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Thread: Sleep Aids?

  1. Default Sleep Aids?

    I'm going from Alaska to Nebraska and will be driving in shifts. I have trouble sleeping in vehicles and was looking to buy an over the counter sleep aid. Can anyone suggest something? I want something that puts me to sleep fast and when I wake up there are a minimum of side effects. Is it even worth buying them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default consult a doctor

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I would suggest talking to your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations about drugs or sleep issues. Random advice on the internet really isn't the best source for this kind of information.

    I will also say that if you already know that you will have difficulty sleeping in a car, then why are you putting yourself and other people on the road at risk by forcing yourself to do shift driving? Driving while tired, and/or under the influence of drugs (even legal ones) is dangerous. I've yet to hear anyone ever give me a single reason why racing to a destination would be more important that being safe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default This is a first for me!

    I am been responding to queries about planning road trips for about a decade, but I've not had such a query before and its a good one. I find that when I am on a speed run, that by the fourth shift (2nd or 3rd day) my sleep cycle is so disrupted that I can't go to sleep easily in a car too. When I was a kid (young man) I could go soundly asleep in seconds even while standing up (more-or-less) while leaning against the shed of my fire-helitack base. I think I would avoid any commercial sleep aid and instead for this seemingly counter-intuitive solution -- try some vigorous exercise right before your next sleeping shift cycle begins -- it will wake you up, at first, but you might that is also relaxes you and lets you reach the sleep stage easier. Worth a shot anyway. How many drivers will you have?

    I have found that three drivers working in 6-8 hour shifts is about ideal for covering a lot of highway in a hurry. Here are some more Speed Run tips. That being said, Midwest Michael's comments are true too! -- But I've had to do many speed runs over the years -- when possible I've done it with professional drivers....


  4. Default thanks

    I plan on being very safe; I have fallen asleep at the wheel as a young man and refuse to repeat history. I know the danger and will make sure that my partner and I are safe. We have two trucks and trailers with four drivers. Exercise is a good idea and along with coffee and an acute knowledge of our limits we will be ok. Thanks for the help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Sleeping pills

    I've found that sleeping pills usually have detrimental side effects after even just a couple of days, mostly a groggy feeling for most of the day, then difficulty sleeping without their aid.

  6. #6

    Default Ambien fog


    I think the intended effect and side effects will vary widely between individuals and even within the personal experience of one person. I, for one, can't tolerate Ambien. Sure, it knocks me out as quickly as a left jab to the jaw, but even the handful of times I've used a 1/4 to 1/2 dose (never a full dose, and I'm 6'2" and 210 lbs), the side affects are too much to bear. I remain in a fog for 12-24 hours following waking up after even the modest dose. For me personally, I'm worse off than I'd be having not slept at all.

    I really don't know what the answer may be. I also cannot get comfortable sleeping in a vehicle so would not make a good co-driver on a straight through crew-driven run. I need a good 5-6 hours of stretched-out slumber and I'm good to go, for at least 4-5 days with that amount of sleep each day, before the need for more sleep really catches up with me.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Nyquil?

    I agree with Michael that getting tips on this on the net is probably not the safest, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

    I can't handle any kind of real sleep aid. I'm groggy the whole next day the couple of times I've used one. Not worth it.

    Nyquil knocks me flat. On the rare occasions I've had multiple nights of insomnia and am zonked but can't sleep, I've taken a dose and I'm lights out. I wake up feeling rested and refreshed. But if you want to see if this works for you, you should try it at home before your trip to make sure you also wake up refreshed.

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