Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's 3:30 am. Do You Know Where YOUR Med Recipe Is?

I had just noticed, this evening, as I took my nightly, before bedtime dose of Tylenol 2

That one of the ingredients is "Caff".

I  sort of made a mental note- "Oh! I'll bet that's "Caffeine"..." and didn't think about it anymore.

Until about 30 minutes ago.

When AGAIN, I awoke in the middle of my sleeping night.

I did the usual waking up in the middle of the night things- went to the bathroom, took a couple of pills for pain (just an Extra Strength Tylenol and a couple of regular Ibuprofen)

And went back to bed.

And laid there.

And while I lay there, of course, my mind couldn't shut back down- even though I barely turned on a light so as to not fully waken the baby (old habits die hard).

About 10 minutes ago I remembered the "Caff" and got up to investigate.

I was correct for 300 points, Alex.

Although each Tylenol 2 has only 15 mg of caffeine, making the sum total 30 mg, I wonder if that's enough to be doing this to me.

There is a hauntingly familiar pattern to my crappy sleep nights: having been prescribed only 40 pills for 5 days, I decided (when the pain was starting to get less- and consequently, when I was beginning to catch up on my sleep) to leave the Tylenol 2's for daytime use when I was moving around more. That was a good plan, and I was sleeping better at night.

Then I went from the stack of pillows (to keep the head a little elevated and the neck from feelings of choking) back to just one (to give the back and hips a break).

At which point I switched from Tylenol 2 during the day, to 1 Extra-Strength Tylenol + 1 regular strength Ibuprofen, saving the Tylenol 2 for the 12 hours dedicated to sleeping.

At which point I also began sleeping worse.


Knowing that I seem to be getting fairly sensitive to caffeine in my advanced middle age, I was wondering, as I lay not sleeping at 3:15 this morning, if 30 mg of the stuff would be enough to keep me from falling back to sleep easily when I wake up in the middle of the night.

It might be.

That's how I react to coffee after lunch. No problem falling asleep (unless I've had maybe 3 or 4 cups of coffee...) BUT if I (and in my, again, advanced middle age when don't I) wake up during the night, I have a hard time falling back asleep.

Hmm... it might also explain the weird thing that happened Friday morning... when I turned the kettle on at breakfast time, and found myself reaching for... the instant coffee...!!!!

THAT was a completely unnerving experience! But maybe more explicable now that I've considered it...

Good thing there are only 2 Tylenol 2's left. I'll use those to get me through Church tomorrow, unless I can't fall back to sleep in the next 10 minutes.

Cue the lullabies and warm fuzzy thoughts.


  1. Yes, the T1's I used after my surgery had 15mg of caffeine in them and affected my sleep too. Considering my caffeine intake is about three cups of tea per year, it hit me like the "Flight of the Bumblebee".

    FYI, you can get 150 T1's every six months over the counter as long as you present your health card so the can keep track of your codeine intake.

    I used about 20 & decided the pain was better than the caffeine effects and the stomach effects of codeine.

  2. Advanced middle age ?!! No, you can't be there yet - prime of life I call it. Keep taking the tablets in whatever permutation works, as long as it's healing - but don't go down that advanced middle aged road just yet !

  3. Since the T2's would only be the equivalent of about 4 to 600 mg of ibuprofen for pain control or 2 x-strength Tylenol why not just switch to them? There is no magic in them and I think you are right on about the caffeine. Caffeine after lunch usually wakes me at about 3:30 am., like you I have no problem falling asleep but almost regular as clockwork, the caffeine wakes me up as if someone had just turned on a bright light in the middle of the night.

    Do T3's bother you? They only have Tylenol and codeine so might be better to have on hand if there is still heavier pain to control. I have never been a big fan of the T2's for real pain - like after a wisdom tooth. And I would think your pain might rate a good old wisdom tooth level in intensity.

  4. Well, the T2s are finished, and I had, like Linea, concluded that the 500 mg of acetaminophen in Extra strength Tylenol (plus 200 mg Ibuprofen for inflammation) is probably just as effective as the 600 mg the T2s contain. So, I won't go seeking more pain relief than what I have on hand. However, if we have to do it again, I'll suggest T-3s, which I've never had problems with.

  5. Caffeine definitely messes up my sleep. Sometimes even chocolate will do it. I'm 32 and it has been an issue for years. Partly, I think, because I paid attention to it.

    Stress messes up my sleep, too. But I like to think that chocolate helps my stress. Hmmmm...