I tried a new sleeping pill recently. While perusing the sleeping pill aisle at the grocery store, I realized almost every brand is actually the exact same formula. Unisom is different, but it doesn’t work well for me – or rather, it works too well.

This new one is called Alteril and markets itself as a natural, drug-free sleep aid. It has tryptophan, melatonin, and a handful of apothecary-sounding ingredients like skullcap herb extract and valerian root extract. You’re supposed to take two tablets an hour before bedtime.

So I did that on Thursday night. I was already really tired, but I usually have trouble falling asleep, so the extent to which I slept well due to the Alteril (rather than just being tired) is unclear. But I slept most of Friday. I’ve been fighting off a cold, and lost my battle on Friday; Jarom stayed home from work so I was able to rest.

Since we had lots of company over for June’s birthday cake on Saturday, I was up all Friday night cleaning and baking and trying to make the house somewhat presentable. Note to self: you are not 18 anymore. All-nighters are not an option.

When everyone had gone home after the party, I took two Alteril and went to bed. And slept beautifully for 15 hours straight.

I started thinking maybe a half dose would be better for me, so last night I just took one tablet.

Sure enough, an hour later I was extremely tired and ready to go to sleep. But I couldn’t fall asleep. I went in and out of that in-between stage, where you think you might be awake and only realize after a noise jolts you into consciousness that you’ve actually been dozing. This lasted about four hours.

I did finally fall into a deeper sleep, but then the kids started waking up (and waking each other up). And Ender wanted out. And then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was officially awake from 5:30 this morning.

Maybe a one-and-three-quarters dose is the way to go…


2 Comments on “Sleepless”

  1. I’m glad you have found something that helps you – but I have to say the marketing for Alteril is pretty genius. It takes a few well known herbal supplements and combines them into a single pill, then gives it a vaguely pharmaceutical brand name “Alteril”, with an accompanying pharmaceutical looking logo. The best part is the Latin subtitle “somnia latoril”, which evokes the chemical names of well known pharmaceuticals like “Aleve” (naproxen sodium) or “Nexium” (esomeprazole magnesium). Of course, “somnia latoril” is not a chemical name, but rather a marketing message. I think it translates as “dream-bearing”.

    I’m not trying to say this is a bad product – if it helps you, that’s great. But the marketing of herbs as pharmaceuticals, complete with faux chemical names is a new idea for me. My family always used herbs precisely because they were outside of the medical establishment, which we mistrusted. Now the exact same herbs are marketed in such a way as to convince people they’re AMA approved medicines. Fascinating.

  2. Sarah M says:

    Maybe 2 is good and you slept 15 hours because you NEEDED it?

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