MichaelRyanSD wrote:So the only mountain I've climbed worth mentioning is Mt.Whitney in May, ... was wondering what your guy's thoughts would be on taking Tylenol PM to help me sleep at altitude.
I'm only posting this for the record here Michael, but given your inexperience I would not want this thread to give you the impression that taking drugs to sleep is widespread in climbing at altitude, it is not - nor is it widely considered OK - it is not. Proper acclimatization and hydration will prevent most headaches and enable proper sleep.
Whitney, Rainier, Shasta etc are mountains that have a particular problem of people racing up them too fast, wanting to do it in a weekend from the city and not really acclimatising properly. They get away with it (usually) because they are not high for long, they can get down fast. Aside from any actual AMS, altitude problems or headaches, people are often rushed and nervous and out of their normal routines and comfort zones, so sleeping can be hard, regardless.
Any drug that 'helps' you sleep will impair your ability to get up in the middle of the night and deal with whatever situation may have arisen - storm, avalanche, sick partner, injured strangers. damaged tent etc. Climbing mountains is hard enough without drugging yourself down below a normal level of awareness. Intervention with drugs, for convenience rather than first aid or trauma, is rarely a good idea.
If you do get a mild headache and drinking two liters of water doesn't help? Sure, take some ibuprofen or paracetamol. Regular ibuprofen dose is around 200-400mg and this should be fine for any level of headache that is acceptable in these situations. If one dose of 400mg and more water does not work, and the headache persists, go down. America has a real problem with excessive ibuprofen consumption. You can Google the regular recommended dosages.
Earplugs are a good idea.