Sleeping pill effectiveness

After a months-long bout with insomnia, I got a prescription yesterday for Ambien, and took my first one last night. Unfortunately, it didn’t help me sleep at all. From other threads on the subject here, and lots of stories I’ve heard, Ambien is supposed to be great stuff that will knock you out in about half an hour without leaving you drowsy.

My question: is it typical for a drug like this to take a couple of days to kick in?

The whole intent of this course of pills is to reset my sleep cycle, and if it takes a few days to even get my body to understand it’s being drugged, I’m not sure how well the course will work.

I should get a perscription for that stuff…if it works. I’ve used Tylenol PM a few times and that always seems to work ok after about an hour.

Lifelong advocate for a good sleeping pill - i.e. non addictive and won’t leave you drowsy - the only one I have found is a Pfizer product, over the counter Unisom Sleep Gels. 15 minutes and you are out like a light. Exactly 8 hours later you wake up refreshed and revitalized.

No I do not work for Pfizer. But I do advocate their sleeping pills.

IANA-Medical Doctor - but taking sleeping pills regularly is not recommended.

I’ve tried the over-the-counter stuff, and it hasn’t worked too well for me. I might be the only person on the planet that doesn’t get groggy using Benedryl.

Ambien is supposedly a hypnotic, so I thought that it would have a chance of actually making me sleep.

IIRC, Ambien works on the first dose, it is not something you need to build up to. Insomnia can be caused by many things, and stress and anxiety are right up there. Maybe try looking at other aspects of your life, and see if the answer can’t be found there.

Ambien didn’t work for me either- I took three together once and didn’t even feel drowsy. After that I decided I should stop taking anything so I didnt get carried away. I am a terribly light sleeper and nothing I have ever done seems to help. Now I just live with it and make everyone around me miserable if its been a bad night. :frowning:

That’s the funny thing - I’m more stress free than I ever have been. I’m out of school, left a job I hate for one I love, and am doing well in general. The insomnia started when I had the bad job, and I thought it would go away with the current one, but it hasn’t. The stress at the new job gets left at the door.

The same active ingredient is in Benadryl in the same strength, just without the Tylenol. I use it periodically to get drowsy a couple of hours after ingestion.

You’re not the only one, but you and I might be the only two…

I’ve tried one hypnotic (Ativan) and that didn’t work on me. Maybe those don’t tend to work either if Benadryl doesn’t work for you?

Between **Anne ** and Sassafrass, I’m relieved that I’m not a freak. But that still doesn’t help me sleep. My next step might be to hire a large man with a rubber mallet to hit me in the head at bedtime.

I’ve used Ambien from time to time and love it. It can be up to an hour before bedtime when I take it though, but it knocks me out good. It isn’t just that though, I seem to wake up better the next morning, usually well before the alarm goes off.

Dude, check your username. Do you really need something to help you sleep?!? :eek:

You know, coming back to this thread I must say something. If over the counter sleeping aids, and ambien et al. are not working, I would have to naturally deduce you are feeling something unconsciously that is keeping you from sleeping… Do you take any other meds? Stimulants possibly? Do you smoke?
Knowing the pharmacology behind Unisom, it is hard to understand why it does not make it to the proper receptors in your brain. Interesting.

I’ve taken unisom every once in a while in order to sleep. I’ve noticed that I need to want to sleep otherwise it’s useless. I can easily force myself to stay up. It doesn’t really make me drowsy, but rather helps me relax enough to sleep. Basically, half an hour or so after I take the pill I need to lie down and try to goto sleep otherwise it’s completely useless.

Oh, boy! I’m a medical marvel!

The only medication I am on regularly is birth control, which I have been on for years and years, so that can’t be the problem. I have spent months not drinking more caffeine than a can of cola a day, and I have spent time drinking tons of coffee, with no noticible difference in my ability to sleep.

Once I sleep, I generally stay asleep; thus, my doctor doesn’t think it’s something physical (she ruled out thyroid and other problems). My bedroom is a dark as it can be, with double curtains and a sheet all over the only window. I run my air conditioner for white noise, and bundle up if I’m cold.

One of my big problems seems to be that I’m impatient. If I can’t fall asleep in an hour or so, I get pissed. Depending how tired I am, very, very pissed. As you can imagine, I definitely can’t sleep after that happens. But as far as I’m concerned, I should be able to fall asleep within an hour, so I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

It might be worthwhile to note that I have come out from under early while having oral surgery, and once, in forth grade, during an endoscopy, the doctors verbalized their surprise about how much medicine it took to put me under (both times were intraveneous). When I got my wisdom teeth out, just laughing gas set me up nicely - there was valium at hand, but I didn’t need it. I don’t know of this has anything to do with my resistance to sleep aids, but I thought I would throw it in.

If you have any ideas, I will gladly try them out - I just don’t want to do anything habit forming (The Ambien is only for a short period). You know it’s bad when your doctor tells you that you need to get some sleep because you look terrible.

See if you can get a prescription for Ativan. It’s slower acting than Ambien, but when it kicks in you’re out for about 8-9 hours.

My doctor warned me that Ambien might take a couple of days to kick in, but after about 3 days, I’d know it’s either working or not.

I love Ambien, but it doesn’t work 100% the same way every time. Here are a few things I’ve found that help.

Take it 7-8 hours before you want to get up. I think the label says 6 hours, but you can still be groggy, especially if it takes you a while to sleep.

Take it as you’re getting ready for bed. Don’t take it, then run around for another half hour, then jump into bed and expect it to kick in.

Don’t take caffeine for at least 2 hours before you take it.

Make sure nothing else is keeping you awake, for example, a slight headache or indigestion.

Just let yourself slide. There are a lot of mornings I’ve awakened to find my radio tuned to a different station than the last one I remember hearing. On the other hand, if I take it and then have to stay awake late, I can.

What dose of Ambien did you get? If your MD started you at 5mg, ask if you can try 10mg instead. Ambien is a great med and I would like to see you give it a shot, not to mention that insomnia sucks.

If benadryl doesn’t work for you, don’t bother with Unisom. Same stuff, more expensive package.


I tried the Ambien again last night, and it worked! Maybe the night before, I was too anxious or something for me to get sleepy.

So I’ve had 7.5 glorious hours of sleep, and am not drowsy at all! Hooray!


so what was it like?