Thanks for the thoughts, guys, but for the record, I’ve been under treatment by a doctor (actually, a succession of doctors) for insomnia for about 25 years. I take 3 different prescriptions for it, plus melatonin (on doc’s recommendation) and a little caffeine first thing in the AM (doc’s recommendation again).
I’ve had several sleep studies, and my sleep brainwaves are highly unusual, particularly my REM sleep. I don’t have apnea. I tend to physically startle when I start to enter REM sleep, and this wakes me up, sometimes very awake, sometimes just out over REM, and REM is the restorative phase of sleep, when you make the enzyme that keeps you from feeling sleepy after you have slept well.
Caffeine bonds to the same receptors as the enzyme, which is why it wakes you up. My doctor wants me to be wide awake first thing in the morning, so I’m not having problems with “wakeful sleepiness,” which is a weird thing where I can sometimes get shadows in my peripheral vision. Caffeine makes this go away, until my on “awake” enzyme in flowing. I don’t get any the rest of the day. I drink decaf coffee, and 5-calorie, flavored water. Once in a very long while, I might buy caffeine-free Coke.
I take another medication in the morning that helps me stay focused, and not want to nap, without interfering in my ability to go back to sleep at night. Then I take an anti-seizure medicine, because this seems to counter-act the REM startles, and I take a very small dose of an antipsychotic, which wouldn’t have any effect on me if I were actually psychotic, but it lengthens my “day” cycle, because my body is naturally on a 14-hr day/6-hr night, and the medication gets me to a 16-hr day/8-hr night.
Plus, I have Klonopin and Ambien (zolpidem) as PRNs, for nights when the other meds just don’t work (which seems to be the case tonight). Or for nights when I travel to another time zone, or need to get to sleep extra early, because I’m doing something like working at the polls. I have both, because my doctor wants me to alternate which one I take, and only gives me a small amount of each, to avoid dependence. I actually have a couple of months backlogged, but I have weeks where I’ve used a month’s worth in one week, so I fill the prescriptions every month.
FTR, also, I don’t drink at all, but that has more to do with 1) both my parents dying of cancer; and 2) I don’t like to. I was just joking about the Scotch.