General Question

figbash's avatar

Has anyone had any weird experiences with Ambien?

Asked by figbash (7468points) February 2nd, 2009

I’ve recently started taking this to combat sporadic insomnia and I’m wondering what other people’s experiences have been? First, how long does it take to knock you out and can you tell when you’re drifting off to sleep? Second, have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night, done things, and not realized it?

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39 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, because the warnings in the commercials scare the crap out of me.

My elderly mother was taking it, and I thought it left her sluggish and confused in the mornings. We talked to the doctor and she stopped taking it.

asmonet's avatar

That’s a very common side-effect of Ambien. My brother used to get up and fall into walls and do stuff without realizing it. I just ignored it after a while. I’d say about 20–30 minutes until you start to feel it, if you don’t go to bed you can actually forget you took it and take more. Once you take one it’s important to go to bed. My brother forgot he took his multiple times in one night and we ended up in the emergency room keeping him awake. He was fine, he just didn’t remember how many he’d taken. So, we took him.

Later I found out it’s really, really common.

Ambien is a hell of a drug.

gailcalled's avatar

I tried it for a week and it did nothing to help my insomnia. Now I am using a low dose of amitriptyline, which works (and which is non-addictive). It is a newer generation of the old antidepressant, Elavil.

I take it about an hour before bedtime and have no memory ever of falling asleep. Often during the night, Milo takes a litttle postprandial stroll on me; I wake up for an instant and then go back to sleep. Maybe Milo is part of the solution.

figbash's avatar

Yes, the fact that I can’t feel myself falling asleep is a little worrisome! Ambien lacks that sweet, hazy, cozy drifting off feeling I get from Nyquil (Nyquilibrium) and waking up the next morning and seeing my sent emails and outgoing texts is starting to really scare the hell out of me.

The things I’m apparently doing in my sleep in some cases, seem sane – like an email to my sister about what to wear to an upcoming wedding. But other cases, like random text messages ”That’s not my crocodile” are even more disturbing. I think I need to find something else, soon.

asmonet's avatar

@figbash: That’s fantastic.

chyna's avatar

@figbash I had a couple of those episodes myself. Scared me so bad, I quit taking them.

jaredg's avatar

I haven’t had any of the side effects of Ambien other than the mild sluggish feeling, which is much worse if I haven’t had the recommended minimum 7 hours of sleep. I have not experienced any of the doing things and not remembering them class of side effects. I heard anecdotally from someone else on the ‘net that he got mild hallucinations from Ambien.

I only take it a couple of times a month, and I usually take half of a 10 mg tablet. It takes about 20–45 minutes for me to fall asleep, and I fall asleep in the same way I would without taking the med.

I’m not medically trained, but it seems quite prudent to stop taking the drug if you’ve taken it more than a few times and are having those side effects. Maybe even once is too much.

The other new sleep med, Lunesta, gave two different people I know the lingering bad taste in the mouth side effect, and it was so annoying that they both stopped using that drug.

figbash's avatar

@asmonet: Unfortunately, my old boss didn’t feel the same way when he received it at 3am. And how exactly does one explain that statement? Yikes! ; )

gailcalled's avatar

@figbash; Tell your Doctor and see whether he can recommend something that doesn’t turn you into a pod person.

johnny0313x's avatar

yeah when I was on it i felt find laying there and as soon as I stood up i fell into a wall haha and felt like I couldnt focus really so I crawled back to bed and after that when I took it I just passed out. Then after about 2–3 weeks it just kinda stopped working for me .

asmonet's avatar

@figbash: Haha, I have no idea. But it does make for a funny story. :)

gimmedat's avatar

Ambien has got to be my all time favorite over-the-counter drug. I used to love taking it and staying up, such a feeling of euphoria! My doctor stopped prescribing it for me when I told her that I really enjoyed the drug. I didn’t have any weird episodes of activity in the middle of the night, but I did learn that I carried on some pretty interesting telephone conversations.

Judi's avatar

I sometimes wake up from ambien with a killer headache so now I only use it if I haven’t been able to get to sleep before 2:00 for two or three nights in a row.

Judi's avatar

@gimmedat ; where would you find it “over the counter?”

gimmedat's avatar

On no, I meant prescription, didn’t I? I swear, I didn’t take it tonight!!! I tried to edit…no dice.

chyna's avatar

@gimmedat A little early in the evening for sleep aids, isn’t it? haha

gimmedat's avatar

I swear, with the number of prescription drugs I’ve gotten over the last year, I could open my own pharmacy. You name a condition, I’m sure I’ve got a medication to combat the symptoms. Ridiculous, but true. Still can’t find one to stop the headaches, though…but Ambien is nice to take my mind off it.

asmonet's avatar

@gimmedat: Psst! The only thing that’s ever gotten rid of migraines and severe headaches for me is weed. One puff and it’s gone, and I do mean ‘puff’ you don’t need more than a mouthful – not even enough to get high. Prescription painkillers did fuck all for me.

cak's avatar

I only take it when I feel near death – completely exhausted and miserable – with no other choices. So…while I joke about Ambien, I’m not a huge fan.

