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Ask Buck

Sleep Aid Suggestions?

While trying to sleep in the backcountry my mind wants to stay in alert mode at night causing considerable sleep loss. I've tried OTC sleep aids and melatonin (3 mg) to only modest success. Any additional suggestions would bevery appreciated.

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Question:

While trying to sleep in the backcountry my mind wants to stay in alert mode at night causing considerable sleep loss. I’ve tried OTC sleep aids and melatonin (3 mg) to only modest success. Any additional suggestions would be very appreciated.

Submitted by – Ron Bell, Canal Winchester, OH

Answer:

Hi Ron,

This question arrives fairly often, and I unfortunately have to report there is no great answer. Some standard things I ask include: Does your pad pad you enough? Is your bag comfy and warm enough? Do you create a pillow thick enough–or too thick?

If it’s all in your head, Rozerem has worked for many people. It’s relatively new, non-addictive, but does require a doc to write a ‘script, usually for 8 mg tabs. On the OTC side of things, a vitamin B complex helps some people. Also Benadryl (diphenhydramine), the OTC antihistamine, puts many insomniacs to sleep quickly. I truly wish I had more. —Buck