As the pollen explosion began to hit the DC area about two weeks ago, my allergies—like every year—went berserk. Normally I take 60mg of Allegra in the morning and am all right, but during this time of year by early evening it starts wearing off. There’s only so much one little pill can do.
So, as a stop-gap measure, my original plan was to up my dosage to the recommended twice-a-day level. (My feeling has always been that if I can get away with half a dose that I should do so. My physician thankfully not only agrees with me but still gives me the twice-a-day prescription for whenever things do get bad so that I don’t run out mid-month with no refill in sight.) But then I decided to try a little experiment. So in the evening, about an hour before bed, I’m now taking a Benadryl.
The result has been nothing short of astounding. On the whole I fall asleep a little faster (except for last Friday night), and I do still wake up at least once or twice (drink some water and pass back out) but when I wake up in the morning—I actually wake up. For those who haven’t seen me in the morning, trust me when I say that it is not a pretty sight, to put it mildly. I am tired, I am groggy, I am slightly incoherent. I had to buy an alarm clock with an adjustable snooze alarm because 9 minutes would be too long and I would fall completely back asleep. (It’s currently set at 6 minutes.)
Now? When the alarm goes off I’m out of bed within 15 minutes instead of in the 45-to-75 minute range. This has been especially good for starting to go to the gym in the mornings again. I can get such an earlier start that it means I have time for a longer, more fulfilling workout; hitting half an hour on the rowing machine now means I still have time for a second half hour of something else. Or this morning, knowing I couldn’t hit my evening spinning class, I actually hit my first 6:30am class ever. Hopefully this will let me shed those five pounds of “winter weight” a little faster than normal. Maybe even finally help shrink and tighten my tummy a bit, that would be nice.
Once allergy insanity is over I do plan on some experiments to figure out what the key element is in the Benadryl solution. Do I need the allergy relief in the evenings more than I thought I did, and should go onto two-a-day for Allegra from now on? Or is it that I’m just needing that extra little nudge into sleepland and should perhaps look into something like valerian root or melatonin for my evenings? (I’m really curious to see what the end result will be.)
Either way, the end result has been just, well, great and exciting. I’ve really missed being able to wake up quickly in the mornings.