What Are Wake Up Pills and Who Needs Them?

woman taking pills

Do you struggle with sleep disorders that affect your energy levels in the morning? 

Do you wake up groggy after a necessary all-nighter? Does it take you a while to be fully alert in the morning? 

You’re not so different if you struggle with any of the scenarios painted in the paragraph above. Unfortunately, we live in a world with a default sleep deprivation status. According to a sleep statistic study this year, the average adult gets less than seven hours of sleep. For adults working more than one job and people studying, the number decreases even more. Most people in this situation wake up tired and groggy every morning, relying on copious amounts of coffee to ‘wake up. 

What if there were wake up pills that guaranteed alertness in the mornings after a bad night? Instead of drinking too many cups of coffee, you could take some stay-awake pills and be ready for the day. This article discusses what wake-up pills are, how they work, and if they’re safe to use.

What are Wake-Up Pills? 

Wake ups pills are medication people use to stay awake and alert in the morning. These pills have been around for a while, but in recent years, they have grown in popularity as more people become aware of what they are and how they’re used. 

The makeup of wake up pills differs slightly from brand to brand, but the common ingredient is caffeine. Some wake up pills contain 100mg of caffeine, while others contain 200mg, but the maximum amount for caffeine consumption in a day is 400mg. The caffeine in the wake up pills is supplemented by other ingredients like vitamins and zinc.

How Do Wake Up Pills Work? 

Does coffee wake you up in the morning? Then you will be delighted to know that caffeine is the primary ingredient in wake up pills. When you take a wake up pill, the body breaks it down to release the caffeine, which is transported throughout the body. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors that promote sleep when it gets to the brain. Adenosine is a compound produced by the body throughout the day that reduces the ‘alertness’ of the brain by slowing down processes and introducing lethargy. The brain neurons retain their rapid firing pace by preventing adenosine from bonding with the receptors. The body also releases other hormones that support activeness, like epinephrine. 

The result? You feel energised and alert. 

Although coffee and wake up pills have caffeine and work similarly, wake up pills have a more substantial effect on the body than a cup of coffee. This is because wake up pills contain a more concentrated dose of caffeine which is also absorbed faster, making the effects felt almost immediately. 

Note that wake up pills can affect the sleep cycle, so avoid taking them at night to be on the safe side. The best time to use them is early morning and afternoon as the effects last between 4 to 6 hours.

Are Wake Up Pills Safe?

Wake up pills might contain the same ingredient as coffee and even work similarly, but are they safe to use? As common as it is, coffee has side effects, and some people even ‘overdose’ on it. Are there doses too much for anyone to take? 

Wake up pills are safe for almost everyone, just like coffee is. However, they may not be safe for some people with allergies or high sensitivity to caffeine and other components of wake up pills. To be safe, get a doctor’s prescription for the wake up pills you get if you have allergies or hypersensitivity to caffeine. 

espresso coffee

Some wake up pills are only available on prescription. In contrast, others are supplements that have their doses set by the manufacturing company. It is advised that people stick to the ‘prescribed’ doses. Anything outside of these could pose a problem for you. Also, if you notice any side effects, you’re advised to stop using immediately and see a doctor.

Do Wake Up Pills Have Side Effects?

All drugs have side effects, and wake up pills aren’t exceptional. Some of the side effects of wake up pills include the following: 

  • Sleep Paralysis;
  • Insomnia; 
  • Headache; 
  • Nausea; 
  • Thirst; 
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Acid Reflux; 
  • Vomiting; 
  • Racing heart; 
  • Anxiety; 
  • Shivering. 

Note that wake up pills should not be taken with certain drugs and alcohol. Avoid drugs containing phenobarbital, ketoconazole, ephedrine, phenytoin, ketoprofen, and theophylline.

Who Should Take Wake Up Pills? 

Ideally, everyone who needs a boost to be alert in the morning can take wake up pills because they’re just like coffee pills that help people stay awake and buzzed. However, some groups of people need wake up pills to help them cope. 

The first group is made up of those that struggle with sleep inertia, a state of grogginess, drowsiness and disorientation after waking. Wake up pills improve the waking-up process and help them attain alertness quickly. People with disorders that make them overly tired and sleepy during the day fall under this category.

Another group of people who should take wake up pills are people who have stayed up at night working or studying and need to be alert during the day. Students often fall into this category. Unlike those struggling with sleep inertia, people in this category don’t require wake-up pills every day. Instead, they take them on special occasions.

Who Should Not Take Wake Up Pills 

Pregnant people and people with heart diseases such as arrhythmia, high blood pressure or mood disorders should talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking wake-up pills. The same rule applies to people taking any drugs. Your pharmacist would know if there are any contraindications with the drugs you are currently taking. 

Children under the age of 12 should not take wake up pills, and young adults and teenagers should see a doctor before taking waking pills. 

People who struggle with sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea should avoid wake up pills. Consistent use affects the sleep cycle of the user. It could worsen the sleep cycle of users who already struggle with sleep disorders. If you take wake-up pills and notice difficulty falling asleep or excessive fatigue, stop usage and talk to a doctor.

In Summary 

Wake up pills are drugs that contain concentrated amounts of caffeine and other stimulants to wake the user up. These pills benefit people struggling with sleep inertia, extreme fatigue, and sleepiness in the morning. Anyone can use these pills, but you should check in with your doctor or pharmacist to know if you’re at risk for caffeine either through your drugs or a health condition.