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Why do stimulants make some people sleepy?

Discussion in 'Pharmacology' started by ShawnD, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. ShawnD

    ShawnD Silver Member

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    About a year ago, I started taking ephedrine on a somewhat regular basis (~3 times per week) to improve my mental and physical abilities. I take a fairly low dosage, only 40mg, and it works wonders most of the time. Some of the time, it does the exact opposite. During those bizarro times, I feel incredibly tired within a few minutes of taking it, and I get progressively more tired until I fall asleep. I sometimes sleep on peoples couches because of this, in a sitting position, in rooms that are well-lit and usually quite loud due to video games, TV, and several guys talking. I can wake up immediately and be ready to go if someone wakes me, but I can fall back sleep at the drop of a hat. If I'm at home when this happens, and I'm able to sleep without being disturbed, this weird ephedrine-sleep usually lasts about 6 hours.

    I'm really curious why this happens, and why it seems so random. It has nothing to do with what time of day it is, how much sleep I had the night before, if I ate food or not, where I am, or who I'm with.

    I used the generic term 'stimulants' in the title because a lot of stimulants seem to do this. I know a guy who can take a 200mg caffeine pill (amount of caffine in 6 cans of coca cola) and immediately go to sleep. One of my friends was on Ritalin as a kid, which is a type of amphetamine, and he claimed it made him tired. I assume these are somehow related.
     
  2. Politicalchalk

    Politicalchalk Titanium Member

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    To partially answer, the medical literature speaks about "Rare Extra-Pyramidal Syndromes," where the archetypal depressant makes a patient "excitatory" or a stimulant will produce "Somnolence and/or sleep."

    Swim too knows people who can drink highly-caffeinated beverages and go right to sleep. One assumes this is due to long-term use and associated tolerance.

    If you're familiar with the mid-incarnations of Star Trek, you may have heard of the Borg. They're a super-Robot race that, after taking a shot by your ray gun, adapt to it's frequency (or someother nonsense like that), thus making the other Borg Drones impenetrable with your current weapons. If that made any sense, your brain kind of adapts to chemicals the same way, if a constant is held.

    Example: Your brain produces natural opiates, to be released in times of extreme pain (like someone not noticing they stepped on a nail until they look down). We have similar, synthetic chemicals. As your brain recognizes that your steady stream of opiates is just that -- a steady stream -- it begins to turn off the switch which would release the natural opioids (endorphins, et al.) -- in the same way the Borg adapt to the ray gun (sans the time scale), so does your brain adapt to whatever chemicals you are feeding it.

    Hope this helps, not sure if I was very on-topic.
     
  3. bubbly nubs

    bubbly nubs Silver Member

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    SWIM has noticed the same, like when using E he finds that when most people would be 'coming up' that he would yawn and want to sleep but would not be able to. also the same when using relativity small amounts of amphetamine i.e a few 'rails'
     
  4. Laudaphun

    Laudaphun Gold Member

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    SWIM has noted the same effect from AMP but not with MPH, and actually had the dr. Swich her marmoset back to MPH. No clue why this might be. i think I may have mentioned my marmoset's experiences on another thread.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  5. Lobsang

    Lobsang

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    Well these are called paradoxical reactions of drugs. And the mechanism is not really understood. I mean we know very very little about the normal mecahnisms of a lot of drugs much less the paradixical reactions
     
  6. Jiggles

    Jiggles Titanium Member

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    SWIM has the same experience with stimulants, some days he could take his prescribed dose of dexedrine (dexamphetamine) and fall into a deep restful sleep, only to wake up with blunted emotions and a headache. Other days, it would send SWIM into a euphoric cleaning frenzy:crazy But this was only after he had been on several different formulations of MPH over the past couple years, from time released concerta to IR ritalin. The ritalin never made him sleepy until after he started amph abuse

    In the case of amphetamine at least, SWIM has this theory that it is not just a paradoxical reaction but in fact a fully explainable chemical release. Amph hits several receptor types, including serotonin, whose release is known to sometimes make people sleepy. SWIM thinks that the right pre existing (im)balance of chemicals in the brain on a particular day are the trigger for whatever effects the amph is going to have. It may fill an imbalance or it may send a certain chemical way over the top in traditional amph style. SWIM believes ADHD is definitely directly correlated with this, which is why you hear about many people with true ADHD who calm down and feel no euphoria from stimulants. There are definitely other threads about this in the forum

    As a side note, Caffeine also makes SWIM sleepy these days after all of his more powerful stimulant abuse in the past. A good 100mg will give him a nice restful sleep.
     
