Sleeping on meth?
November 17, 2009 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Thinking about old times just now... I used to do a *LOT* of meth (I've been clean for about 5-6 years now, and I knew this guy who could snort a line and an hour later, go take a nap.) How is this possible?
posted by drleary to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Sounds like he may have built up his tolerance. I used to date a recovered meth addict who described similar experiences.
posted by katillathehun at 10:55 AM on November 17, 2009

Speaking from no medical background except for personal minor drug experiences and being around a lot of people who did drugs, they effect people differently.

Specifically, one of the chief things meth does is that releases seratonin in the brain. And the release of seratonin after that initial high is just like why people get sleepy right after orgasms. It's the exact same mechanism actually. The only difference with meth is it's still pumping your other functions at super speed, despite the fact your brian actually has gotten "sleepy." And this act has dramatically different results even from usage to usage in the same person, and most of it actually depends on the seratonin level in the brain before usage. It's one of the reasons meth is super unpredictable in terms of behavior.

Really, even if you take the meth out of it, it's just the same as question as "how come this person can fall asleep easier than me".... that's it. He has a strong enough physical reaction to the seratonin release that it overcomes the other physical reactions.

That's it.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:01 AM on November 17, 2009

I've never done any illicit drugs, but I can drink a Red Bull and then go to sleep shortly after. I've never been one to drink lots of caffeine, don't drink coffee, tea only sometimes (and often tisanes), but somehow caffeine has no noticeable effect on me. People's bodies differ.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:13 AM on November 17, 2009

I know a codeine addict for whom codeine is like caffeine- makes him super peppy and keeps him awake and chatty. I think some people just experience different effects.
posted by twistofrhyme at 11:49 AM on November 17, 2009

It's not meth, but both my mother and my grandfather were major caffeine addicts (mom kicked it, grampa's dead). Both of them HAD to have some in order to go to sleep.
posted by cmoj at 11:51 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is it possible that he had incredibly bad sleep habits and you just happened to notice when he finally succumbed to exhaustion? I sleep badly when stressed out, I've used caffeine in various forms when I've had work to do, but despite all that, when it's WELL PAST time to sleep, I can drink a double espresso and collapse. Can't speak for the drugs you mentioned (and won't speak for any others on MeFi), but I've known people to get pretty wired and wind up sound asleep in the most unlikely of places. That's the story we talk about, because "remember when he took all that speed and stayed awake?" isn't much of a story.

Also, I really want to know what ")" means in this context...
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:59 AM on November 17, 2009

I knew this guy who could snort a line and an hour later, go take a nap. How is this possible?

I've witnessed this once before, and to me it was a sad indication of serious addiction and built up tolerance. Previous to that I hadn't really been that concerned about my friend's drug use, but to see him use such a significant amount more (~8x) than another person who was very buzzed changed my mind right quick.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:20 PM on November 17, 2009

My ex-husband had built up such a high tolerance he would sleep pretty easily on it. In fact, he'd say "I'm going to sleep now because I have to work at X time in Y hours" and lie down, fold his arms, and be asleep within a minute. This was with a daily habit, too.

Of course he'd been doing it in various quantities and frequencies for something like four years when I discovered this. The fact that he ate and slept somewhat "normally" kept me from knowing what was going on until other things made it obvious.

I noticed you said "snort". In my understanding, snorting it is not as potent of a delivery method as shooting or smoking it, but I don't have personal experience with this, so YMMV.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2009

profound sleep deprivation might do it.

before i got my sleep disorder treated, i used to fall asleep in some remarkable circumstances.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:34 PM on November 17, 2009

posted by elsietheeel at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2009

This happens to some people the first time they try methamphetamines, and while it's true that it may be indicative of tolerance, that's not the only explanation. Drugs affect everyone differently, and sometimes in a way that is completely unexpected.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:50 PM on November 17, 2009

Yeah, I'd be curious as to whether or not this guy had undiagnosed ADHD and was using meth to self-medicate. (ADHD-plagued exes of mine used to slug back two to four liters of soda, or truly heroic amounts of coffee, to get calm enough to do anything useful.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:28 PM on November 17, 2009

I don't think that the specific mechanism is known, but if you go to any ADHD board you'll find people who can't take amphetamines because they get too sleepy afterwards. Some people just have radically different brain chemistry.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:32 PM on November 17, 2009

Yup, if I wake up too early in the morning I take half of my normal dose of Adderall and I go back to sleeping like a baby for 3-4 more hours. It makes me sleep.

Stimulants make some people sleepy (ADHD people and maybe other people).

Of course tolerance could be the issue, too. I don't know this guy!
posted by kathrineg at 4:18 PM on November 17, 2009

I think it's ADD/ADHD. Amphetamines affect us differently.
posted by WyoWhy at 6:00 PM on November 17, 2009

It could be ADHD, it could be his own personal biochemical idiosyncracies, it could just be that he'd developed a high tolerance. There are lots of possibly relevant variables here. How much would he typically use per day? Would he always use right before going to sleep, or just sometimes? Was he always able to go to sleep right after snorting a line, or just sometimes?

For what it's worth, through my job (addiction research) I've collected usage & sleep data from dozens and dozens of meth addicts. Being able to fall asleep right after using meth is unusual but it's not the first time someone's reported it. Sometimes it's related to ADHD, sometimes not.

I myself have ADHD and sometimes caffeine pills are like Klonopin to me. As in I start to doze off during conversations and while walking down the street. Very bizarre.
posted by granted at 2:59 AM on November 18, 2009

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