I’m a night person. I like it that way, but sometimes it interferes with life. I’ve found that most people function best during the day. Daytime is also the time when people do business. So, despite my propensity to be a night owl, I have to be able to sleep occasionally so I can be up during the day.
Once Ambien was introduced as a non-narcotic, mild sedative to help you fall asleep faster, my doctor and I thought it might be perfect for me. He considers me an insomniac. Ambien was supposed to be the great cure for insomnia, with few side effects.
I tried Ambien temporarily, but was not pleased with its results. My experience with Ambien was not pleasant.
Ambien Side Effects: Sleepless Nights
You read that correctly. My biggest problem with Ambien was that while it helped me to fall asleep, consistently after about four hours I would awake, unable to fall asleep again. In my opinion, I would have been better off never having taken anything to begin with.
Four hours worth of sleep was not enough to provide me with adequate rest, but one of Ambien’s side effects was that I could not fall back asleep. This has not been medically documented, but I have discussed the use of Ambien and its side effects with others and they had the same experience.
The short sleep Ambien induced became widely recognized, and the makers of Ambien created an extended release tab. Allegedly, Ambien extended release helped you sleep longer. It didn’t work any better than the original Ambien for me.
Ambien Side Effects: Fatigue
Another family member has taken Ambien on occasion for sleepless nights. One of Ambien’s side effects he experienced was extreme fatigue the next day. He found himself wanted to fall asleep throughout the day.
Perhaps the dosage was too strong, but others have reported similar side effects with Ambien.
Ambien Side Effects: Hallucinations
As the popularity of Ambien grew, so did the recognition of rather bizarre side effects. The male family member who had taken Ambien reported seeing cartoon-like characters flickering or dancing after taking Ambien. The first time I dismissed it as chicanery. However, when the same thing happened after taking doses of Ambien, we realized that Ambien was inducing mild hallucinations.
In our case, the hallucinations were concerning, but harmless. I’ve heard of other cases in which Ambien users experienced more extreme hallucinations that actually frightened them, or kept them awake.
The side effect of hallucinations was enough for us to flush all of the Ambien we had. It seemed that Ambien was having a neurological effect of some kind and we didn’t think it was wise to continue using the medication.
Ambien Side Effects: Sleep Driving, Sex, and Eating
Although we never dealt with any of these side effects, it has now been documented that patients taking Ambien may experience the side effects of performing activities that are normally performed while awake. There have been reports of individuals driving while they were asleep, having sex while asleep, and eating while asleep.
When these side effects occurred the individual looked and acted awake, but was actually in a state of sleep. When this side effect occurs individuals were not aware of their behavior. It is a side effect similar to sleep walking, but can be much more serious.
Ambien Side Effects: Allergies and Drug Interactions
As with all medications discuss any over the counter medications or other prescription medications you are taking with your doctor. Discuss any possibilities of drug interactions.
If you experience swelling, especially in the neck, face, or tongue you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. Rashes and itching are also an indication of allergic reactions. Should allergic reactions occur, stop taking the medication immediately and consult your physician.
In my opinion, Ambien is a useless drug which can cause serious problems. It can be addictive, and is recommended only to be taken for a short period of time to treat insomnia.
Lunesta is a viable alternative to Ambien with which we have had more success. To date, we have experienced no side effects with Lunesta. No one takes Lunesta more than once a month, so we are unaware of any addictive issues. In my opinion, Lunesta is a much better alternative as a sleep aide.