Apr 19, 2007 at 10:11 pm #1222905
There is a thread elsewhere in which one of our fine members mentions sleeping during a multiday race.
For some reason I do not sleep as comfortably as I did in the past. I don't think it's pad comfort or bag warmth, I'm just keyed up[about a climb,a lake, the next days route] and perhaps a have a little onset soreness.
I'm curious if anyone has any experience with the new generation sleep aids like ambien cr or if they feel it is appropriate in this situation.Apr 20, 2007 at 12:10 am #1386709
@jtgishLocale: Coppell, TexasApr 20, 2007 at 7:54 am #1386726
@tarbubbleLocale: dirtville, CA
i have occasional bouts of insomnia. i have never used a prescription sleep aid, because the older ones seemed too strong, but the new ones didn't have enough a of a track record for me to trust them. with all the stories about strange somnambulistic behaviour attributed to the newer sleep aids, i'm glad i waited! i won't be trying them now.
i've recently been trying an over the counter called Simply Sleep. it's just diphenhydramine HCI, 25 mg per caplet. each dose is two caplets, but at home on those "can't stop thinking" nights i just take a half dose. i am planning to bring it along on my next trip to see how well it works for me there. i tried the BPL-recommended practice of a torso pad & Tylenol PM, but that didn't cut it for me.Apr 20, 2007 at 11:42 am #1386754
Denis HazlewoodBPL Member
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Try Benadryl.Apr 20, 2007 at 12:02 pm #1386755
Dylan SkolaBPL Member
@phageghostLocale: Southern California
Simply Sleep = Benadryl but cheaper. Same dose of the same active ingredient. Other OTC sleeping aids use it as well. It's an interesting case of marketing a side effect (drowsiness) as a therapeutic effect. Works for me.Apr 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm #1386765
last summer's trip was horrible due to inability to fall asleep and stay asleep – seems to be an increasing problem for me over last few years
so i'm gonna be packin either ambien or sonataApr 20, 2007 at 2:52 pm #1386769
I posted this on thursday, and since I have a short overnight trip this weekend I made the effort to talk with a physician and he gave me a sample of ambien cr [which is a time release version]. Basically he said to try a half dose at first.
So I'm going try it and in a couple of weeks I'm going out with the same youth group and I'll try the benadryl/tylenol pm and I'll post the results that I have gotten.
A few other adults will be present in case this big monkey experiment goes askew.
iApr 20, 2007 at 3:08 pm #1386772
Ron BellBPL Member
I'm not sure from the posts if the sleep problem/concerns mentioned occur only on outings or are present at home too.
A significant change in sleeping pattern that does not revert to "normal' fairly soon is a sign of a physical or psychologial problem, or a combination.
I've experienced both and do have a mild case of Sleep Apnea. These type health issues rarely resolve on thier own and can progress to very serious health problems as deadly as any major illness. Many times there are simple and effective treatments. Treating it early is far easier than later.
If it's just being excited and and keyed up on a big trip in an unusual place and it returns to regular sound sleep at home, then a sleep aid on a trip may be OK.
If it occurs at home and away even part of every week, then I Strongly reccomend a trip to the doctor.Apr 20, 2007 at 3:13 pm #1386773
David NeumannBPL Member
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
Simply Sleep contains the same chemical found in Tylenol PM or Advil PM. If you don't need the pain medicine use the Simply Sleep (Generic works fine). I have used both of these meds on numerous trips with success, but never above 10,000 feet in elevation. I can't remember where I read that but there is some kind of concern using sleeping medication at high altitude. Kind of unfortunate because that is when it would really come in handy.Apr 20, 2007 at 3:19 pm #1386774
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
After a long day on the trail, I love Advil PM. Puts me to sleep and takes care of the muscle pain and swelling.
My only advice- don't take it if you want to wake up partway through the night. Once I took it too late into the night and had a really hard time with my early alarm.
