Use Sleep Aids? Don’t Let the Wrong One Ruin Your Game

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I assume it would not be truthful if I instructed you the advantages of sleep with out supplying you with recommendation on the finest sleep aids out there. There are a large number of things that lead me to imagine that sleep support use is kind of frequent in the world of poker. They embrace: 1) the overuse of stimulants akin to caffeine, Crimson Bull, Amp, Adderall, and so on 2) the lengthy period of poker video games, some lasting till the subsequent morning Three) the elevated play of on-line poker, lasting effectively into the evening. I might think about that poker gamers have their sleep schedules fairly screwed up. I would even wager that their very own circadian rhythm might be slightly off tilt. Don’t fear although. Hopefully after studying this part, you can select the proper sleep support for you so you’ll be able to expertise all of the nice advantages of a very good evening’s sleep. You could even win extra typically.

Sleep aids

The vast majority of sleep aids are comparatively secure and efficient. Some are managed substances, nonetheless their abuse potential is minimal in comparison with different managed substances. An important idea regarding choosing the finest sleep support is residual drowsiness. The very last thing a poker play needs is to be drowsy the subsequent day at the desk. Too many unhealthy issues can occur if you happen to’re sluggish. It’s essential take note of the sleep support’s half-life. Half-life is absolutely only a fancy medical time period that describes the time it takes the physique to get rid of half of the unique focus of the drug. Normally, it takes anyplace from 5-7 half-lives for the drug to be fully eradicated from the physique. Thus, if the unique focus of the drug was 10mg and has a half-life 2 hours, then after 2 hours the new focus could be 5mg, and after Four hours the new focus could be 2.5mg, and so forth. I am going to briefly focus on the commonest sleep aids beneath. I’ve grouped them into the drug lessons based mostly on their mechanism of motion. At the finish, I am going to inform you my suggestions.

Prescription sleep aids

Non-benzodiazepine (non-BZN) sleep aids

These all work the identical manner. They bind to the benzodiazepine 1 receptor in the mind. The facet impact profile can also be comparable. It consists of drowsiness, dizziness, amnesia, headache, and GI issues. The distinction between medicine on this class is their period of motion and efficiency.

Ambien is the commonest sleep support prescribed at the moment. The half-life of Ambien is round 2.5 hours. Thus, it takes round 10 or so hours for it to be fully eradicated out of your physique. It is fairly good at getting you to sleep and preserving you asleep. It is also generic so it’s extremely low-cost in comparison with a few of the different sleep aids. In the event you’re seeking to get a very good evening’s remainder of at the very least Eight-10 hours, that is my drug of selection. Its effectiveness and value make it the better of all of the sleep aids. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re in a event and will solely get 5-7 hours of sleep, there’s a sturdy chance you’ll have some residual drowsiness the subsequent day.

Lunesta is a comparatively new sleep support. The half-life is round 6.5 hours. Thus, it’ll take a very long time to get out of your system. It additionally doesn’t have a generic so it is expensive. Due to its lengthy half-life and excessive likelihood of residual drowsiness, I do not advocate this drug for poker gamers. The one time you need to use this drug is if you happen to can sleep for a few days straight.

Sonata is my drug of selection for this class. Its half-life is round 1 hour. Thus, it will likely be out of your system in 5-7 hours. It will not be as sturdy as Ambien or Lunesta, nevertheless it ought to do the job. In the event you’re not sure of how a lot sleep you can get, you need to choose this drug. The probabilities of residual drowsiness are the least of any of the different medicine on this class. Due to its brief half-life, it will also be used if you happen to get up early in the evening and have bother getting again to sleep.

Benzodiazepine sleep aids

These medicine aren’t as selective as the non-BZN sleep aids. They bind to not solely the BZN1 receptor, but additionally the BZN 2 receptor. Thus, there’s a increased probability of unintended effects. Unwanted effects embrace drowsiness, decreased focus, cognitive impairments, anterograde amnesia, daytime anxiousness, and rebound insomnia. The variations in medicine on this class are time to onset of motion, period of motion, and efficiency.

Restoril is the mostly prescribed BZN sleep support. Nonetheless, it is in all probability the worst one for poker gamers. The half-life is between 10-15 hours. As a result of its metabolites are additionally lively medicine, if used for consecutive days, the half-life of the drug will really enhance to much more than 15 hours. Thus, there is a sturdy probability you will expertise daytime drowsiness. Though it’s low-cost, I like to recommend staying away from this drug. The half-life is simply too lengthy.

Triazolam is not prescribed a lot anymore, nonetheless it is primarily used for insomnia. As a result of it is extra fats soluble than Restoril, it is onset of motion is faster, and its half-life is simply round 2 hours. It is good at getting you to sleep and preserving you asleep. The truth is, this was the drug of selection by my professor of pharmacology. Facet notice: This man was concerned in the creation of Gatorade. His reminiscence was unbelievable. He by no means used one notice throughout his lectures. The issue I’ve with triazolam is its excessive incidence of tension and amnesia. As a result of it is so fats soluble, it’s out and in of your system resulting in a better incidence of unintended effects. Nonetheless although, if I had to make use of a BZN sleep support, I would select this one over Restoril.

