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  1. #1
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    Default OTC Sleeping Pills

    Which is your go-to to get some solid sleep while on trail?

    Thx

  2. #2
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Following...I sleep like ***** on the trail

  3. #3

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    Physical exhaustion first, then Melatonin or Tylenol PM.

  4. #4

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    As well as earplugs. If you dont need sleeping pills at home you shouldnt need them on the trail

  5. #5

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    Never have needed anything on the trail. If I did need something to help me sleep, I would take 2 benedryl which works for me at home.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  6. #6
    Leonidas
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    04-26-2016
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    Birmingham, Alabama
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    I know where he is coming from, I don't sleep what I consider well as I wake pretty often on trail. Funny thing is, I am never tired the next day. I have considered Motrin PM but my reservation is not waking up if I need to...
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  7. #7

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    On my first solo overnight I took a Xanax at bedtime and slept well except for awakening briefly when some coyotes started up nearby. The downside was that when I read my journal the next day it had a high level of gibberish.

    At home or away I have used either diphenhydramine (found in Unisom and other over-the-counter meds) or Benadryl with varying success rates.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    04-01-2013
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by spfleisig View Post
    Which is your go-to to get some solid sleep while on trail?
    Personally, I sleep soundly after a day of hiking, paddling or adventuring.

    For those with problems acheiving sleep:
    Diphenhydramine, doxalamine and chlopheniramine are sedating histamine blockers. These would be the ideal choice for those also seeking treatment for allergies to pollen/hayfever or robust reactions to mosquito or other insect bites. They are less appropriate as we age as we are more likely to experience hang-over due to slower metabolism or increase adverse affects, especially confusion, due to changing phisiology.

    Melatonin is ideal for those who are exposed to inappropriate Daylight cycles. Shift workers or those living in nursing homes benefit greatly. Those who watch TV from 6-11PM also get there melatonin cycle deranged and benefit with supplementation. It would be less likely that someone spending their days outdoors would benefit from melatonin supplement.

    Alcohol consumed in modest quantaties is a CNS depressent and can improve sleep. Consume too much and it actually interferes with sleep by promoting the need for mid-slumber urination.

    Marijuana can promote sleep. THC is pharmacologically active. CBD is most likely a placebo.

    Valerian and Lavender are herbals which reportlt relive anxiety and promote restful sleep. Perhaps they do. Perhaps they are also placebos.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    I started taking two Benadryl tablets each night to try to stave off the congestion I often get when sleeping in cold air. Found that it also helped me sleep at night without that drugged feeling sleeping pill leave me with.

    I've since learned that some night-time pain relievers (that include a sleep aid) use some of the same active ingredients found in Benadryl.

  10. #10

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    FWIW - Sometimes I will have trouble sleeping for the first few nights of a long hike, which usually ends at night 3 or 4. New environments, different night noises, weather, new sleeping quarters, and the relative excitement of being on a long walk can conspire to either keep me awake or wake me up frequently. Typically after a couple of difficult nights I am so tired I will sleep the night through and not have a problem after that.

    If I feel something to help sleep is necessary, I gravitate towards Motrin that helps ease body aches that are usually the culprits conspiring to deny sleep.

  11. #11
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    04-02-2013
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I started taking two Benadryl tablets each night to try to stave off the congestion I often get when sleeping in cold air. Found that it also helped me sleep at night without that drugged feeling sleeping pill leave me with.

    I've since learned that some night-time pain relievers (that include a sleep aid) use some of the same active ingredients found in Benadryl.
    Most OTC sleeping pills like Sominex are the same active ingredient as benadryl, but the generic benadryl is cheaper than the sleeping pills.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  12. #12
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    Sanford, NC
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    Default OTC Sleeping Pills

    Read a book, have some chamomile tea, a little whiskey, try breathing exercises, a calming mantra.

