Caffeine knocking my ass into bed
August 16, 2006 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone heard of a caffeine tablet producing heavy drowsiness?

Coffee always wakes me up. Therefore I was surprised to get extremely sleepy after taking a caffeine pill. I figured it was a fluke, but after 3 more situations where I took a pill (the latest being tonight) and getting sleepy each time, it's obvious to me something is really hosed.

The pills in question are Kroger "Stay Awake" 200 mg caffeine expiring 06/09, bought in Texas. The tablets are in sealed foil pouches with the drug name printed on the outside of the foil packets. The pouches say "Distributed by Perrigo, Allegan MI". The tablets are yellow and are stamped L409.

What's the deal? Seeing as these are generics I distinctly get the feeling some Indian or Mexican dudes are having a laugh tossing barbiturates in the mixer and sticking it to the Yankees.
posted by zek to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Same thing happens to me, even when I take a name brand "alertness aid" like vivarin (sp?). I take a dose and yawn! I kept trying it again and again, thinking that there was some variable I wasn't thinking of. Perhaps my allergy pill . . . maybe something else. Nope, in the end, each time, it was the caffeine tablet that was making me sleeeeeepppyy!!!
posted by necessitas at 7:02 PM on August 16, 2006

Sometimes this happens to me when I drink too much coffee... I'll be all fuzzy in the morning until I can have my cup(s), and then I'm clear and peppy for a few minutes before I get really tired. All I can think of is that I have little mini-withdrawals overnight and it wrecks my sleep, and then when I have some caffeine, it relaxes me and the tiredness rushes back in. I usually figure around then that I should back off the coffee and I switch to tea for a few weeks. Of course, am I not exactly a doctor so I don't have any medical explanation for this.
posted by rkent at 7:06 PM on August 16, 2006

for what its worth, if I have too much coffee in the afternoons, i get extremely sleepy. Some of my friends also report getting sleepy after caffeine. I've always wondered about this myself.
posted by jak68 at 8:18 PM on August 16, 2006

Yeah, I've heard this before and actually experience it often myself.
I believe it has something to do with caffiene releasing body stores of adenosine. I think the "caffiene nap" idea is related.
posted by aceyim at 9:07 PM on August 16, 2006

For years my parents would have a couple of cups right before bed to get sleepy.
posted by mwhybark at 9:38 PM on August 16, 2006

I've been off coffee and caffeine in general for about 10 years, but someone recently gave me some VERY caffeinated tea as a gift. The few times I tried it, my almost immediate reaction was complete exhaustion - like falling asleep at my desk, have to stop everything immediately and take a nap...
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:58 PM on August 16, 2006

One possible answer.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:07 PM on August 16, 2006

Sorry, I should have summarized: some people with ADHD have paradoxical reactions to stimulants, including caffeine.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:08 PM on August 16, 2006

I get that.

A little caffeine, and I'm physically more hyper, but mentally calmer. A lot of caffeine, and it puts me to sleep. I always called it the 'ADD Kid Ritalin Effect'. Fast forward to 5 months ago, and sure enough, I have ADHD. So it literally works as a calming substance for me, enough so that I often drink low caffeinated tea throughout the day at work to keep my focus.

My old asthma medicine, Theophylline, would put me to sleep literally minutes after taking it. This puzzled my doc, who swore that it's a stimulant.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:09 PM on August 16, 2006

Once, I fell asleep 20 minutes after drinking a can of Jolt. I don't, however, have ADHD, so there must be something else about my physiology or brain chemistry that was counteracting the stimulant's effects.

I also remember a Simpsons gag where Marge refers to caffeine making some people drowsy -- so I don't think it's that unusual.
posted by macdara at 4:32 AM on August 17, 2006

I second the ADHD theory. I have ADHD and caffene either does nothing to me, or puts me to sleep.
posted by tdreyer1 at 8:17 AM on August 17, 2006

Caffeine is known to cause the pancreas to release excessive amounts of insulin, thus causing hypoglycemia and drowsiness.
posted by macinchik at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2006

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