Ambien Tales

So, yesterday on Facebook I asked about Ambien, given that my doctor had prescribed literally a few pills of it as kind of an “emergency, break glass when needed” insomnia fix.

Well, after reading the thread on Ambien, I think it scared my mind straight or something since I got a great night’s sleep last night.

One of the side benefits of that thread was the wealth of completely bizarre stories from those who have experienced side effects from it. I mean, some of them were eye-goggling. (“I woke up with a loaded gun in my bed.”)

I figure, hey, why not bring that out into the open?

If you have interesting AMBIEN TALES to tell, well, hey, do tell.

*leans forward to listen*

*face melts*

*bees exit new face holes*

*bees all buzz together GO TO ZZZLEEEEEEP*

74 responses to “Ambien Tales”

  1. I hallucinated on Ambien. Saw creepy mob men standing in the corners waiting for me to sleep. The pandas on my touch lamp suddenly had machine guns. Thought my dad was trying to kill me. Little green men running up his arm. Even the ceiling was morphing. It was altogether unpleasant.

  2. Very late to the thread, but wanted to add this. I was not the Ambien-taker but I witnessed this first hand (and yes, the ending is a bit telegraphed because of the topic, but it’s still pretty scary).

    I play adult (beer-league) hockey, and while playing in a tournament a couple of years ago, we wound up with an early-morning game (like 7:30am or something) on a Saturday morning. One player–we’ll call him Tom–arrived very late, explaining he’d had a flat tire. As we headed out to the ice, leaving him to change, I noticed that his ball cap was on very strangely, as if it was just balanced on his head instead of being worn normally. Odd, but whatever.

    He makes it to the ice just after the first period starts, skates to the bench, and then is out for a faceoff. Immediately the captain and I notice something’s wrong. Tom’s a good player, fast and energetic and quick on his skates, but not today. He’s just sort of standing there, watching. He makes some circles, moves around, but is FAR from normal. After this shift we talk to him and he says he doesn’t feel well, and he’s going to go. We figure that’s for the best. He skates off and we finish the game.

    We find him sleeping in his truck afterwards. When he wakes up, we talk him through it and figure out what’s happened. He’d woken up that morning, grabbed a bite to eat, and then instead of taking some kind of normal medication, he’d taken an Ambien.

    He remembered driving to the rink, thinking he felt very tired, and while turning into the parking lot had lost control and jumped a large curb, which punctured his tire. And that was where his recollection ended.

    Didn’t remember parking.
    Didn’t remember FIXING his flat tire.
    Didn’t remember getting on his gear.
    Didn’t remember skating.
    Didn’t remember any of it.

    Last I heard he was no longer taking the stuff.

  3. Nope. Nope. That shit is scary. I have friends who have taken it – hallucinations, sleep driving, crazy and wacked out. Don’t do it!

  4. I have some unusual body chemistry in that medications intended to cause me to sleep, don’t. Medications intended to relieve pain, for the most part, don’t.

    I went in for a sleep study a few years back. While the tech was hooking up the various sensors and wires, she handed me a cup of water and a pill. “Your doctor prescribed this to help you sleep,” she said. I took it. “You shouldn’t have taken that now,” she tells me. “You’ll fall asleep before I’m done.” When I asked her what it was, she said Ambien. I didn’t fall asleep before she was done, or even a half hour later as I read a book I’d brought with me. Finally, they asked me to lay down and try to sleep. I laid down and eventually did sleep.

    I began having this dream. I was in a grocery store parking lot. The store was at the top of a small hill and the parking lot was on the slope leading up to the store. I’d begun walking toward the store, noticing others in the parking lot. They were all looking in my direction, and clearly were very frightened. I wondered why they’d be scared of me. Then they all started running, some even screaming as they ran.

    I realized that maybe it wasn’t me they were scared of, so I turned around. Behind me, maybe twenty yards away, was a grizzly bear. The bear was bounding toward me, teeth bared. Naturally, I started running for my life. If the bear got me, I knew I’d be a goner for sure.

    Soon, I could hear the bear behind me. It was breathing heavily, sometimes growling. I ran harder.

    Maybe two-thirds of the way to the store, I realize I’m actually feeling the bear’s hot breath on the back of my neck. Abject terror ensues. I scream, feeling the bear’s claw hitting the back of my neck.

    Until that moment, I never really understood what the phrase “awoke bolt upright in bed” meant. I woke up from the dream mid-scream, sitting upright, heart racing, short of breath, and with a body full of adrenaline.

    “Go back to sleep,” they tell me…

    “Yeah, sure… right.”

    That was, without a doubt, the most vivid, realistic dream I’ve ever had in my life.. and one of very few nightmares I’ve had in my 50 years of existence.

    Maybe it wasn’t the Ambien, but I’ve never experienced anything like it since, and never taken Ambien again.

    Other sleep meds I’ve been given didn’t have that kind of effect on me. Then again, they really had no effect whatsoever.

    I wouldn’t tell you not to take Ambien, but after my experience and reading some of the others here, I’d make sure I’d exhausted all the other options (and medications) first. Seems like some strange stuff.

  5. I still wasn’t able to sleep on Ambien, but on the afternoon of the day after I took it for the third time, I woke up standing at the medicine cabinet downstairs (no memory of getting up, etc) with my mouth FULL of my mother’s cacner pain medication. I had no idea that a propensity for sleepwalking can be magnified by drugs such as Ambien. (I never thought to ask, as I sleepwalk so infrequently) I of course made a trip to the ER , and despite having my mother there to verify that I wasn’t trying to off myself, and that I DO have a history of sleep disturbance and sleepwalking, (and besides, what person actually trying to kill themselves shows up at the ER voluntarily?!) I’m lucky I wasn’t put on a psych hold for 72 hrs. I also got a charcoal milkshake. Bleecchb.

  6. once, while we were visiting my aunt my dad had a bad case of insomnia, one of my aunts friends gave him an ambien for the next night which he took. the next morning he woke up in bed SOAKING wet with no wallet cellphone or keys. Turns out he got up in the middle of the night walked to the pool in the condo complex, took all of his possessions out of his pockets, laid them orderly out on a pool lounge chair, dove in swam a few laps got back out went back to the condo, and got back into bed soaking wet.
    (we found out about the laps from the neighbors who were sitting by the pool) e has no recollection of doing any of it.

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