    I have had insomnia since I was a teenager. Sometimes these things help. Sometimes they don't. My goal is always to reach a restful state, even if I can't actually sleep. Time passes so slowly when your mind is spinning in circles.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    As well as earplugs. If you dont need sleeping pills at home you shouldnt need them on the trail
    While I agree with the earplugs suggestion, I, and I suspect many others, respectfully disagree with the rest of the post. I've always slept like a rock at home but on the trail it's a different matter. After trying all types of pads and pillows with little difference, I've resigned to having the doc write me a script for Ambien which I only use when on the trail. Unfortunately, the Ambien only works for about 4 hours. With hiker midnight for me usually coming around anywhere from 7:30 to 9:00 depending on the season - makes for a long night even with the sleep aid.

  14. #14
    Registered User Ben795's Avatar
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    Being used to sleeping on a nice queen sized hybrid mattress (which are super expensive these days!) getting a really good nights sleep on a 20 inch by 72 inch camp mattress is a bit less accommodating. A few years ago I got a BA Q-Core SL which is 3 1/2 thick, and found it so much better than anything I had used prior. Closed cell foam pads did nothing for me, but some like them fine. The Q-Core is Very compact, very light. Just a suggestion to anyone having sleeping problems, go to REI, and lay on a few better air mats, you’ll feel the difference, I did.

  15. #15
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    I go to Aisle 12 of the Mrs Nature Pharmacy on the corner of elm and oak streets.
    Water...flowing over rocks, lapping at the shoreline
    Breeze through the tree tops.
    Plant fragrances...pine, cedar, hemlock, flowers. When pink/white Carolina Azalea or Turks Cap Liily or Greys Lilly are in bloom make a point to sleep around them. After a long rain stops, the earthy woods smell appeals to me.

    All electronics off and lights out other than the stars long before bah bah time.

    Sleep not around the commotion of others.

    All else fails CBD oils. It calms some folks down. I know busy anti drug folks...mothers/fathers, biz owners, athletes, etc that swear by legal CBD oils. They don't smoke anything.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    Time passes so slowly when your mind is spinning in circles.
    That is my problem... the mind will not stop working!

  17. #17
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    I sleep like a mummy in "normal life" and almost always wake up in the morning without having moved an inch, but on trail I sleep like a rotisserie chicken. My sleeping pad is quite comfortable, but pretty noisy, so I tend to wake myself up a lot throughout the night when I roll around. Usually I fall back asleep immediately, but on my thru-hike, the from mid-VA to mid-VT, I often had so many insect bites that I would have difficulty falling back asleep because of all the itching. So I got into the habit of taking one ibuprofen PM before bed to aid in recovery from normal hiking aches and pains and for the sleep aid to keep me asleep through the bug bites. I'm sure Benadryl would have had a similar effect, but as I was also dealing with a lot of pain, the ibuprofen was a good solution for me. Had no difficulty sleeping once I stopped taking it, so I didn't experience any dependency.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelb View Post
    That is my problem... the mind will not stop working!
    If your mind is whirling, try this:

    Starting from the most recent act, rewind the day much as you would a video in reverse, in a non-emotional manner. From the decision to rewind the days events to laying down, to removing boots, to cleaning up after a meal, etc. This is what your brain will do in the first hour or so of sleep and you can help it along by doing the rewind in a conscious state. If you rewind through all the events of the day, from small details like tying a shoe lace to large details like selecting a campsite, you likely will be fast asleep before you complete the day's rewind and will have a good rest.

  19. #19
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    Instead of adding more drug compounds to what U.S. citizens are accustomed to en masse, consider eliminating food drug compounds and behaviors that interfere with sleep: pre hike weening myself off caffeine, MSG(loaded in processed foods), chocolate before bed, sugars(U.S citizen's diets are often high in simple sugars often disguised in foods that interferes with sleep), high fat and protein content foods just before bed as heavily digesting a meal can interfere with sleep, and not eating while watching TV or on the computer or ph or in bed helping my mind to be less stimulated all help me sleep better on trail.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by spfleisig View Post
    Which is your go-to to get some solid sleep while on trail?
    Thx
    Walk all day with a pack on up and down many hills. Set up camp. Cook dinner. Eat dinner. Lay down.

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