Ambien is my friend

Kam drove me to the doctor yesterday; the doctor prescribed me some Ambien. (I tried Sonata once, years ago, and it worked well once or twice and then stopped working entirely; anyway, the doctor said they no longer prescribe Sonata, though he didn't say why and I was too exhausted to ask.)

Kam took me to the drugstore, where I picked up the prescription. We came home, had some food (yay chicken soup!), watched some West Wing, and then it was time to pick up Jim at the airport. Luckily, Kam drove; I probably wouldn't have been safe driving.

Came back, chatted a little, then I remembered the pharmacist had said to take the Ambien an hour before bedtime, so I took one, sometime around 10 p.m. I started feeling groggy within a few minutes, and then my memory stops completely. I woke up a little disoriented in bed around 4 a.m.; went back to sleep, woke up a couple hours later, went back to sleep, woke up around 8 or 9, eventually decided it was time to get up.

I don't feel as thoroughly rested as I would've hoped, and the stuffed-up nose and sore throat remain, and an occasional cough has developed. But I no longer feel entirely incapable of coherent thought, which is how I've felt for the past two days. I'm probably still not entirely on top of things; I suspect my judgment and decisionmaking capabilities, never that strong to begin with, are still on the weak side. I'll probably try to avoid making any big life decisions in the next couple days. But yeah, big improvement over yesterday and the day before.

I'm hoping that this has gotten me past the sleep problem and I'll be able to sleep tonight without the Ambien. Or maybe I'll try a half-tablet tonight; the pharmacist said it affects some people really strongly at first, and suggested a half-tablet, but I thought "I want it to affect me really strongly!"

Anyway. It's a big relief to have finally gotten some sleep.

Thanks to all who've proffered advice and sympathy, and thanks especially to Kam for driving me around, doing dishes, and generally taking care of me. And to everyone for putting up with me being alternately moody, grumpy, snippy, and incoherent lately.

4 Responses to “Ambien is my friend”

  1. Merrie Haskell

    Hm. My husband also had a no-memory reaction to Ambien. However, I remember it–he didn’t get into bed when he took the pill and tried to stay up until he was “really sleepy” which resulted in a half hour of chasing a hallucinating man around the house and trying to get him to lie down.

    I’m glad it works for you, though I hope you were in bed when it hit.

  2. Michael

    a half hour of chasing a hallucinating man around the house and trying to get him to lie down

    Was that you chasing him around the house, or him chasing himself?

    My oddest drug/sleep experience was with codeine. That caused really disturbing large black insects at the periphery of my vision, which I told the person who was keeping me company. She asked if I could make them dance, which turned out to be an excellent suggestion. Once I had the bugs behaving like the Rockettes, I was finally able to sleep.

  3. Colin

    Ambien is good for short term solution. The problem is your body quickly adapts to having it and this can actually result on worse sleeping problems in the long term.

    If this looks like a long haul situation, you might want to look into trazadone or another one of it’s class. It was originally used as an anti-psychotic, but while it wasn’t great for that it has turned out to be a non-habituating sleep aid.

    (My own thoughts are, since it drops you into a very deep sleep that you don’t remember the nightmares/racing thoughts that were causing your (lack of) sleeping issues, it worked on some cases which appeared to be psychosis, but were, in fact, just sleep deprivation which can manifest with psychosis-like symptoms.)

  4. Merrie Haskell

    Was that you chasing him around the house, or him chasing himself?

    Some of each, actually… 🙂

    Even worse, he didn’t remember any of it the next morning.

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