Nighttime Cold Medicine – “Medicine” or Magic Potion?

Last night I was finally able to get a full night’s sleep (well, if you consider “full” five hours) in the last week and a half without taking cold medicine.

You know the one – that glowing green elixir … NyQuil, only I bought the Walgreen’s “wild berry flavor” version of it to save some money. A few searches of cold medicines on Bing that I found rates NyQuil as a must-have for cold relief, along with rest, chicken, and plenty of fluids.

Since I usually do not get sick I do not take many medicines, and even then I refrain from it because I just do not like taking the stuff. Sometimes, however, you just have to as a last resort before things REALLY get bad. Plus, sometimes you just need to get some sleep and much-needed rest.

Since I stated to feel this stuff coming on Friday I went to town and fortified my arsenal of chicken soup, cold meds, and V-8 Juices in hopes of keeping the effects of whatever this was I was catching at bay. I usually have pretty good luck with this strategy (including lots of water), and this time it kept it from getting worse, but it still hung in there for longer than I had hoped for.

Now… about that nighttime cold medicine. That stuff works great, but I have never had the side effects like that before. I ALWAYS have, what I call, a “NyQuil” hangover from that stuff generic or not. The following morning feels like some of the past, yet without the fun of the night before. I really had not been sleeping lately and that probably contributed to getting sick, along with being exposed to all the stuff in public places that goes around this time of year. I really had not had many dreams in a while, so between that and how I felt in the mornings I knew that I wasn’t sleeping soundly. I took the stuff so I COULD get some rest and get better, and it did help, but I have never had dreams like that except once before.

One of the many times I tried to quit smoking before finally stopping that stupid, disgusting habit I tried “the patch”. I am not sure what is in those things, but I think they could be used for religious rituals in some areas of the world. I had some of the absolute strangest dreams of my life while having one of those things stuck on my body. One dream in particular was so weird I still wonder about it – I was at a garage sale house near my grandparent’s house in Kansas City. It was a pleasant summer day on a quiet sidestreet and the “dream” (or hallucination?) was in vivid colors. In the yard were those old steel lawn chairs… you know the ones; those chairs that looked like a giant scallop shell painted bright red or blue or green or yellow, and the white frame. Well there were three of them in a semi-circle in the yard at this garage sale. I sat in one, David Gilmour (guitar player of Pink Floyd fame) was in the middle, and on the other side – Mark Twain. It looked like Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in those old black and white pictures. We sat around and talked while people milled around the yard sale. It was so surreal…

Looking back at this cold medicine I am not really sure how much it helps you rest when you’re mind is going so fast you dream at such a frantic pace. I do not recall having dreams like that with the real NyQuil before, but it is the same ingredients from what I can tell. All I know is that I did get some sleep, and dreams mean you are in the deepest stage of sleep. But, when you dream like that at such a frantic pace are you really resting? It is hard for me to tell with such an exhausted, hungover feeling in the morning after taking that stuff. It makes me wonder if I am lying there twitching, like a dog running after a rabbit in their sleep, acting out the parts. It is also hard to believe that one shot of something with such little alcohol can knock you out like that, but I guess they have perfected the cocktail to do that.

I just want to know where these dreams are coming from.

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