Monday, October 10, 2011

Ambien® Ramblings

Ambien ®, or its generic name Zolpidem, is a sleeping pill. A good night's sleep is not common for me, especially when my biological clock responds chaotically to overseas travel through many time zones. On the road, I suffer from continual insomnia, headaches and exhaustion. This response is suboptimal since the purpose of my travels is to awe other scientists about the beauty of my work, and to convince R&D agencies to give me precious funding for my research.

Zolpidem has been a godsend for my travel woes, but it is not without consequences. My wife and I sometimes observe each other under the spell of Zolpidem just before passing out. In one such episode, my wife was aware of her own gibberish, so she pulled out a notebook and recorded her own ramblings. The results are quite poetic.

I am told that I too say some very strange things.

This past weekend, I played 5 games of ice hockey over a 36 hour period. I would get home at 10:30 and get up at 6:45am the next morning. Since I had to air out my gear and shower in the evening and repack my bag in the morning, as well as eat, etc., the net time I had for sleep was substantially less than 8 hours. Add to that the bright glaring lights at the rink and the intense exercise; and, it was a sure recipe for sleeplessness. I needed my Zolpidem!

Two nights ago, I took a Zolipidem and then spent a few minutes composing a word for the iPhone® App "Words Free," basically a Scrabble® game that one can play with others over the internet. (I have recently been playing a game with my daughter.) I then plugged my iPhone® into the outlet to recharge it before going to sleep.

The following night, when preparing for my next move, I noticed that there were two games in progress with my daughter. I called her to ask her if she had started it, and she had not. The second game had started the previous night 20 minutes after my first, so it was certainly at a time consistent with the Zolpidem taking hold of my neurons. I must have gotten up, grabbed my phone, started the game, made my move, plugged in the phone again to recharge, and returned to bed.

I have also done some other crazy things on Zolpidem, like sending bizarre emails that I had to later retract.

My daughter's friend once drove through a blizzard and showed up at her place well after midnight with a wound on his head and no memory of how he had gotten there. Again, Zolpidem.

Have you had similar experiences?

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