An Odd Night’s Sleep

For the last few days I have had a terrible, intermittent headache. I suspected that it was related to my allergies, but didn’t have the appropriate over-the-counter medication to treat it. For those of you not aware, I’m allergic to just about everything that lives, in one form or another. Thankfully as of yet, I have not developed any food allergies.


Yesterday I ran some errands and bought some generic benadryl and sudafed (more on that later). Despite my knowledge of the, shall we say, sedative effects of benadryl, I wanted to clear out my head before I ended up with a sinus infection. So I took a full dose of benadryl. An hour later, I felt okay. Two hours later, I still felt okay, but was beginning to feel a bit drowsy. Three hours later (at around 20:00) I was ready for bed and drifting off to sleep.

At around 23:30 I was awakened by what I can only figure was a prank call, with the caller ID number blocked. I need to install a call filter on my phone that just hangs up on unidentified callers. I had trouble sleeping after that, partly because I was wondering who had called, and partly because I had gone to sleep a bit early, and wasn’t entirely tired. After about an hour of lying there, trying to sleep, I took another dose of benadryl (for I was finally due after more than four hours) and was shortly off in la-la land once more.

I woke up at 06:00, I feat which I used to achieve on a regular basis, but have not been able to do as of late. Somewhat coincidentally, I was reading an article on sleep earlier in the day yesterday, which you may find here. My reading was interrupted by my drowsiness, and so I finished reading the article just now.

ADDENDUM 2005-10-23 @ 08:10 CDT: I almost forgot, what I hinted at above regarding the Sudafed is that it is not actually pseudoephedrine HCl. Apparently people have been using sudafed to make methamphetabmine-based street drugs, so many retailers have been switching to phenylephrine HCl. Target calls this “suphedrine PE”, a misleading name if I’ve ever heard one. I heard a story on NPR shortly before Katrina hit about how phenylephrine is supposed to work as well as pseudoephedrine for 90% of the population, and that the other 10% would, in the future, require a prescription for this apparently-dangerous over-the-counter medication. Just as I was writing this I noticed a small warning box in the lower right-hand corner announcing “DOES NOT CONTAIN PSEUDOEPHEDRINE.” I estimate it’s about a 6-pt font, despite being in all-caps. I don’t have enough experience with it yet to say if it really works as well for me, but the reason that I noticed the difference was that I double-checked the dosage. Even though the package, the foil packs, and the pills look just like generic pseudoephedrine, the full dose is only one tablet, rather than two. This is dangerous! They ought to have split the dosage into two pills or made some more substantial note, because I thought at first this was regular sudafed. I could potentially have been overdosing for weeks or months without knowing. This has been a VirtuallyShocking public service announcement.