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Sleep driving; I think that I did it...

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posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:15 PM
Okay, it's like this:

First, I'm a transient insomniac, meaning that I have episodes where I wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
This has been going on for years now.
I recently got a prescription for Ambien, the sleep aid.
Just so you know, I am now, and have always been hesitant about taking any kind of sleep drug.
I've been putting off trying it for about two weeks but last night, I had no place to go and nothing to do and I felt like it was a good time to try Ambien (especially because I was going on two days of not sleeping and I have to be at work at 7am.)
So at 7:30pm, I take the Ambien and by 8:00pm, I'm out cold.
I slept straight through until about 4:30am or so and got out of bed feeling great at 5:30am.
So this morning when I start my car, all of a sudden the "check engine" light goes on.
Now, keep in mind, that I just put $1,000 worth of work into my car by a reputable garage, and my car just passed inspection.
So, I think, whatever, it's just a computer problem because of the new oxygen sensors they installed.
So, I get home from work and I walk out in front of my car and...what the hell?!?!
There's this huge dent in front of my car and the paint is all scratched.
I thought that maybe someone hit it during the night and just took off.
The weird thing is, is that it never set off my alarm, and a hit that hard totally would set it off.
So now I'm super pissed,
and then I'm thinking, okay, I'll just go inside and have a drink to cool out.
But then I think to double check the contra-indications for alcohol and Ambien.
So I do some web searching and find out that a side effect for Ambien is sleep driving (which is like sleep walking, except you drive instead of walk.)
And now, I'm like "What the f#@k!?!?"
Did I sleep drive last night and hit something?
That's the only thing that can explain my car getting hit and the alarm not going off, as the alarm is disengaged while the car is running.
Apparently, sleep driving is a serious side-effect of Ambien and there is a whole law suit going on about it.
I got information from the following sites: (pages 5 & 7)

Plus, when you google the term "sleep driving" you get the following results:

So, did I do that to my car?
Now I'm totally freaked out and I'm afraid to take Ambien again for fear that something worse may happen.

Do any of you know anything about this?
Seriously, I'm totally freaked out!!

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:40 PM
I've never heard of this, but my grandma told me once that my grandpa and a lot of other guys in WWII were able to 'sleep-march', and they weren't taking any kind of drugs at all. I wouldn't be surprised if sleep driving is possible, but whether that is what really happened or not, who knows? Probably you will never know, unless someone else witnessed it.

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:40 PM
Well it appears you have "sleep driven" according to your story. I'd stay away from the Ambien to be on the safe side.

Has anyone else on ATS used Ambien? Any problems?

Do you know of anyone that could have seen you drive out or leave your house?

[edit on 19/5/2007 by enjoies05]

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:41 PM
I am an occassional insomniac too, and I just got a new day job, moving from an evening hours job, and guess what?...It's me as a produce delivery guy, driving all over the city.

I gave my two weeks notice (only did a week though) 2 jobs, very tired, and driving, boy, what a lot of stupid mistakes I made on the road, I hate driving tired! I also hate how the highway mesmorizes the sleepy head, something about the highway that makes ones eyelids very heavy.
Coffee is my saviour, it at least helps.

I took a sleeping pill my bro gave me, WOW, it put me out like a candle flame in a hurricane, the next day I felt great, even though I didn't get a full 8, more like 5 or 6, but funny thing is, I felt dopey and kind of dizzy, like I should have completed my sleep to reach 8. It seemed like the pill was designed to last for 8 hours, no less, so in the morning the pill is still trying to make you sleep!
Not good behind the wheel!

I am hoping, wait...I guess I am adjusting to day work, I too have to be at work at 7:00AM, I get up at 5:00 to nurse my 2 cups of coffee and watch the weather channel.
My last job allowed me to go to bed when I wanted (usually 3;00 - 4:30AM) and to get up when I felt like getting up, now I am a slave to the clock.
However, I sort of view a lost nights sleep as my body's way of saying I didn't really need all the sleep I got (yeah, sure
) , I can put in a day with no sleep, I am used to it, but 2 night's in a row get's bloody ridiculous, and frustrating, you think, will I sleep tonight? I am very tired, But your mind is on autopilot and says, you've been forcing me to stay awake this long, I must keep you going, you don't sleep again!

It's not unusual for me to stay awake all night at least one night a week, I get 6-7 hours in a night when I do, I'll see how the day schedule treats me in time.

Be carefull wit them thar pills guy!

[edit on 19-5-2007 by Toadmund]

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:47 PM

Originally posted by enjoies05
Do you know of anyone that could have seen you drive out or leave your house?

