the same thing during my first few days of residency. It was self limited and got better pretty much right after residency. It did start up again about the time my daughter was born and has hung on ever since.
 

njbmd

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frog1 said:
I have been get up very early in the morning in the past/first week of my internship, I have been having some intermittent drowsiness during the day. I would like to get something OTC to help me get rid of the drowsiness episodes and stay fully awake throughout the day. Does anyone else have such need? What would you recommend?
Hey there,
I do a cup of coffee in the early afternoon (around 2pm or so) and drink loads of water during the rest of the day. Nothing makes you more drowsy than dehydration so keep yourself hydrated. A nice, ice-cold bottle of water does wonders after coming out of a 5-hour case in the OR.

If I drink the coffee later than 2pm, I am up later at night. I drink a cup at 4AM and another cup at 2pm. After that, its water for me.

njbmd :)

P.S. Let me also add that stress can make you more tired than sleep. I believe that this is one of the reasons why many physicians "adjust" to functioning on less sleep because the stress level does decrease as you get more experience. Decreasing stress by doing a bit of physical exercise might also help your excessive sleepiness too.
 

ekydrd

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SLEEP!!!!!!

This is THE most important thing to take. If you develop too much of a sleep debt no matter how much coffee you drink, or uppers you take, you will eventually succumb to the sleep monster. So take advantage of any little moment you have to close your eyes and take a power nap. These become more important as the call month wears on and you become more exhausted. And pretty soon you will learn to sleep where ever and when ever you can.
 

Insomniac8o8

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^^This is the best advice given so far.

Obviously you won't have the luxury of long hours of sleep for quite some time to come, but at the same time, sleep debt is no joke. Everyone deals with sleep deprivation differently, but cups of caffeine don't substitute a good dose of sleep.

So I also suggest power naps if you're able to adjust to that.
 

beyond all hope

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Agree with above posters.

You will probably sleep more on your days off. I personally am unable to nap anymore. I can barely sleep after a night shift. You will have to make up your sleep debt at some time. Don't think you can work a call and then just have a normal day afterwards. You can't.
 

Sammich81

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I find that what I eat affects me too. I can't eat heavy lunches or it's food coma from 2-4:30. Go heavy on the protein, fruit and vegetables, light on starchy stuff and SMALL portions! Luna bars are a great snack when you can't sit and eat.
 

Nerdoscience

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If you did not have a lot of overnight call as a med student, this may be new to you. You will adjust. That doesn't mean you won't be really sleepy sometimes. Just not quite as sleepy.

Drinking lots of water and eating crunchy food helps me. Sometimes an apple or a bag of chips can really keep you alert. Also works when driving, except if you drink too much, you'll have to stop.

I really don't think taking an OTC is the best idea. Even caffeine has a nasty side effect profile. If you think you have excessive daytime sleepiness, you could see a sleep specialist and get something prescribed to you. They'd probably want to do an multiple sleep latency test on you, and maybe a sleep study if you think it's a medical condition and not just internship kicking your you know what.
 
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