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Sleeping Aids which keep you asleep rather than get you to sleep

Sleeping Aids which keep you asleep rather than get you to sleep

Old Aug 21, 07, 3:41 am
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Sleeping Aids which keep you asleep rather than get you to sleep

I am flying to Vancouver next week - while I will have no problem getting to sleep on arrival - i tend to find I wake up at 2 am, then 3 am, etc - and don't really get a good night sleep.

I have a 350 mile drive into the Rockies the next day - so would like to be properly rested - but I don't want to wake up feeling groggy, etc.

Can anyone suggest a sleeping aid for a one off - not to get me to sleep - but to keep me asleep you can buy over the counter in the UK. I have tried herbal ones in the past - but not much joy.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by blawson View Post
Can anyone suggest a sleeping aid for a one off - not to get me to sleep - but to keep me asleep you can buy over the counter in the UK. I have tried herbal ones in the past - but not much joy.
The best over-the-counter sleeping aids I know are the various antihistamine ones, like Nytol and Sominex. I do not know if they specifically serve your purpose, though. A friend of mine mentioned to me recently that there is a much stronger (and much more obscure) one that a doctor friend told him about, although it isn't actually marketed as a sleeping aid; I can't recall the name but I will try to find out.

But why do you specifically want an over-the-counter one? If you go to a GP and explain why you want some, I think you will end up with something much better.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 4:07 am
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A mallet?
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Old Aug 21, 07, 5:56 am
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I always take Melatonin, which works fine for me. It only a few $ for 60 tablets if you buy some in the US.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by frankvb View Post
I always take Melatonin, which works fine for me. It only a few $ for 60 tablets if you buy some in the US.
The OP is flying to Canada where the sale of Melatonin is illegal, there is also the possiblity that without a prescription the OP could have problems with Canadian Customs if stopped and searched.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 6:50 am
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I don't think you can buy Melatonin in the UK either.

Edit: I stand corrected! See below.

Last edited by csdf; Aug 21, 07 at 7:10 am
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Old Aug 21, 07, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by csdf View Post
I don't think you can buy Melatonin in the UK either.
Oh but you can. They sell it as a health supplement.

http://astronutrition.com/blog/melat...FQESEgod2T1UDg
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Old Aug 21, 07, 6:54 am
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Melatonin is now legal in Canada and readily available, though I found it didn't work as well as the Melatonin I bought in the States. Nytol Extra Strength should do the trick for over the counter sleep aids. Sominex seems to be harder and harder to find.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by bajacondo View Post
Melatonin is now legal in Canada and readily available, though I found it didn't work as well as the Melatonin I bought in the States. Nytol Extra Strength should do the trick for over the counter sleep aids. Sominex seems to be harder and harder to find.
You can buy both Sominex and Nytol Extra Strength in UK. I've an upcoming trip and never sleep on board. Which of these 2 would you recommend?
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Old Aug 21, 07, 7:16 am
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I prefer Sominex though as I said they harder to find in Canada now. Buy a pack and try one before you leave. I also found they are usually good for about 6 hours of uninterupted sleep.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by bajacondo View Post
Nytol Extra Strength should do the trick for over the counter sleep aids. Sominex seems to be harder and harder to find.
I find they can be OK for mild sleeplessness, but that prescription sleeping tablets like zopiclone are much better. And if the recommended dose of Nytol/Sominex doesn't work, taking more is a mistake: you will be very drowsy when you land.
Some tranquilizers, like Valium, aren't too bad for doing exactly the opposite of what you want: putting you to sleep, but not really keeping you asleep after a couple of hours if you are disturbed.
I still think you'd be better off seeing a GP.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by csdf View Post
I don't think you can buy Melatonin in the UK either.
Couple of points on Melatonin, it is prescription only in the UK. The fact you can buy it is irrelevant, in the UK you need a prescription.

Perhaps the major concern for UK consumers who buy Melatonin from unauthorised sites is the purity of what they are buying, Melatonin is derived from animal sources, no standard exists for the UK purity of Melatonin, so there is risk (maybe small) in any purchases.

"Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally secreted in the evening from the pineal gland in the brain and tells the brain it is time to sleep. Melatonin has been used in experiments to prevent jet lag, but most evidence is inconclusive. It is unlicensed in the UK and not recommended for use as little is known of its long-term effects."
(NHS Direct - ref. below)

"Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a simple substance, but no official standards of purity exist. In many countries---for example, the United States, Thailand, and Singapore---it is freely sold as a "dietary supplement" in health food stores and pharmacies. Suppliers need present no evidence of the degree of purity of the melatonin. Four of six melatonin products bought in health food shops in the United States were found to contain unidentified impurities.6 It seems advisable to buy it from a large reputable pharmacy chain and hope for the best. In Europe, Australia, and many other countries melatonin is regulated as a medicine and requires a licence, but no licensed preparation is marketed; only the internet offers a grey or black market." (British Medical Journal - ref. below.)

References:

GP Notebook - NHS Direct
- BMJ
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Old Aug 21, 07, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by LeisureFirst View Post
I find they can be OK for mild sleeplessness, but that prescription sleeping tablets like zopiclone are much better. And if the recommended dose of Nytol/Sominex doesn't work, taking more is a mistake: you will be very drowsy when you land.
Some tranquilizers, like Valium, aren't too bad for doing exactly the opposite of what you want: putting you to sleep, but not really keeping you asleep after a couple of hours if you are disturbed.
I still think you'd be better off seeing a GP.
Zopiclone (and eszopiclone, i.e. Lunesta, in the US) is a good choice to keep you asleep, as it has a longish half-life for a "z-drug". Zaleplon (Sonata) is a bad choice. It gets you to sleep, but only lasts a couple of hours. Zolpidem (Ambien) is available in the US in a controlled release form, which is also good for keeping you asleep.

I wouldn't use diazepam (Valium), as its half-life is quite long: on the order of days. In the US you might find it harder to get a doc to write a script for a benzo than a z-drug.

Interestingly, Sominex in the US is different from Sominex in the UK. In the US it's diphenhydramine, but in the UK it's promethazine. Both are anti-histamines.

Instead of melatonin, one could try ramelteon (Rozerem in the US). However, like melatonin, ramelteon is not good at maintaining sleep (only getting one to sleep).

Note that I am not a doctor.
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Old Aug 21, 07, 9:07 am
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Think I will go for the Nytol from Boots - and see how I get on. Not too keen on trying something which may or may not be be illegal - that would be enough to make me an insomniac ;-)
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Old Aug 21, 07, 9:25 am
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Slightly OT, but i got a prescription for Ambien CR in the US, and ive heard people raving about them. Whilst they are good for keeping you asleep, i didnt find them particularly good for helping me get to sleep in the first place. Also i couldnt believe how expensive they were, $140 for about 30.
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