Good stuff- part of my regular kit. It makes a uncomfortable pad the most comfy bed you've ever seen!
DougApr 20, 2007 at 4:00 pm #1386781
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
I spent 2006 using either Tylenol PM or Advil PM as part of my kit. It sure does help me fall asleep and my little aches and pains simply go away. As you get older (I'm almost 43) the pain of hiking is quite real, even with a light load. It just helps me along at night. Just don't take it too late, early morning starts can be difficult!!Apr 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm #1386785
@greyhoundLocale: Sierra Nevada
So a few people have said don't take it too late, so what is too late?
Obviously this is going to be different from person to person, but just your experience would be great.Apr 20, 2007 at 4:49 pm #1386787
Ron – I just had a physical and mentioned my sleep troubles (have had them for many years but they have been worsening last couple years)
he responded by offering prescription for lunesta, ambien or sonata
it seemed strange to me too, but i guess he was comfortable enough w/ the physical & my labs…Apr 20, 2007 at 4:56 pm #1386788
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
My experience over the last 15 years with acetaminophen/diphenhydramine(generic for Tylenol P.M.) has been to allow at least 8 hours between ingestion and when you want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. YMMV. Also, most of my trips are at elevations of 10-12,000+ feet, and I have not experienced any untoward effects so far. Again, YMMV. In my case, it also has the side benefit of keeping my otherwise stuffed up nasal passages clear, which is also necessary for a good night's sleep. This is strictly, I think, a personal problem of mine. IMHO, a great little pill that I am never without in the high country.Apr 20, 2007 at 6:33 pm #1386800
@jbairdLocale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Hi Cary… did you ask about sleep disorders presented by snoring or apnea? (does your sleeping partner say you tend to hold your breath while sleeping or do you wake up many times a night?)
Re-read what Ron has to say…just a thought.Apr 20, 2007 at 8:07 pm #1386808
If my memory is correct himalayan climbers would take the old time heavy duty sleeping pills when they were up high [death zone] to at least gain some rest.Apr 21, 2007 at 9:53 am #1386851
Well, I cant find Tylenol or Advil PM here in Japan, but I do have both acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Ill pop one of each on my trip next month, 8 hours before I plan to wake up. Ill get the dosages from the companies website. Good tip.. My Montbell pad is comforable enough, but Im usually so eager to continue my trip I have difficulty sleeping. Planning for months for a three day trip, for example..Apr 21, 2007 at 10:47 am #1386857
I don't often snore – have to be REALLY tired. That being said, when I do it's more often at elevation after hiking than anywhere else. I don't think I have regular apnea, but when we were first married, my wife used to wake me up a couple times a week, saying I wasn't breathing. I've noticed that when I'm conentrating hard I often don't breathe & I do know that I have a tendency for strong dreams – not sure if that would translate into the same thing.
Mostly I have trouble falling asleep & I also wake up very easily. A lot of times it seems impossible to find a comfortable sleeping position – this is true at home in a quality bed & even more true when sleeping on the ground. I've had some kind of CFS crap for about 15 years & it's probably related to that – I've seen some research with alpha/delta wave interference being linked.
Hi-ho. More weight in pads & a few sleeping pills might just do the trick. Last year's great trip I pulled out early because I just couldn't sleep well enough & so each day was more sore, grumpy, etc. Loved the days & the hiking, dreaded the long nights of tossing and turning – horribly tired but not sleeping much.Apr 21, 2007 at 11:27 am #1386864
This is meant as gently provocative:
Does this mean that UL or SUL involves not having enough comfortable gear and then using meds (with definite and possible side-effects) to be able to sleep? I guess a few Tylenol PM or straight Benadryl is lighter than a comfy sleep pad…………and warm enough gear………
And does one need ibuprofen (generic for Advil) because one has hiked too much?
