As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® I was able to use the new Answers at Walgreens program to find sleep solutions. All words and opinions are mine.
I’ve always been a night owl, but it’s never kept me from sleeping before. I’m not one of those people that can fall asleep while draped over the arm of a chair, and I can’t sleep in a moving vehicle, but when I laid my head down on a pillow, I could sleep. It served me well when I was in college, when sleep was the last thing on my to-do list. Between classes, being an RA, studying and a social life, who had time for sleep? So I was thankful that when I did finally have a chance to close my eyes, I didn’t lie there looking at the ceiling for hours, and I didn’t wake til the alarm sounded.
Over the years, though, there has been a shift in my ability to get quality sleep. Work stress would make me toss and turn, and then I was rarely able to sleep for more than an hour at a time while pregnant. While I hoped it would resolve itself as Bubbles got older and we had a better nighttime routine, that hasn’t really been the case. I still keep with the tradition of being able to fall asleep fairly easily, it’s the staying asleep that continues to be a problem. I wake up to check if Bubbles has kicked her blankets off (again), from dreams, and because the neighbor kids seem to think that 3 a.m. is the perfect time to blare music from their car speakers. By then the sun comes up and I can’t even think about falling back to sleep (another new development in the past few years).
I figured that since I had such good results a couple of weeks ago with the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic that I would check out the new Answers at Walgreens program I had seen promoted in the store and see if I could find some sleep solutions. I wanted to be prepared so before I headed to the store I went online to see exactly how the program works.
I was surprised to find that I could actually speak to a pharmacist through an online chat. They can discuss prescription medications you might be taking, an OTC that you’ve been considering, or even general health questions. I decide to ask some of my sleep questions online before I thought about speaking with a pharmacist in-store.
I signed into my account, clicked the chat button, and within seconds I was connected to Thushar, a Walgreens pharmacist. After I told him I was having difficulty staying asleep, he asked what medications I was taking (I’m sure some of them cause sleep issues, plus you want to avoid interactions) and if I had tried any OTC remedies yet. I shared that I hadn’t tried anything, because I wasn’t really sure where to start. I didn’t want anything habit-forming, and I needed not to sleep so soundly that I wouldn’t wake up if Bubbles called out for me in the night.
I’m sure that he chuckled at that last part. “Hey, this lady wants to sleep well. Just not, you know, too well.” Yeah, I’m a study in contradictions, I know. But those of you with young kids must understand what I mean.
Thushar suggested that I try melatonin, which is available over the counter. He did caution that any sleep aid could cause you to “get a sound sleep” and thought maybe a lower dose of melatonin would be a good place to start until I knew how it would react with my body chemistry. He said a common low dose would be 3 mg, but that I might be able to go as low as 1 mg. He also said I might try diphenhydramine (the same active ingredient as Benadryl).
Armed with my new information I went shopping at Walgreens to hopefully find sleep solutions. (By the way, if you’re worried you might forget what the pharmacist suggested during your chat, you can email yourself a copy of the transcript.) I had planned to speak to an on-site pharmacist, as well, just to compare information but they were really busy that afternoon. It made me glad I had go online ahead of time. I found the melatonin – on sale! – fairly easily in the section labeled “Sleep Aids” but could only find the 3mg option. I wandered into the vitamins and supplements section to see if they had other ones there, but they were a higher dosage.
While shopping I noticed a number of other “Answers at Walgreens” signs and booklets. They can give advice on a number of topics. And the booklets are filled with information plus coupons, so if you do find a solution for you, you might be able to save a little extra money on purchasing the recommendation.
I haven’t had a chance to try the melatonin yet but I’m hopeful that there will be some extra sleep in my future. I’m still held back a tiny bit about not hearing Bubbles, but I’ll just make sure that hubby knows he needs to be extra-alert that night. It’s just nice to have my nightstand prepared and know that I now have something to try.