I got up yesterday morning and was getting ready to make a cup of coffee when I realized that I had forgotten yet again to run the dishwasher overnight. After berating myself, I opened the dishwasher to load the dishes that were in the sink and, to my shock and surprise, the dishes were clean. I could not for the life of me remember when I actually went into the cabinet, got a dishwasher pod, and started the dishwasher. Did I have dementia? Was there a benevolent ghost who took pity on me and ran the dishwasher while I was sleeping? Then it hit me. I had taken Ambien two nights before. I chuckled to myself, but at the same time it was really disturbing to me that I had absolutely no memory of doing this!
I never had to take anything for sleep until I started working nights in the ICU at the hospital. It was difficult to get decent sleep with all the sounds of the day outside my window, not to mention the noise in the house once the kids got home from school (they were in middle school at this point). It definitely works! I sleep well and don't wake up with that hungover feeling. But I learned very quickly why they say to take it only about thirty minutes before you're ready to go to bed. If you don't, your night is almost guaranteed to turn into an episode of Stranger Things. I once texted my mother and told her I wanted her to come help me do a deep cleaning of my living room. I've texted certain people things that I never should have (and no, I will not go into detail), nor would I have under normal circumstances!
I've heard and read horror stories about some of the things people have done on Ambien, like waking up to find that a bunch of convenience store junk food has suddenly appeared on your kitchen counter, or receiving a bunch of packages from Amazon that you didn't order, only to check your browser history and realize that, yes you did!!
So here are a few things you should NEVER do while taking Ambien:
Drive a car. There is no telling where you will end up, and the last thing you want is to be knocking on your ex's door at 3 am, only to be greeted by his/her new main squeeze. You'll wake up in your car the next morning with no idea why your eye is swollen shut and you're missing a tooth.
Cook. This is a dangerous endeavor, mainly because you will most likely forget that you put pizza bagels in the oven and head on to bed, then wake up several hours later with a fireman standing over your bed with an ax. (This is null and void if said fireman is smokin' hot - bake away)
Write a blog. Take my word on this, as I have personal experience. I've woken up the next morning and made a beeline for my computer to re-read what I wrote the night before to make sure it wasn't complete gibberish. Honestly, though, it wasn't bad! I may or may not try it again.
Text. This is a difficult one, because texting has become a way of life. My suggestion would be to refrain from adding hot coworkers (or worse, superiors) to your contact list. Sending a message to Dr. McHotty at midnight then bumping into him/her the next morning is beyond awkward, particularly when you don't remember you did it until you are actually standing in front of this person. Trust me, they will notice the look of horror on your face.
Have sex. Actually, this is a lie. Sex on Ambien is AH-mazing. If memory serves.
So there you have it. Just a few quick tips before you board the Ambien train. You may get some good sleep, but the train is probably going to be headed for a tunnel that has collapsed. Take at your own risk.