Unfortunately I live alone.
Apparently, this is a serious issue.
It's very frightening.
I really feel like it's important to bring to the attention of the ATS community and I know that there are other people out there who need to know about this.
Please keep this thread alive, if nothing else, for the benefit of those who don't know about it.
Thank you all for your support.

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:54 PM

What I would do is write down exactly how many miles/kilometers are on the 'clock' when you are finished with the car for the night and check to see if the amount is the same next morning.

It may not prove it was you but it will prove someone has driven it during the night.


posted on May, 19 2007 @ 07:54 PM
hmm Brother...

It would be apparent that you where not "asleep" nesecrailly.. I would say you where probably "out of it" .. you know, like how sometimes after a rough night of double whiskey shots you wake up in a bath tube with only your left sock on and your boxers on your head and you have no idea how the hell it happened?

Thats what I think. You where conscious while you where driving at the time, but in a drunken like state (not saying at all that you where drunk driving) and later on simply have no recollection of it...

Which I guess is like sleep walking, but not deep sleep driving with your eyes closed.

Check your bank account, maybe you went to the store.

posted on May, 19 2007 @ 08:32 PM
Brother Rockpuck,
I seriously was asleep.
I've never been so drunk that I had no clue what I was doing, except for that time I woke up in a bath tub with my left sock on and my boxers on your head and I had no idea how the hell it happened.

No, seriously, I really think that I sleep drove.
This is scary.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 06:54 AM
Well after perusing the links and talking to a friend that takes ambien, sleep driving is a very real problem. Shes never done it but was warned by a couple of friends to the little unknown problem of it.

Now im pretty anal about the condition of my vehicle and im surprised you didnt notice the damage before you left for work instead of after you got home. But se la vie(sp?). i would take Sanctums advice and write down the mileage every nite before you decide to take another one of those pills. Or perhaps leave your car keys with a trustworthy neighbor to retrieve in the morning. That way no chance of sleep driving again is possible.

Now for the problem at hand. Take a look at the damage and see if you can determine just exactly what you hit. Wood fibers, possible fence or pole. Metal chips or different paint, possible other car or sign post. And god forbid hope there is no hair or blood in the damage. The possibilities to that scenario are some i prefer not to say is possible.

Then try to determine where it is you would have driven at any given time of nite. Do you have a favorite late nite food run place or a particular route you like to drive on or person you like to visit. That way you maybe able to retrace your steps and see if you can find anything damaged along that route. Just a few suggestions i could think of bro. Hope it helps.


posted on May, 20 2007 @ 07:27 AM
I'd get rid of the pills immediately.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 09:52 AM
I'm not familiar with Ambien (in fact, take no medication at all) but in this country in past weeks, current affairs programmes have been featuring a sleeping tablet with some alarming effects. In less than a week, according to a researcher featured on one of the current affairs programmes, in excess of 400 individuals contacted her (after viewing the programme) with details of their own experiences.

Case One: Woman who is lifelong non-drinker arose from sleep and raided her husband's liquor cabinet. Then, dressed only in nightie, got into the family car at around four in the morning. Fortunately, she smashed it soon afterwards, therefore harming no-one. Was booked for drink-driving and has remained virtually housebound ever since out of shame because the neighbourhood regards her as a closet-alcoholic/menace. This woman has no memory of what she did and no explanation for it other than the tablets. She was afraid for her sanity until viewing the current affairs programme and learning about others experiences on the drug. She had taken only one of the tablets and was not an habitual medication taker.

Case Two: ex-military was compelled to spend the night in strange city, onroute to duty. Booked into reputable hotel for the night. Took his evening meal at a restaurant, returned to hotel before ten pm.

Next he knew, he was in custody. Several hotel-staff attested that he had raided the mini-bar and then arranged all the bottles on a bench, according to size. He'd then climbed out of a window (approx. 5 floors up from memory) in his underwear or naked and onto a narrow ledge above the street. Firemen and police had to pull him from the ledge. He was unco-operative during the rescue operation. Hotel-staff said they'd been terrified of him. This man had a perfect record, prior to the incident. He doesn't drink. He had taken one of the sleeping tablets only and can remember nothing of the what he did after taking it. It was the first time he'd used a sleeping tablet.

Case Three: man aged approx. 20 years of age told the current affairs programme that after taking one tablet per night for approx. 3 nights, his 50-ish mother had come downstairs naked from the waist down. She had walked around and spoken completely naturally to family members before going into the nearby kitchen, where she prepared the family's meal. The son said his mother was apparently unaware that she was naked and that she'd never done anything remotely similar before.

Numerous other stories just as bizarre. The interesting thing was the number of people who'd drunk large amounts of alcohol and driven vehicles whilst under the influence of the sleeping tablet, despite that they were mostly non-drinkers.