Pretty much the night that my husband found me taking my nightgown off – putting it on and saying, “dammit is that how you spell that word it’s on backwards again, and I repeated that process 6 times, before I stopped – I said no more.

A friend of mine did do the Ambien sleep driving and eating – she appears to be awake, but she’s not. To me, that is a huge sign to not take it again – but she’s back on it…scary. Her husband has to keep a very close eye on her and even has motion detectors on their bedroom door to alert him, if she gets up after taking a pill.

It’s pretty stout.

gimmedat's avatar

@asmonet, if medicinal marijuana was legal in my state I would be a chimney. It’s not, though, and I’m not to the point of risking my job and more by toking. If only I could be an Olympic swimmer…

asmonet's avatar

@gimmedat: Can I be your coach so I can get the sweet hookups and have an excuse to yell at things?

gimmedat's avatar

Um, yeah. Only if you promise to stay by my side when the pics of me taking the kind bong hit make it to the net, and if you abide by the one rule, “Puff, puff, pass.”

asmonet's avatar

I have never and will never Bogart yo’ shit.
Deal?

gooch's avatar

My mother in law took it did a little sleepwalking and pooped on the floor in her house.

gimmedat's avatar

@asmonet, deal. And it’s the kind, don’t get confused.

@gooch, pooped on the floor? That poor lady! That’s messed up.

asmonet's avatar

@gimmedat: I’ll try. ;)

@gooch: Haha, that. Is. Awesome.

chyna's avatar

@gooch “thats messed up”. In more ways than one…

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’ve had migraines since I was five and I decided to smoke some weed one time to see if it would help. It didn’t, at all. As a matter of fact, it made it even more excruciating.

KingMalefic's avatar

I would get mild hallucinations. not like the first time I took it. Though the ambein CR is probably better if you find yourself doing things, the controlled release helps a great deal… Mainly the thing is if you take the ambein don’t plan on doing even the slightest thing, and more then likely you will find yourself not doing any of the silly things.

KingMalefic's avatar

The first time I ever took ambien. i went outside and i thought the lamp posts out next to the lake where hob goblins from spiderman and they where coming to eat me. Then it took me like 20 mins to get inside the house cause i couldn’t figure out where to put my feet, the ground was six layers deep, and velvety.

asmonet's avatar

Wow. I am really glad you didn’t share that with me at the time, King.
I think I might have tried to tied you to your bed.

chyna's avatar

@KingMalefic And you took it again after that?

KingMalefic's avatar

@chyna : Indeed for many more years. I have always found the concept of hallucinations interesting. I was aware before I took it that hallucinations could occur. The next night I didn’t have any hallucinations or anything so there was no need to freak out.

timeand_distance's avatar

Heh. Oh, yes. I don’t take the recommended dose, though, so that could be why. The first time I took too many I hung out with my furniture. As in, they all had personalities and we had a great conversation about life. I’ve also found that if I stare at something for a minute or two, I can make it move. Wrote some pretty good poems while tripping, too.

But, uh. I don’t ever get up and do anything I don’t remember, I just usually don’t remember anything I do in between the time that I take it and when I actually decide to pass out. You might keep that in mind if you’re a responsible adult (read: go directly to bed).

emilyrose's avatar

I believe I also heard that one side effect was that people ate in their sleep. Everyone was getting fat and they put up cameras and found that people were going to the fridge and eating entire sticks of butter, etc. This thread made me laugh. Thank you all.

KingMalefic's avatar

@timeand_distance : Heh I have done the same later on in taking that medication more then the recommended dose. At times I to was able to make things move I used to stare at certain pictures for a while. Also had many conversations on the phones where I told them from the beginning I wasn’t probably gonna remember the conversation and that it was hopefully not a important conversation…. or if they had something they just wanted to discuss but not have anyone remember.

Asmonet there was no green alien and I swear you threw the xbox on me I didn’t drop it on my own shoulder…

asmonet's avatar

Pfft, lies!

susanc's avatar

I’ve taken it before I get on redeyes because otherwise I won’t sleep because my body wants to be horizontal. That seems to work okay. I also took it for a week once in a time of crisis, and I slept, if I remember correctly, but it made me cranky and jittery and my family made me give it up.

chadesill's avatar

I heard from a few friends that fighting sleep on ambien would cause your brain to do some crazy shit so I decided to swipe a couple from my mom and try it out.

I took 2 generics on basically an empty stomach, not sure whether they were 10mg or 20mg, but within 10 minutes the effects came on. I was making a CD on my computer, researching different music, downloading from Limewire, uploading it to iTunes and soforth.

I began to have some type of “relationship” with every object on my desk. The monitor appeared to be bent, but still legible. The music I was downloading started having other meanings that I had previously not imagined. I started seeing light traces with everything but my vision for at least an hour was very clear.

Eventually the brain stops working that well and you start to feel like crap from fighting it. I woke up the next morning after about 9 hours of sleep still feeling a little funny from the night before. Definitely something I would recommend just once. Once is enough.

Ambien is a hell of a drug.

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