Different prescription sleep aids

These sleep aids do not fall into any of the above classes.

Trazodone was initially used to deal with despair. Nonetheless, due to its unfavorable facet impact profile and the introduction of simpler and safer antidepressants, it is largely solely used for insomnia. The half-life is between Four-5 hours. Due to its lengthy half life, and its capacity to trigger cognitive slowing, I like to recommend staying away from this if you happen to play poker.

Rozerem is the latest sleep support out there. Due to that, it is fairly costly. It really works slightly in a different way than the different sleep aids. It really binds to and stimulates the melatonin receptors in the mind. It has been nicknamed melatonin on steroids. Its half-life is between 1-Three hours. It is actually solely utilized in sufferers who’ve a historical past of substance abuse as a result of it has zero dependancy potential. For my part, there’s cheaper and higher sleep aids out there for poker gamers.

Non-prescription sleep aids

Melatonin might be the granddaddy of OTC sleep aids. It is a hormone that’s secreted by the pineal gland at evening. It is thought to assist regulate an individual’s circadian rhythm. Its secretion is stimulated by darkness, and inhibited by gentle. It is generally utilized by individuals who expertise jet lag or midnight-shift employees. As a result of poker gamers could have a screwed up circadian rhythm, it will be useful to incorporate between zero.5-5mg nightly. Why the big selection of dosage? Some folks sleep high quality simply utilizing zero.5mg and really expertise stimulation on doses of 3mg. Nonetheless, others want 5mg to assist sleep. Discover the dosage that is best for you. In the event you expertise drowsiness the subsequent day, you in all probability used an excessive amount of. I like to recommend the controlled-release melatonin over common melatonin. For my part, these poker gamers that keep up late at evening, and sleep effectively into the afternoon might significantly profit from melatonin.

Valerian root is believed to have the same impact as BZN’s as a result of it inhibits the metabolism of GABA. As a result of it isn’t as potent as BZN’s, it is onset of motion is slightly longer. It’s best to take it about 2 hours earlier than you go to mattress. Due to this inconvenience, I do not understand how useful this will probably be to a poker participant. In the event you do buy some valerian root, search for dietary supplements that comprise zero.Four-1% valerenic acid. A typical dose is between 400-900mg 2 hours earlier than bedtime. In the event you’re searching for a pure complement to cut back anxiousness and aid you sleep, that is undoubtedly your best option.

Magnesium might be the hidden jewel on the subject of OTC sleep aids. It not solely calms your nerves, it additionally helps enhance the high quality of your sleep. The vast majority of the US inhabitants is poor in magnesium. It is concerned in lots of of chemical reactions in the physique, every part from anxiousness to coronary heart issues. Complete books have been written about the advantages of magnesium. Like fish oil, this needs to be a staple in each poker participant’s dietary routine. Don’t purchase magnesium oxide resulting from its poor absorption. Take anyplace from 400-600mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate an hour earlier than mattress. Orange juice, apple juice, or tomato juice will increase magnesium’s absorption whereas calcium or different diary merchandise lower its absorption. I can’t stress sufficient how vital magnesium supplementation is.

Benadryl and different sedating anti-histamines shouldn’t be utilized by poker gamers. The elevated probability of residual drowsiness and the lack of efficacy of bettering sleep high quality make these a poor selection for poker gamers. There are too many different sleep aids on the market which can be simpler.

I simply wished to present you an outline of a few of the mostly used sleep aids out there. There are lots of of others on the market. There are many Chinese language teas and herbals which can be purported to assist enhance sleep. My finest advice is to learn the science and analysis for your self. You could even wish to strive a pair out. Solely you’ll know if it really works for you.


Hopefully you will take the above suggestions to coronary heart. Keep in mind, my suggestions are based mostly on not solely real-world suggestions, but additionally on analysis. These aren’t simply opinions. When you’ve got any questions on something I’ve stated, please ask.

So the backside line is to keep away from sleep aids with lengthy half-lives as a result of the probability of residual drowsiness is way larger. Additionally, one factor I forgot to say. In the event you take any of the above sleep aids with a meal excessive in fats, it’ll take longer for the sleep aids to work. Fats really slows down digestion.

My suggestions

In the event you suppose you will get lower than Eight hours of sleep: Sonata

In the event you suppose you will get Eight-10 hours of sleep: Ambien

In the event you’re circadian rhythm is off from too many late-nighters: Managed-release melatonin together with a sleep support.

The drug everybody ought to take: Magnesium citrate or glycinate

Keep in mind, do not take a number of sleep aids. When taken by themselves, they’re comparatively secure. Nonetheless, when mixed, they are often lethal akin to the case of Heath Ledger.

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