Have you ever taken Ambien, the popular sleeping pill and gotten a relatively decent nights sleep only to wake up to garlic bread crumbs, a stop watch, an empty carton of orange sherbet and one of your neighbors you never met before in your bed? Ok, I was exaggerating about the neighbor but the rest is the gods honest truth.
Ambien (Zolpidem) is some good stuff for many of us who cant just do as Samuel L. Jackson has eloquently put it in his rendition of the popular childrens book, “Go The Fuck To Sleep!” There are a million reasons people cant fall asleep or stay asleep. The older you get the harder it seems to turn off the mental computer and go into “sleep mode”. I’m sure the 56 different electronic and digital devices in the room all blinking and lighting up and beckoning ones attention dont help. Wait, it’s 3:25 AM, I better check my Facebook status to see if anyone else “liked” it…….or hey, I wonder if anyone has linked to my blog (otherwise known as my post-mortem memoirs) in the middle of the night unnoticed. How sick is it that I’ve had daydreams about dying and then having people read my blog and murmur to themselves, “Wow, he was so witty…I should have spent more of my busy day (as a full-time neurosurgeon and mother of three toddlers) reading it and commenting”. Clearly this is the modern day version of Huckleberry Finn where Tom Sawyer attends his own funeral to hear what people say about him.
Anyway, back to insomnia and Ambien. If you are one of the 23 million people who take it (thats right, we are all in some kind of bizarre sleeping pill cult) it can have some unusual side effects for a certain zombified minority. Instead of eating peoples brains we apparently sleepwalk, often to the kitchen where we collect and consume an assortment of foodstuff and odd utensils. One morning I found a Ginsu knife and and a plastic ice cream scoop in my room that I had no memory of. Maybe the scooper went with the orange sherbet. I cant say. The point is that weird things happen once the Undead arise and Ambien is the prime suspect for many of us. Some people like my 25 year old son Eli have more obvious so called “paradoxical side effects” like refusal to sleep and having long conversations with items in the refrigerator, including the fresh produce. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. It really happened. Also, Eli is a personal trainer with huge muscles and intervening in his intimate exchange with the carrots and broccoli was not easy. He didnt get belligerent or anything. He just didn’t want to be interrupted. Apparently I dont either when I am under the effects of Ambien, a so called non-benzo hypnotic and then wake up and start shuffling around… without even realizing it. The only funny part about it is my initial reaction of surprise to the seemingly random things strewn around the next morning. I now have a predictable pre-set exclamation that I say aloud for full effect, “Hey, how did THAT get there??” Of course when “that” involves a neighbor’s cat hanging from a ceiling fan or three empty bags of Doritos (big ones) on the floor next to the bed it’s a little hard to deny who was responsible, especially when the car is later found in the driveway with the motor running………If this gets any worse I’m either going to call my shrink or at the very least start checking the car trunk each morning for bodies.
P.S. Riiight, here’s what kept me up last nite writing this. Is it more correct to say awoke, awaken, awoken, or ewok (out of frustration) in the first sentence? The online arguments on the subject are endless and inconclusive. I gave up and said “wake up to”. Meanwhile, I couldn’t go the fuck to sleep…..