Thread: Sleep Aids - Diphenhydramine

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    Sleep Aids - Diphenhydramine 
    Bluelighter wanderlust's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    excedrin pm contains diphenhydramine citrate as the active ingredient to promote sleep.
    tylonol pm, benadryl, unisom and others have diphenhydramine HCL as their main ingredient.
    now the problem is where as it takes a small dose of the citrate to make me drowsey it takes a much larger dose of the HCL to have the same effects.
    what is the difference between the two? is this actually just psychosymatic?
    and does anyone know any otc sleep pills or whatever that contain the citrate as opposed to the HCL. i am looking for one that does not contain the tylonol or whatever in addition to the sleep aid. all of the sleep aids i have seen and reserched contain the HCL formula or valerian root which does not work effectivly on me.
    **not sure where exactly this would fit best, not really an other drug question, not exactly a health question.... so if you want to move it, please you might have a better idea than i
    [ 21 October 2002: Message edited by: wanderlust ]
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    Bluelighter fairnymph's Avatar
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    Jan 2000
    Germany mostly, US sometimes, Australia every now and then
    The citrate salt (form) of a drug often makes the drug more easily absorbed by the body than the hydrochloride salt form. Thus, citrate salts are typically more potent than hydrochloride salts (and it's not all in your head!).
    As for the citrate form of a sleep aid, your best bet would be to buy it in bulk from a chemical or medical supply company, and of course for an OTC chemical this would be perfectly legit.
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    You could also look into some more natural sleep supplements and see if any of those work for you. Then you don't have to worry as much about taking large doses of drugs to help you sleep. There are a few options out there where natural sleep aids are concerned, but one good one is Tranquil Sleep. This one has a combination of 5-HTP, melatonin, and L-Theanine, which have all been proven to help with sleep difficulties. I'd give that a try and see if it helps. When I have difficulty, I also find that a hot bath right before bed really puts me into a nice, deep sleep.
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    Bluelighter El Cubano Poco's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Mid west side of the Mississippi
    Many drugs (Alcohol, Opiates, anti-cholinergenics...) inhibit REM sleep, which is crucial for many bodily functions and a feeling of being well rested. There are many natural herbal alternative, as well as vigorous exercise , blahblahblah, that can resolve sleep issues without taking an unnecessary toll on your overall health. CHeck em out yo!

    good luck, sleep well
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    Bluelighter Obelus's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Wherever the candy trail leads
    a few years back, my doctor had me take benadryl as a sleep aid because I had a vengeful multi year insomnia and she didn't want me hooked on prescriptions. I would strongly recommend against it. Every time I took it, I'd have horrid dreams, and my sleep itself would be less restful. Getting up in the morning was even more of a chore than normal.

    Its a deliriant, its even illegal in a few countries. As you probably know, you can trip off higher doses, although I'd recommend against that too.

    I've put effort into establishing a somewhat normative sleep schedule, and sometimes take melatonin (if you aren't in a dark environment afterward, the any effects it might have are dismissible). and when all else fails I just turn to my favorite herbal remedy
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    Bluelighter phactor's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Try Melatonin. Nothing wrong with taking a Dipenhydramine pill or two if you need to once in awhile though. I have trouble falling asleep and Dipenhydramine doesn't knock me out as much as it slows me down and makes me drowsy enough to lay down and fall asleep.
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    They both work fine. I take the hcl.
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    The Big "I Can't Sleep" Thread - Insomniacs Unite! 
    Bluelighter MyFinalRest's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Corporate Buttsecks
    I'm firmly against any sort of sleep aid, whether pharmaceutical or herbal or even supplemental like melatonin. That shit just screws with your body processes more without "curing" anything.
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    The Big "I Can't Sleep" Thread - Insomniacs Unite! 
    Bluelighter attempt4's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    MyFinalRest, I do agree with you somewhat, but for many it comes down to this:

    I can stay awake mostly every night and damage my physical and mental health, social life and work productivity/career with these sleep issues... or I can ingest benign herbs such as Valerian and Chamomile each night and get on with my life.

    Everything we need can be found in nature. We evolved to adapt around our environment and all it has to offer.
    If we need energy, we can find Panax Ginseng, Coffea Arabica and Camellia Sinensis.
    More applicably, if we need to sleep there is Valerian, Eleuthero, Rhaponticum, Rhodiola - these nervines generally all benign with no real side-effects or neurotoxicity at all.
    These things don't simply screw with your 'body processes' though, my friend. Many of these nervines are adaptogens, merely stimulating whatever bodily process you need. Adaptogens are fantastic things, serving whatever non-specific enhancement your body needs, stimulating the mind/body or relaxing the nervous system, to whichever it may apply.
    Garlic and Ginseng, for example are great for one's immune system but where garlic is stimulating the immune system, enhancing lymphocytes and macrophages (which help fight cancerous cells and interestingly the former is "boosted" by cold hydrotherapy) Ginseng, as an adaptogen is actually merely serving whatever function your body requires, boosting or reducing autoimmune function where it sees fit. Taking too much of an immune system-booster is not a good thing and can cause issues in itself.
    Bringing it back to the main point however:
    Why not make use of these herbs? There comes a point when the decision has to be made: Will I jeopardise my quality of life for the sake of saying I don't take any sleep aids or do I make a tea with a few herbs each night and drastically improve my quality of life?

    Take care
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