  7. HorseBucket

    HorseBucket

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    Ritalin makes swim sleepy and amphetamines make him so tranquil he's perfectly happy to sit in one spot doing nothing for hours. Opiates seem to stimulate swim and give him motivation. Valium makes swim restless. It seems these drugs to the opposite to swim as what they do to most people.
     
  8. jord4n007

    jord4n007

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    I have a friend who can sleep on ice but is a coke/crack fiend...always trips me out
     
  9. ShawnD

    ShawnD Silver Member

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    I was reading something about antidepressants, and I may have stumbled on a possible explanation for why this happens.

    norepinephrine in psychiatry
    Read that twice. A subject is given a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor; the major effect seems to be binding to the alpha-2 receptor (inhibitory); the brain stops releasing noradrenaline, and the level of noradrenaline drops.
    Relating this back to the first post, ephedrine is a noradrenaline-like agonist for all receptor types, and this includes alpha-2. While I normally feel more relaxed and confident after taking ephedrine, the sleepy reaction could be something as simple as temporary sensitivity for that particular receptor.
     
  10. Laudaphun

    Laudaphun Gold Member

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    What is kind of weird in SWIM's case is that when she is on the verge of shear exhaustion, an amphetamine pill will not keep her awake, but rather she will go right to sleep for a full 8 hours, waking up as someone stated earlier with a dull headachey feeling and a weird bodily feeling. It is almost impossible for her to cheat her body of sleep with stimulants. If she goes without sleep, they just plain don't work.

    On the other hand... swim can be totally exhausted and take a benzodiazepine and instead of going to sleep, the benzodiazepine will turn the "exhausted" feelign into a tranquil relaxxed feeling and she will stay awake for hours, when if she'd have taken the amphetamine pill she'd either feel like shit or go right to sleep.

    These paradoxical rxns seem to be most influenced by the overall nutrition and sleep during the recent week. Regular sleep patterns along with an attempt at regular meals and the amphetamines or methylphenidate work like they should. 10mg amphetamine will make SWIM very focused, while 20mg will not have the same effect. It will provide a physical edginess without any sort of mental effects at all. Regardless, when SWIM is very tired, benzos will almost always turn "exhaustion" into "tranquil relaxed feeling".

    Opiates are the same way. They make SWIM feel like you would think an amphetamine should. Lots of energy, very outgoing, not at all sleepy. SWIM "used" to be able to stay up on opiates, but now due to tolerance to regular maintanence doses, she is not able to get this effect.

    Also, it is interesting to note that SWIM has never been into "speed" of any sort... never got into coke or anythign speedy in nature. The first time SWIM tried amphetamines, about 10 years ago, a friend gave her a 30mg amphetamine pill. She snorted 1/2 of it and immediately felt "dopey" or "stoned"... sort of like she had smoked a joint or something. While before that, anytime she had snorted methylphenidate, it had always acted in the same manner as cocaine. As stated above, she was never really into speedy drugs so her experience with these substances was limited.

    Years and years passed and SWIM stopped abusing drugs and began taking only prescribed medication, she finally was treated for ADD which had been diagnosed 20 years prior. She has since learned that "less is more."
     
  11. leapfrog

    leapfrog Newbie

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    okay, i haven't read all the posts so, i'm hoping this isn't a repeat. i don't know why it would happen only every now and then with you, but, if you think about it, the treatment for add is to prescribe amphetamine, or amphetamine like drugs, thus calming the person down. there could be some sort of temporary chemical imbalance in your brain during the times that the stimulants are making you tired. the same thing can happen with some narcotics as well. i just so happen to get quite hyped up when i'm on opiates.
     
  12. betsym

    betsym

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    Same here, leapfrog. Swim can go to sleep on Adderall and stay up on Opiates. Adderall allows swim to turn her mind "off" or at least slow it down so she can go to sleep. The doctor even prescribed her an extra dose at bedtime for this reason. Opiates will only make swim sleepy if she is already real tired when she takes them but mostly they don't cause her to be sleepy at all.
     
