Citation: Sageb1. "7 Hours of Sleep: An Experience with Amitriptyline (exp51505)". Erowid.org. May 30, 2008. erowid.org/exp/51505
On or around 9:30 PM March 10, 2006, I consumed 5 mg of Amitriptyline in a cup of tea with approximately 0.250 gram of Chinese green tea (less than 30 mg caffeine). The amitriptyline-laced tea made my tongue feel numb. That numb feeling on my tongue from the amitriptyline-laced tea is similar to the numbness encountered with ibuprofen. This is also causally associated with the nausea experienced after taking amitriptyline. Thus the numbness on my tongue, the drug's pain relief and subsequent nausea indicate to me that, like ibuprofen, amitriptyline also suppresses pain. This is probably a cholinergic reaction to the medication.
Within 30 minutes of ingestion, I felt tired and went to sleep. On waking I experienced light nausea, anxiety and other symptoms associated with amitriptyline. Ataxia (lack of coordination in walking) was also present throughout the day with anxiety and daydreams. I feel that this medication would worsen my depression, since the anxiety indicates a hypoglycemic reaction and the daydreams indicate probably suppression of REM and its associated dream state.
Amitriptyline's pain-relieving side effect is associated with both the numbness on my tongue and the brief waves of nausea. All I have experienced so far are daydreams, which may be a mild form of hallucinations. I also didn't recognize my friend's voice on the phone, and my social skills are temporarily absent. After four hours awake, I'd recovered from most of the side effects of amitriptyline, except for occasional daydreams.
The negative side effects (grogginess and brief nausea on waking, followed by 6 hours of anxiety and 12 hours of daydreams) tend to outweigh the positive side effects (pain relief and sedation. For the length of sedation I experienced (7 hours of fitful sleep), the 12 hours of daydreams, 6 hours of anxiety, and the waves of grogginess (including ataxia) does not make amitriptyline a great sleeping aid.
Overall I feel that in cases of persons with a history of head trauma, borderline personality disorder, dysthymia (depression), anxiety and insomnia associated with hypoglycemia, amitriptyline only worsens the symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, it is a great sedative.
Timeline of my experience:
Physical condition: history of mild traumatic brain injury.
Rating of psychosocial condition: 4.5 out of 10. 10 = perfect
36 hours awake, feeling manic, had a busy day.
9:30 PM - ingested 5 milligrams of amitriptyline.
11:30 PM - retired to bed after spending an hour on the Internet.
6:30 AM - awoke; stayed in bed.
9:00 AM - had anxiety attack in shower due to the shower door coming off the rail holding it in place. Usually I can put the door back on without incident.
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM: anxiety and daydreams come and go in waves.
1:30 PM - anxiety seems to subside. Daydreams come and go for the next 8 hours
9:30 PM - no anxiety, and daydreams have subsided.
1:30 AM - retire to bed; fell asleep within one hour.
Rating of psychosocial condition: 3 out of 10
8:30 AM - awoke; took shower; had breakfast.
7:30 PM - Rating of psychosocial condition: 4 out of 10
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