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What is a fast acting sleep medication?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Psycho Doctor, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    Anyone know of some OTC med that you can take to fall asleep quickly but not sleep for more than a few hours and then allow you to be alert when you get up? There's got to be something.
     
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  3. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    propofol

    Oh, you meant OTC. No, not really. Diphenhydramine at best.
     
  4. Lesion Of Doom

    Lesion Of Doom The Hemi-neglected One
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    Being a person with a lenghty history of insomnia and trying quite a few meds, it will be difficult to find something that qualifies criteria. The problem with most sleep meds is drowsiness upon waking. I would say Diphenhydramine or Doxylamine succinate (sp?). The latter gives you better :sleep: and is more quick and effective but it may have you a bit more drowsy, IMO. DS is my favorite OTC sleep aid. Try giving them a trial run when you have no where to be after you wake up. You may want to try half of the DS first and see how that goes.
     
  5. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    if you're thinking the sleep would help you retain info, you gotta be aware that chemically induced sleep is not the same as natural sleep and not as good at helping your brain recover.

    that said old faves for sleep are benadryl (though it can make you groggy afterwards and as such isn't such a great choice). a lot of people swear by melatonin (sp?) as well. personally i've taken benadryl to get to sleep, but not melatonin, so i can't compare the two.

    and i'm not suggesting this or admitting that i've done it, but you could go dig around in your medicine cabinet and see what RX meds you have that can make you sleepy...

    ah who am i kidding; i have flexeril for my ****ed up back and man i'll tell you what, i NEVER sleep better than when i take it. (which is good, b/c my back keeps me up sometimes). but i'll admit to having taken it a couple of times when i was really dying for some rest and unable to sleep (and my back didn't hurt). but like i said, i couldn't actually suggest that anyone else do something similar as that would be advocating drug abuse (or misuse? it's all semantics) but if you were to do something like that, well that would be your decision.

    anyway some people say a couple of drinks; but most people agree that etoh messes with the sleep staging too much to be useful in a situation like this.

    warm milk?

    i've heard good things about camemille tea (sp?)

    actually something else that works well for me that isn't pharmaceutical is yoga. really. i started doing it for my back and it is SOOOO relaxing. especially when you're muslces are all tense and out of wack from caffeine and stress (like mine and yours and all the other ms1's are right now). no bull****. if feels like you can restore some sense of balance to your body with it. the regular, rhythmic, slow breathing just melts the tension away.

    and boy if you take flexeril before doing you... well, that's just transcental.

    ok. i'm going to stop rambling. back to studying anatomy.

    does anyone else feel like their brain is just gonna quit for about 3 days immediately after their last final?
     
  6. YouDontKnowJack

    YouDontKnowJack I no something you don't
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    i remember reading something in BRS Behavioral science about conditioning.

    listen to the same song everytime you try to sleep. after a while, you'll fall asleep quick because your brain associates the song with sleep.
    Then set an alarm on your computer to play loud music. That should wake you up.

    it solved my sleep problems. I used to lay awake for 2 hours no matter how hard i tried to fall asleep.
     
  7. samenewme

    samenewme Senior Member
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    Chamomile tea helps if you make it part of a consistent going to bed ritual. I just take tryptophan. Don't start with me, people, I love my tryptophan.
     
  8. Skichic56

    Skichic56 Phalaenopsis Orchid
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    I know you said otc but I've heard alot of people like ambien. I like nyquil because you can regulate the dose and the drowsiness usually wears off within a half hour of waking.
     
  9. DropkickMurphy

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    How bad is it that I had the same thought.....Sleep meds- propofol, lorazepam, pentobarbital, etc....I've spent too much time in the ICU.

    But I do agree that diphenhydramine is the best thing out there. It's a godsend. Ambien is effective, but you need a prescription and it is effective in much the same way getting smacked in the head with a shovel is effective in inducing sleep. I tried it and was talking to my girlfriend and *snaps fingers* lights out while in a standing position.
     
  10. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    I had the weirdest experience with Ambien. I was careful because I heard the stories about falling asleep like a light switch being flipped. I feel asleep about like normal, but woke up feeling like my sleep had lacked something. It's weird, because I've never experienced this before, but if you could compare a night's sleep to drinking a flat coke, that's what it was. I just felt *blah*... not physically tired or hungover, but mentally flat.
     
  11. angietron3000

    angietron3000 *black magic soul power*
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    If I can't sleep but really need to be alert in the morning I take half of a unisom tablet (doxylamine succinate i think?), seems like it has just enough kick to help me fall asleep but usually has worn off by morning
     
  12. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    i'm guessing he found something??

    psycho, fill us in on what you used!
     
