Go with me back to the mid 1980’s. You would find me, a thirty-something up-and-coming insurance executive. The problem was at that time I smoked like a chimney; I drank coffee all day and drank cola all night. Is it any wonder that I couldn’t sleep?
When I complained to my doctor about my self-imposed dilemma he introduced me to a medication called Halcion, generic name triazolam. This was the first but wouldn’t be the last time I was put on Halcion.
Triazolam is a “hypnotic agent.” I know that sounds scary but it really isn’t. It just means it puts you to sleep by slowing your brain functions down.
The typical dosage of Halcion is .25 milligrams. It is a medication that is individualized based on body weight. The smaller amount of Halcion you can take the better.
I am a little taller and heavier than most people so I was given the maximum dose of Halcium which is .50 milligrams.
The fact that Halcion does slow the body systems down explains the reason a person taking the medicine will often get dry mouth, technical name “Xerostomia.” In fact, instead of telling your spouse or friends “My mouth was a little dry this morning,” say “This morning I noted some definite Xerostomia.” Their mouth will get dry from remaining open after their jaw drops.
Halcion is only designed for very short-term use, usually 7-10 days. It is dangerous to go 30 days without being monitored by your doctor, in fact, you should be seen by your doctor every 7-10 days.
Many people think having a sleeping pill like Halcion sounds like a great idea; it isn’t. While Halcion is as good as it gets as far as quality, no sleeping pill is perfect.
After I took Halcion there was still a certain amount of time required before it kicked in. Further, if I happened to be awakened, it was hard to get back to sleep.
The hardest thing about taking a drug like Halcion is that there will always be some feeling of tiredness in the morning. You cannot replace the body’s natural rest even with the best of medications. This is not because Halcion is inferior it is just the nature of the medication.
The best way to get good sleep is to avoid foods and habits that interfere with it. Obviously I didn’t do that.
In addition to that, it is important to exercise.
All medications must be monitored, but, by its nature, a sleeping pill must be watched even more carefully.
Remember, a drug like Halcion is a drug that could present the danger of an overdose.
In addition to following the prescription to the letter, you might want to keep a chart as to when you took what because when you are taking something like Halcion memory may not be as sharp as usual.
Also, Xerostomia, though a common side effect should be monitored via blood work to make that there is no underlying disease being covered by the sleep problem.
It is an old and over-used saying but it still is true: “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”