The company which produces the sleeping-tablet in question declined to appear on the current affairs programmes, but claimed via a spokesperson that their product was not to blame for any of the hundreds of bizarre cases reported.

How many cases remain UNreported due to people being unaware that the tablets were responsible for their actions -- or because they were jailed --- or killed ?

These are obviously very powerful drugs.

And why would a sleeping-aid cause non-drinkers to seek out alcohol ?
That aspect alone, doesn't make sense. Something very weird about those drugs. I wouldn't even have them in my home, let alone put them in my body or the body of anyone else.

[edit on 20-5-2007 by Dock6]

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 10:02 AM
I completely think this is possible and it is well documented that people have done things in their sleep without knowing it.

I too wake up all throughout the night and once feel down the stairs woke up at the bottom not knowing how I got there.

I would stay away for those pills and seek out another kind and also hide the keys before you go to bed

I don't think this is as abnormal as you might think even though your freaked out about it.


posted on May, 20 2007 @ 10:24 AM
I've heard of people sleep driving, cooking, and doing all sorts of things in their sleep on pills. One lady came down, and started cooking huge meals in the middle of the night. They caught her on tape doing it. She looked perfectly normal, eyes were open, and she knew right where everything was as she was cooking. It was really scary. I'd say to talk to your dr, and try to get something else for you to use.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 11:42 AM
I have insomnia and have tried different sleep drugs in the past. I have tried Ambien twice and both times had some nice sleep, 5-6 hours sleeping like a baby, felt like I slept on clouds all night and woke up feeling great. I have not personally heard of any mishaps from taking Ambien.

I am curious as to the chemical make-up of Ambien. It does not fit into any of the standard class of drugs typically used as a sleep aid, such as:



I got this info from

Ambien (zolpidem tartrate) is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic of the imidazopyridine class and is available in 5 mg and 10 mg strength tablets for oral administration.

What the heck is imidazopyridine? Anyone know anything about the history of this type of drug?

They market Ambien as a "non-habit" forming (sort-of) drug. How many of these new types of sleep aids are of this drug class?

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 11:49 AM
I had a strange episode a few years ago that still has me puzzled.
I used to spend a lot of time on the road, monday to friday, visiting customers all over the UK. I'd been installing some equipment in the midlands and, having finished and collected the cheque, I called my boss to say I was leaving as I walked across the car park to my car. The next thing I knew I was sitting on my sofa at home with a half mug of coffee in my hand, 3 1/2 hours later. The drive from the customer to home would have taken me 2, maybe 2 1/2 hours at the most, so even that left an additional hour unaccounted for.
I used to be able to remember details of every trip, scenery / landmarks, traffic incidents etc, but for this trip I could not remember anything from walking to my car to finding myself back home.
It kinda freaked me out at the time and to this day I have no recollection of the drive home. Seems I must have been on autopilot mode the whole time

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 12:03 PM
Quite possible to do things in your sleep, I do it all the time, eating is what I do mostly. I don't take any meds though. Talk to your doctor about this before you take it again. The dosage may be off or this drug might not be for you.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 02:15 PM
I'll tell you this, one night when I was very young, my uncle pulled up into the yard and didn't come into the house. This was somewhat odd since he was living with us at the time. Any way, the next morning we found him in th eback seat of his car sleeping. To this day, he swears up and down that he doeesn't remember driving home that night. Kind of strange.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 02:46 PM
damn homie! have u stopped taking them ...may i suggest something more natural with hardly any side effects like that..? well A natural remedy can be smoked..its green.. i think u know what im saying u should try it. anyway dude thats crazy i dont think u should take ambien anymore thats really dangerous at least yer not secretly eating at night too
maybe u should tell a doctor about what happend and they can give u somehing else??? be careful

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 04:10 PM
As a purely pratical matter, you should check in to the differences between insominiatic blackouts, sleep abnia, and narcolepsi. All three are different and have different medical treatments. Remember that it is always risky to self-diagnose.

posted on May, 20 2007 @ 04:54 PM
Thank you all.

Well, so far, that is the first time I've ever taken Ambien, and I really have no plans to take it again.
At this point, the risks outweigh the rewards.

I carefully examined the damage to my car, it looks more or less like a trailer hitch from a truck hit it.
But here's the strange part (besides the alarm not going off), I don't have a sidewalk or curb on the block where my apartment is located so it's just grass and then the street.
I park my car halfway up on the grass, with the passenger side on the grass.
But what's really weird, is that the damage is on the hood, above the bumper and above the headlight, on the passenger side.
So, the likely hood of someone backing up on the grass and hitting that one spot of my hood is highly improbable.

I'm at a total loss as to what to think now.

I'm wondering if there's anyone else here that have had similar experiences.

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