  13. RCStonermds

    RCStonermds New Member

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    Sonata (same class as Ambien). ~ 4 h duration.
     
  14. Rendar5

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    no ambien!!!! that stuff will put u to sleep very quickly. and then u can have horrible insomnia the next couple nights from it. You can end up being forced to lose even more sleep because of it.
     
  15. Lesion Of Doom

    Lesion Of Doom The Hemi-neglected One
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    The problem with Ambien is that you grow tolerance to it super quick. The first time I took it, I was sitting at my PC just browsing the web full of spunk and then the next second I almost fell out of my chair and nearly had to crawl to my bed thinking I would just fall asleep on the floor before I could make it. I slept for about 10 hours that night. It has never worked that well since. I was lucky if I could get 5 hours out of it by the fourth time I took it. It doesn't have me groggy but not really refreshed either. I like the flat coke analogy.
     
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    NyQuill knocks some people out pretty well -- I think it's the benedril. Cleans up your congestion as well. But I don't think people should be advocating taking any sleep medications OTC. Consult a doctor if its a real problem.
     
  17. amyliz

    amyliz Member
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    I had a cold this week and used nyquil for 3 nights or so to be able to sleep without coughing...and tonight (ok, last night, since it's now 7am) I didn't take it (because, hey, no more cold)...and couldn't fall asleep. I've been up all night. Test tomorrow. Advice? I still don't think I could fall asleep right now if I tried. Argh...
     
  18. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    I actually need it for tonight, so I haven't done anything yet. I've been away from here studying. :)

    Thanks everyone for all your comments. However from my experience most of those meds you people suggested may knock you out (some don't even work on me); however they still make you feel groggy. I need something that will allow me to fall asleep VERY quickly (as I have no time to waste) but only for about two hours. Then I need to be able to wake up feeling extremely alert. I can NOT afford to feel the least bit groggy.
     
  19. VFTW

    VFTW Member
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    Sounds like you want a magic pill
     
  20. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    seriously man i don't think that what you want exists. not as one pill. if you were bent on finding a pharmaceutical way to do this, you would definately be comboing meds... and that's prolly not the best idea ;)


    but i was serious about the yoga thing. it works really really well for me. i do like 20 minutes at night before bed and the same when i get up. it's a natural mood enhancer. in the morning i feel energized and alert afterwards. at night my body feels relaxed; like the days stress has been shed.

    or it might not be a bad idea to talk to you doc about trying some other sleep inducing drugs. there are A LOT of them out there, not all of them marketed as such (but still commonly used to help w/sleep). it seems like this probably won't be the only time when you sleep is impared due to school/stress... so may as well get it figured out asap.

    and if you find something that works wonders for you - a miracle pill - you gotta let the rest of us know.
     
  21. kingcer0x

    kingcer0x Re-Member
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    If you aren't sick and coughing there is no reason to take Nyquil to fall asleep seeing how you don't need the acetaminophen and the dextromethorphan and whatever else is in there and that stuff in high enough doses is just plain toxic. Just take the diphenhydramine or doxylamine succinate.
     
  22. velo

    velo bottom of the food chain
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    PixieDust OTC
     
  23. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    i suppose that's true; do you know of any?
     
  24. DrYo12

    DrYo12 Y-bomb
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    Dude. I had my biochem shelf today and I have to say reading Lippencotts cover to cover didn't help as much as the 7 hours I got the night before.

    SLEEP!!!! :sleep:
     
  25. Ross434

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    ambien is pretty fast acting, but sublingual ativan might win the race for speed. OTC dipenhydramine works. In my experience, - take the full 2 pills (suggested dose). Once i took only one, thinking i didnt need *that* much help falling asleep, and it just made me feel really dizzy.
     
  26. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    Hmmm... sounds like good advice! :D
     
  27. nabeya

    nabeya Senior Member
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    I like Lunesta. I could feel it working within 15 min.
     
  28. SpeedRacer

    SpeedRacer Senior Member
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    i tried that for awhile. then i was driving in the car and the song came on the radio, i feel asleep and got in an accident. :sleep: ............. :eek:
     
  29. MD2b20004

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    Ambium (sorry for the spelling) it works REAL good, knocks you out in 5 minutes but better have 8 hours of sleep to spare.
     
  30. mj1878

    mj1878 Water good...
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    Blunt trauma to the head :sleep:
     
  31. Reddragon112177

    Reddragon112177 Determined Student

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    Do you listen to the same song over and over again? Or do you listen to an album or something. I take forever to fall asleep... I was just curious. I'd be listening to the same song for hrs. until my brain was conditioned. Maybe I could find a really long song....something by Pink Floyd might do the trick.
     