I am actually surprised at how many people take sleep aides or routine analgesics/anti-inflammatories while in the woods/hiking/bping……….seems somewhat antithetical to me…….I would've thought tree-hugging and natural lifestyles would go hand in hand :-)..
I avoid all meds at almost all costs………I do carry emergency supplies of meds but only use them for serious needs……..
The advice for sleep apnea: unless one has daytime sleepiness (i.e. falls asleep during the day at unwanted periods) the probability of sleep apnea is small. Yes, there is an epidemic of sleep apnea in this country (mostly related to the epidemic of obesity)……..and yes sleep apnea has serious health sequelae…..I would think that UL and SUL backpackers would not have that problem.
Disclaimer: these are my humble opinions. I was just surprised by the responses…….Apr 21, 2007 at 2:09 pm #1386874
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
sorry and yeah, 8 hours is about right. Usually around 8-9 pm I will pop only one in and the magic occurs pretty quickly. Usually by 7-8 am I am ready to start my day on the trail.Apr 21, 2007 at 2:33 pm #1386875
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> This is meant as gently provocative:
Shame – only 'mildly' ? :-)
> Does this mean that UL or SUL involves not having enough comfortable gear and then using meds (with definite and possible side-effects) to be able to sleep?
The idea worries me too. Should this Forum be encouraging the taking of drugs?
As a matter of interest I had never heard of the idea anywhere else. Certainly, it is unheard of in Australia.
In practice, Sue and I are tired enough after cooking dinner and cleaning up that we go to sleep for the night. Sue usually has to nudge me to get up and make breakfast!
CheersApr 21, 2007 at 2:51 pm #1386877
but for me, it seems I can either take sleeping aids or not sleep when on the trail.
Hell, I have trouble sleeping about half the time at home. Sometimes the more tired I am, the harder it is to sleep.
I don't think anyone is recommending it – the case is more "assuming you have incredible trouble sleeping, which meds work best for a given situation?"
It's worse each year for me & I literally left a great trip last year that I'd been looking forward to for 2 years because I just couldn't sleep.Apr 21, 2007 at 4:48 pm #1386886
My actual problem is not comfort,I can't shut off my brain, i.e. I'll climb the mountain ten times before I actually get up to do it. Perhaps there is a more zen like solution that fits our "lifestyle".
Drawing the line with "crutches" has to be a personal decision, wilderness comfort is nearly as important to our wilderness experience as destination, especially if we are cutting a trip short.Also Nsaids are a poor choice for DOMS [muscle soreness]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2078806&dopt=Abstract
In a handfull of years I'll be drooling over Bozeman Mtns carbon fiber trail walker so pardon me if I try to get a decent nights sleep.Apr 21, 2007 at 6:01 pm #1386889
W I S N E R !BPL Member
I've been reading this discussion and have to join in with the others that are a little alarmed to find how casual and seemingly prevailant taking sleep meds on the trail is…
I guess I can understand if one is prone to sleep problems at home and has a history of using them…
…but taking them because that superlight pad isn't too comfy and the ground is hard? If this is that common, it just strikes me as a little out of character with the attitude of simplicity and naturalism that so many backpackers supposedly adhere to.
But I guess this is the world we live in, on some level it all makes perfect sense.Apr 21, 2007 at 8:54 pm #1386905
According to the national center of health statistics one half of all Americans require one prescription medicine and one in six require at least three. Even if you factor in a healthier population for wilderness users their is still a percentage that need prescriptions, some for sleep, some for being giant corks, do we draw a line at the wilderness boundaries because of it
There are some decent alternatives to ambien; valerian,5htp,l-tryptophan,melatonin,probably a bunch of herbal and homeopathic things. I know from experience valerian can be very strong, one should work with a naturopath to wend their way through.
I'm beginning to regret asking my orginal question about ambien because now the secret is out, a few of us struggle with sleep and look to use things to help. Some of us don't sleep, some of us get wet, sometimes my boots don't fit.
Ya know, this is part of life.
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