Citation: onychophagist. "As It Is Supposed to Work: An Experience with Zolpidem (exp115155)". Erowid.org. Mar 29, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115155
I have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and after I turned 30 I went to see a psychiatrist for sleep therapy as instructed by my endocrinologist (my irregular sleep schedule was the cause of several health issues, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Among some behavioral exercises for better sleep hygiene, the psychiatrist prescribed me Zolpidem (10mg) and told me to take half unless I really felt like I needed a whole pill. I have been taking it for over a year now and my sleep has significantly improved. Whereas I used to fall asleep at around 5 am (if insomnia hit, I could stay up until the sun came up, though that wasnít too often), I am now able to go to sleep before 2 am. It might not sound like much, but it has allowed me to get a solid 7 hours of sleep each night and feel better during the day. Zolpidem doesnít make me feel groggy in the mornings like Alprazolam, which I have only taken in cases of emergency for that very reason.
I started taking it at 4 am, then 3 am after about a month, then 2 am and so on. I seem to have gotten stuck at it working if I take it at 1 am. If I take it any earlier, I will more than likely power through the effects. In the beginning, it didnít really work if I took it any earlier than 3 am either.
So I take it at around 1 am and lie down to read something. After about 30 minutes, I start to feel groggy and have trouble concentrating on what Iím reading. I wait until I really canít follow the story anymore and then I put my reading material away and fall asleep without trouble. The following day, I have no recollection of anything I read in the last 45 minutes or so before falling asleep. If I donít wait long enough and stop reading before Iím really tired, my mind might go into hyperactive mode and I will stay awake having thoughts until the effects wear off and long after that.
There have been nights where I have gotten distracted (too into what Iím reading or having to get up to pee) when itís starting to work and I remain awake until the effects pass. When that happens, I take the other half. Even if I wind up taking it at 4 am, itís better than not taking it. I have even taken it at 6 am once or twice. I used to be afraid to take it so late because I didnít want to sleep through my alarm, but that has not happened. Taking the other half is the difference between getting at least a couple of hours of sleep or none at all, and a couple is better. On one occasion, I did take the whole pill from the beginning because I anticipated that I would have a lot of trouble sleeping that night due to stressful events.
After nearly a year, I did start developing tolerance, but at the moment that has been easily solved by taking one celecoxib capsule (200mg) at the same time to also help with muscle ache from working out or, when itís simply a headache, ketorolac (10mg). It used to be necessary to do this only occasionally, but now itís necessary every time.
I will normally only take it on weekdays because I donít take it when Iím drunk for several reasons. I only get drunk on the weekends, when I usually donít have to get up early anyway. When Iím drunk, that means Iím having fun, which in turn means Iím not going to bed before 5 am anyway. If Iím drunk at 5 am, itís very unlikely I will have insomnia because the excess alcohol will put me to sleep easily at that hour. So taking the Zolpidem while drunk would be pointless either way. I have taken it after drinking alcohol without getting drunk (a couple of beers or a couple of glasses of wine) and I have felt no significant difference.
I realize I may have to up the dose eventually, but the need for that has built up much more slowly than I anticipated. Before this, the only sleep treatment for DSPS I had as a child and a teen was melatonin, and both times it stopped working completely after very few weeks. As an adult, I have tried CBD in various forms, none of which worked for me for very long. Smoking marihuana has worked for me, but I do not enjoy smoking in itself. And while strong edibles can put me to sleep as early as 11 pm, I will easily sleep for 12 hours like this, which again doesnít work for weekdays.
I really like taking Zolpidem in the way I described. The short time I spend reading after the effects have kicked in is enjoyable. I have texted with a friend during this period, which is after she has taken her GABA and CBD or smokes a joint, without any negative consequences. I like the hazy, floaty feeling, but it doesnít last long enough for me to consider it within any other context so far.
I would not want to be without it now. I have forgotten to bring it when sleeping elsewhere and it is as hard to sleep without it as it always was before.
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