  32. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0
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    This may be totally off topic, but one Thanksgiving I was home and had a migraine for three days that didn't respond to Imitrex, Relpax etc.. I finally ended up going to the ER, and they gave me several meds IV. One (sorry, don't remember the name, I was really out of it) was supposed to be a sedative and it wired me up. I was released and went home a few hours later, but still couldn't sleep. My mom called my doctor and my doc told my mom to give me one of her Klonopin pills. It took about 45 minutes but it did help me get to sleep.

    My mom has generalized anxiety disorder, so she had Xanex and Klonopin on hand, and I happened to be home. Otherwise I don't know what I would have done because I was practically shaking, and my doc didn't want to give me any more sedatives because of what I'd already had.

    I am not sure about what the regular uses of Klonopin are, but it helped me sleep that one day. When I woke up I felt awesome, but that was probably because the migraine was finally gone.

    I hope you find your magic pill, Psycho! :luck:
     
  33. MD2b20004

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, i got GAD too, stay away from Klonopin and Xanax, for they are VERY addictive and can have extremely bad side effects in the long run, especially if you decide to take them for a period of time and quite. Once i tried to quite Xanax on my own and ended up with a Seizure in the ER not knowing what happened and what hit me, until a see a doc over my head asking me "do you know your name?" , "who is the president of the US", etc... I was like hmm... So i learned my lesson, if you take those meds like i do by prescription, DO TAKE THEM, and don't stop until your doc tells you, they are not ambiem or a sleeping pill, they are very controlled substances. In conclusion NO ONE should ever take those drugs unless prescribed, one time taking it like the previous poster may not kill you, but dont do it again. If your hooked, its worse than crack.
     
  34. MD2b20004

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    Did a quick search and here goes the inside scope about Xanax in as detailed as anyone would want to know. I probably over did the info., but hey were all going to be future docs. You got to know this info. some time.
    Mike

    Home Xanax Prescription : Warning and Precautions


    Anti Anxiety Drug Xanax Information


    The anti anxiety drug Xanax is habit forming
    Xanax is a Prescription Drug which is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the Xanax medication. Nevert take more than the prescribed amount of xanax medication or take it longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if Xanax medication is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. As per xanax prescription, sudden discontinuation of the medication may result in seizures and other side effects, that is why a doctor always recommends a gradual reduction in dose.

    The anti anxiety drug Xanax provides relief for a number of anxiety disorders and depression, and is usually is taken three times a day. The instructions for the xanax medication are always there on the prescription label and these must be followed exactly. Never take xanax medication for more than four months without consulting a doctor. Similarly Alprazolam/Xanax medication should never be stopped without consulting your doctor, because stopping xanax drug abruptly can cause seizures, delirium, and withdrawal symptoms. A doctor only can guide you on how to decrease the daily dose of xanax medication.

    The drug Alprazolam/Xanax comes in tablet form, and the xanax prescription label will tell you the correct dose. Our online pharmacist can answer any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

    The anti anxiety actions of the drug Xnax

    The anti-anxiety actions of the drug xanax depend upon alprazolam and xanax chemistry. The anti anxiety drug chemically enhances the action of GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid), the chemical which has thequietening effect on the brain.The action thus helps to relieve anxiety. Take alprazolam medication exactly as directed by your doctor. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not take more than what is prescribed for you. Alprazolam as a medication is always habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication. Withdrawal effects which occur if alprazolam is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use can sometimes become overwhelming. Always consult a doctor on how to gradually reduce the dose.

    Xanax / Alprazolam drug info on contraindications :
    The xanax medication can have deleterious effects if taken along with some other drugs. Similiarly in certain situations, actions of xanax can some time cause serious repercussions. The following information of xanax has been specially included on the recommendation of Dr. Johnson who warns you against taking the drug in the following conditions:

    Activities requiring mental alertness
    As with other CNS depressant drugs, patients are cautioned against the use of these drugs during activities requiring mental alertness, judgment and physical coordination as well as activities like driving or operating machinery.

    Anxiety medication should be taken according to xanax prescription with care particularly in the early phases of treatment of anxiety attacks, until proper adjustment to side effects has been established.

    Alcohol and Xanax should never be mixed in when driving because of this combination may have unpredictable CNS depressant effects on your brain.

    During pregnancies and nursing
    Xanax as a medication for anxiety is not recommended during pregnancies as per xanax prescription of experts. Anxiety medication studies have suggested an increased risk of congenital malformations associated with the use of the Benzodiazepine during the first trimester of pregnancy.

