Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I've been having an awful time getting to sleep lately. I was at the end of my rope and about to have a nervous breakdown when Tanzi suggested the obvious: maybe my sleeping schedule had simply gotten out of whack and I needed to reset it by conking myself out with medication?

She suggested Gravol and I was willing to try anything.

REAL Gravol -- not the herbal stuff -- is now kept behind the drug store counter, either because it's being abused or because people are stealing it. In front of a bunch of elderly people I admitted that I was using it as a sedative, which is not what Gravol is generally used for, and I felt mighty embarassed until I realized that most of those old people were probably buying erectile aids and extra-strength laxatives.

My only previous Gravol experience was ten years ago, when I was spending a week's vacation with a friend in Toronto. Stricken by the flu the night I arrived, she gave me Gravol so I could get through a shopping trip, and I vividly remember standing in the middle of the Eaton Centre saying "I don't know where I am, I can't see anything properly, please lead me to a safe corner somewhere." It was a strange drug experience that I only now understand is the effect of taking TOO MUCH Gravol, which some folks do for fun. This is probably why it's kept behind the counter.

Anxious to avoid hallucinations, I took only one pill at 9pm last night. By 9:30 I was feeling disconnected and sleepy, but I'd spent the last two weeks feeling that way so I'm not sure how much of that was the Gravol. I got into bed and read until 10pm, by which time I felt ready to sleep. I was calmly unconcerned about the growing numbness in my extremities, ready to sacrifice a finger or a toe for a good night's sleep. I dozed off immediately and slept like a total log, not dreaming, until 5am when I woke up for a bathroom break.

As though compensating for the seven hours without dreams, my last two hours of sleep were jam-packed with bizarre, vivid imagery. By 7:30am I was fully awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go to work with all of my toes intact.

I feel much better today and hopefully this has done the trick. As for the efficiency of Gravol, either it really does give you a powerful drowse-on or I suffered one heck of a placebo effect. I hadn't gambled on the hand-and-foot pins-and-needles, but my circulation is worse than normal so most people shouldn't have a problem with it. Still, I have to say that if you're going to take it, see your doctor and don't blame me if you die.

Thanks, Tanzi!


tanzi said...

Yay! I'm so glad it worked...and especially happy you didn't die!!!
I didn't realize it was now kept behind the counter...that's new. Here's to good sleepies ahead...
Let me know if you get back into the pattern.

Adam Thornton said...

I'm sad to say that the pattern hasn't returned, but I've entered into a "resigned" state where I just accept that I'm not going to sleep well for awhile.

The Gravol stays in reserve for those times when I really need it! I'm paranoid about becoming dependent on something and making it even MORE difficult to sleep naturally.