  13. c17h21no4

    c17h21no4 Newbie

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    well , domamine has a calming effect. you can try this little experiment , look at people for example when they take any stim. you'll notice that a light dose will give them energy and "the need for move" , while when taking a big dose they'll start yawning when coming up , because of the massive dopamine release , also they wont really want to walk or move ( might happen because their muscles get very tight too , and that's not from the dopamine release ). you can find a lot of info about this on wiki
     
  14. humdroid

    humdroid Silver Member

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    For Y, tolerance was the answer.

    If Y had high tolerance, and didn't leave a long enough gap of non-use between seshions, taking a weaker strength speed would make him drowsy, and happy to just sit and space. Bit boring really.
     
  15. c17h21no4

    c17h21no4 Newbie

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    for swim was exactly oposite , after he got a very high tolerance , and doing hugh doses he began to barely go outside , and once he got kind of dry of resources , he did smaller doses thinking he will just avoid withdrawals because he had some important days ahead of him. and doing just less that a quarter of he's usual dose he was amazed how to stimulant and happy effects that "virgin users get" well without the repeating 10 times the same thing effects :). of coure each individual reacts differently and one should analyze he;s personal experiences to reach any conclusions. the dopamine surge thingie was based on some pharmacology studies of amphetamine family substances. ( aka phenetylamine stims )
     
  16. vinylmesh

    vinylmesh

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    Dopamine doesn't stimulate people. norepinephrine does.

    Maybe SWIYs have a tolerance to norepinephrine (maybe SWIYs are more hyper in personality and thus release norepinephrine more often than others leading to a tolerance).

    So SWIY would still get the euphoric effects without the stimulation.
     
  17. Ladyst

    Ladyst Newbie

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    swim couldn't understand it. after one line was immediately drowsy. was exposed to it as a child...but none since then. till 2 days ago. did one line and was sleepy?
     
  18. riaahacker

    riaahacker Titanium Member

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    Dopamine has an inhibitory and anxiolytic effect in some areas of the brain.The prefrontal cortex which controls impluse control is influenced by dopaminergic transmission which is why stimulants are used medically for cases of ADHD. I suspect the nucleus accumbens has a lot to do with the calming effect of dopamine as drugs that seem to influence dopaminergic transmission there produce the reinforcing "everything is good" feeling (opiates, amphetamines etc etc).

    Another important neurotransmitter involved in stimulant pharmacology, much more with mdma and methamphetamine than amphetamine is serotonin. MDMA and methamphetamine cause serotonin release while amphetamine only does so in high doses. Many report that methamphetamine does feel more comfortable and in control than amphetamine does while most people feel quite relaxed on mdma.
     
  19. Amazing Andy

    Amazing Andy Silver Member

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    In the cases of the two substances mentioned, ephedrine and caffiene, the answer is different.

    In the case of ephedrine, unline amphetamines, ephedrine cannot efficiently cross the blood brain barrier, so most of the effect it has is on andergenic receptors in the sympathetic nervous system. Thus its effects are primarily on the heart, lungs, digestive system, genitourinary systems but much less so on the CNS, and thus the mind and areas that prevent sleepiness and promote alertness. With increased use this disparity is greater, and although the user may have a high pulse, no appetite, flushed skin, etc. the mind is much less stimulated, if at all, and thus allowing sleep despite physical cues.

    Cnlike ephedrine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It then blocks inhibitory adenosine receptors, thus exciting the brain. However, the body responds by quickly increasing numbers of adenosine receptors and their sensitivity, and other causes lead to quick formation of tolerance and addiction. Soon users drink to feel "normal" and are immune to stimulant effects. Thus a daily drinker can fall asleep on coffee, but the occasional drinker will benefit from the full effect as a break of up to 5 days will restore full function of adensosine receptors
     
  20. katiebell

    katiebell Newbie

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    I used to take 15mg of ER Dexedrene with great success, now in their infinite wisdom my insurance carrier has decreed I take IR Dexedrene tablets. No sooner do I take the first of three 10mg doses (Around 7am), I fall asleep for about 3 hours. The second and 3rd doses at 12 and 5pm don't seem to produce that problem