    Studies have indicated that Xanax / Alprazolam and its metabolites are secreted into the milk. Therefore, nursing should not be undertaken while the mother is taking the drug xanax.
    To children
    Till now, no proper safety and efficacy of Alprazolam in patients under the age of 18 years has been established.
    Elderly patients
    Elderly and debilitated patients, or those with organic brain syndrome, have been found to be prone to the CNS depressant activity of Benzodiazepine even after low doses. Manifestations include ataxia, over sedation and hypotension.

    Therefore, Xanax / Alprazolam medication to these patients should be administered with caution and strictly according to xanax prescription of expert doctors. Cardiac complications may occur due to a drop in blood pressure. Xanax medication is always started with low doses, and the dose increments should be made gradually depending on the response of the patient; this is done to avoid over sedation, neurological impairment and other possible adverse reactions of the xanax medication.

    Anxiety Disorders
    Xanax medication should not be used by individuals who have physiological anxiety or have disabling manifestations of an appropriate pathological anxiety disorder. Xanax prescription clearly says that xanax medication is not recommended for the treatment of patients suffering with depressive or psychotic disorders.

    Alprazolam medication should not be administered to individuals prone to drug abuse. Caution should be observed in all patients who are considered to have potential for psychological dependence.

    Interactions with other drugs
    Benzodiazepine are known to interact with effects of other CNS acting drugs such as alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates, non barbiturate hypnotics, antihistamines, phenothiazines, butyrophenones, MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants. It should never be taken with alcohol. Researach has proved that alcohol in low doses spoils the positive effects of not only the drug Alprazolam, but practically all benzodiazepines.

    A xanax prescription warns against the simultaneous use of other CNS depressant drugs like Benzodiazepine of any other type, such as valium, tobacco, marijuana, grapefruit juice, antihistamines such as benadryl, oral contraceptives, sleeping pills etc. along with the xanax medication. These drugs strongly interact with Xanax medication and can create serious side effects.

    Caution has also to be taken iIf you plan to buy your xanax prescription online, buy the same from a reliable online pharmacy that offers cheap Xanax, has both license and the square trade seal.



    Have question, contact Dr Johnson to clarify your queries.

    Email: [email protected]
     
  35. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0
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    Oops. I didn't mean to advocate the abuse of these drugs. I know there is a problem with Xanax abuse since my mom's doc told her to hide them and don't tell anyone she had them because people will kill for the drug. I never understood that because when she has to take them she practically falls asleep sitting up, so why would people use them as recreational drugs?

    Anyway, I'll delete my post if you want me to. I'm still pre-med, so obviously I don't know too much. :oops:
     
  36. MD2b20004

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    No, you dont have to erase your thread at all, I am glad you raised the issue, don't think med students know it all, I guarantee you more than 50% of them did not know anything about the stuff I said. I sure did not until I started taking them and did my own research on the drug since I do not take any drug without researching it (side effects, what its used for, etc...) since docs rush you out in 2 mins and usually do not tell you all you need to know sometimes you got to do your own research.
     
  37. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    you're kidding, right? you think that half of med students don't know about xanax and how it works?

    benzo's are mostly schedule IV substances. low dose painkillers like hydrocodone (less than 15mg/pill) are schedule III while high dose/potency narcotics (oxycodone, morphine as well as stimulants like adderall(amphetamine) are schedule II drugs. Interestingly enough, cocaine is also a schedule II drug while marijuana is schedule I. go figure.

    i'm not trying to advocate off label or illicit use of drugs, but give them med students some credit. and i still think flexeril is the best sleep aid known to man.
     
  38. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    My first flight to New Zealand I was worried about staying awake the whole flight and then being dead tired for the next few days in Auckland. My mother (an FP) gave me some Ambien. Right after the first meal, and with 9 hours to go on the flight, I took 2. Nothing. I was wired the rest of the flight and the rest of the day in Auckland (I ended up arriving in the morning there). Around 4pm that day I was standing on an escalator in Newmarket, when WHAM, I felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks. My boyfriend at the time had to literally carry me home.

    The second time over, I took Tylenol PM and drank 4 glasses of wine. I slept like a baby for 9 hours. No jet-lag either.

    Oh, I also tried Lunesta the night before my wedding (hell yeah I was too excited to fall asleep!) and it worked very well, like within 45 minutes. I did feel a little groggy the next morning, but coffee took care of that.
     
  39. beary

    beary Pancytopenic
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    I guess this thread just goes to show how everybody is different and you just need to see what works for you. Ambien works great for me, and it doesn't last very long - I can actually take it 4-5 hours before I need to get up, sleep well, and feel fine in the morning.

    I take Xanax once in a while when I fly and it really doesn't do anything for me. Maybe just a little drowsy. But it certainly doesn't knock me out, and I do not understand how anybody gets addicted to it. But I know people do - just different chemistry I guess.
     
  40. MD2b20004

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    It is not really different chemistry, its how often you take it, whether it is prescribed or not and what dosage you take it at. Also it depends if you take it regularly or not. Try taking 6mg a day for 6 months and you will see what I mean. Stay away from those controlled substance, and to the OP that said give med students credit most know about Xanax, trust me you should see how much at med schools including friends abuse it non-prescribed and know crap about its side effects. I admit as a medical student, i knew about the drug, but until i did intense research about it because I was prescribed the drug, than I REALLY understood the drug, then trying it and taking it for over 9 months I really can testify and give first hand experience of its effects.
    Mike

    By the way, to the previous poster, never take more than one ambiem a day unless prescribed, it too is addictive, and it can hit you at any time and knock you out. For me, it used to knock me out the first 10 minutes I took it on one pill, now it takes about two hours, but remember you need a full night (8 hours of sleep) unless you take a number of Red Bulls and coffee to be fully functional and not fatigued the next day.
     
  41. KidDr

    KidDr Senior Member
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    I usually fall asleep without any trouble but if I need to go to bed earlier than usual, 2 melatonin pills (6 mg total I think, taken about 30-60 minutes before I need to fall asleep) works like a charm, and no grogginess in the AM. And it's cheap, too, and not addictive. Highly recommended.
    :luck:
     
  42. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    well thast's what i was looking for but you're right different things work for different people.
     
  43. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I forgot about melatonin! I actually have a bottle in the medicine cabinet, and you bet it works! Although I tend to experience some grogginess, but it also depends on my cycle (female). My husband snores a lot, and on days I can't fall asleep, I take one or two and I'm gone within an hour. I tend to sleep a solid 8-9 hours anyway once I'm out.
     
  44. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    Here's another ambien (zolipidem) fan. It knocks me out within half an hour. I have noticed that sometimes I will wake up afterwards and not be able to fall asleep - probably due to the relatively short half life of zolipidem. Fortunatelyl they now have AmbienCR which is extended release and it keeps me asleep allllllllllll night. Haven't tried lunesta yet but its the same class so I'm guessing its good too!
     
  45. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    you were taking 6mg of xanax A DAY? geez man, how did you function? i also sometimes take xanax before flying (0.5mg) and that usually keeps me out for most of the flight.

    i do do beg to differ about the chemistry thing. alprazolam gets hit by CYP3A in the liver as the primary metabolism pathway. P450 expression levels are very, very variable between individuals. so yes, it is possible that someone would metabolism the drug faster and more completely and have a less pronounced benifit from the drug. the opposite could also be true.

    and your response to the drug has nothing to do with whether or not it was prescribed to you or you obtained it illegally.

    i don't mean to imply that as med students we know everything about every drug, we obviously don't. but something everyone should know, med student or not, is that taking drugs not prescribed to you is a bad idea both medically and legally. i think most of us have as some point or another broken this rule, but that doesn't mean we should be. this is especially true when dealing with drugs that can be habbit forming.

    if you need a controlled drug, then you need to be talking with your doctor.

    -------

    now back to the sleeping pill thing:

    i've heard many people over the years testifying to the efficacy of melatonin. has anyone here used it?

    and still, i stick by my flexeril (prescribed to me for when my back spasms and keeps me up). never fails to get me to sleep within 1 or 1.5 hours.
     
  46. Kimka83

    Kimka83 SDN Donor
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    I know we are looking for a medication . . . but exercise is another great option. Right before bed might not be the best time. If I go for a run or work out too close to bedtime, I cannot sleep. But rigorous exercise a few hours before bedtime always helps me fall asleep when the time comes. I guess I have already tired myself out, but the adrenaline has had time to wear off. So you might want to try 30 minutes to 60 minutes of serious cardio in the evening.
     
  47. KidDr

    KidDr Senior Member
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    See my posts above--I use melatonin a couple times a month (2 pills--6 mg total--about an hour before I want to fall asleep), and it works great. Having said that, I'm definitely not prone to insomnia (if anything I'm the opposite, I usually have no problems falling asleep) and I only use melatonin when I need to fall asleep earlier than my body's used to and I know I'll just lay there for an hour or more unless I take something (I'm a total night owl). For people with bad insomnia, melatonin may not be strong enough. But for everyone else I think it's worth a try--it's super cheap, you don't need a prescription, and it isn't addictive.
     

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