Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I don’t sleep much.
 Not really.  5-6 hours a night is more than enough for me to function semi-normally. Semi only because I could sleep for a year or two and still not behave “normally”
I read an article in the 8th Grade about how much of our lives we spend in bed, sleeping.
It’s A LOT.
It had a profound effect on me.
 I just quit sleeping. I would go go go until I pretty much passed out from exhaustion.  Or I would just sleep during school. I figured why not? It’s not like I was doing anything important. Life is pretty short, too short to sleep through.
Fast forward a dozen years or so, and suddenly the habit of not sleeping becomes a concern and a problem.  One of those things that seem normal to me but all of a sudden it seems to the people around me that something is “wrong”.   like all of us are bombarded constantly by things that tell us we are sick, we need drugs, we want to be normal we want to be normal. Billboards, commercials and advertisements selling wellness. 
What a crock of shit.
I fell for it. Hard. Went to five different doctors to find out what was “wrong” with me and they all got a chance to practice their witch doctor hoodoo voodoo on me.  All I got out of all of it was a sense of panic and a prescription for AMBIEN. It’s a sleep drug, helps you sleep. They say. Knocks your ass out is what it does.
It works really really well.
Then I started having weirdness.
Waking up in strange places. It wasn’t every day, but it was strange.
I woke up at 330 am in my truck at short term parking in the airport. I woke up walking down the street by my house holding a dog leash with no dog.  I woke up on the sidewalk in front of my old best friends house with truck keys in my hand and no truck in sight.
And then.
I woke up naked on a bench in a strange gym.
At 3 in the morning.
This was something that most certainly was not covered in the boy scouts handbook.
I searched the lockers until I found an abandoned towel, I was hoping for my clothes or keys or phone but no such luck.
 A towel is what I got.
  Clad thusly in towel I ventured out into the gym. It was mostly empty, a few fellow insomniacs (pre-Ambien) working out and a pretty little girl at the desk.
 With really big startled looking eyes.
 I approached her a little warily; she was looking at me kind of funny. The conversation went something like this.
Naked but for a towel me: HI!
Desk Girl with Big Startled Eyes:
Nbfatm: um, did you see me come in?
DGwBSE: a nod
Nbfatm: Great! Um, did I have clothes on?
DGwBSE: a nod
Nbfatm: Excellent! Did you notice if I had a bag?
DGwBSE: a nod, then a point
With a rapid turn I followed her finger direction and saw Child #1s school bag leaned against a wall. Snatching it up I discovered a padlock key and my shirt inside. I went back into the locker room and found the little pink heart padlock that matched the key and discovered some clothes, my keys, my phone and a DVD.
Two problems.
No pants, and I had never seen the DVD before. “Bad Boys 2” was not really on my must see list.
I put on the clothes I had and clad in my (it was mine now) towel and wearing a child’s backpack strode confidently (right) out to the desk again.
Partially Clad me: Hi
PCm: Um, by any chance did I take my pants off out here?
DGwBSE: Huge emphatic nod and another point.
I followed the point and found my pants. Safe and sound folded neatly on the leg press.
Three things.
 I never have been back to that Gym, I quit Ambien cold turkey, insomnia is FUN. Oh, and the movie?
 Really sucks.


Aimee D said...

Oh my. We must be sleep twins. Except I take something else, not Ambien, and it's not really for sleep. And my sleep neuroses are a little too... rauchy... to... uhh... talk about. Let's just say my husband doesn't see the problem.

Dafeenah said...

See this is why I don't sleep. I am crazy enough awake I can't even imagine what I would do while asleep.

Fraser's and Co. said...

OH MY... you and Hayden could share such great stories if you got together. Pretty sure his might trump this story :)

Katsidhe said...

That is mental! I can't believe that Ambien affected you that way. D:

I used to function on about four to five hours of sleep a night. My doctors flipped out on me citing issues with my heart and nerve damage, blah blah blah, but you know what jolted my system into somewhat normal sleep?


I read that your skin repairs itself during sleep and that's why insomniacs tend to "age" quicker.

Hooray for vanity, I guess?

The Barreness said...

More importantly, why didn't you ask out the sweet little girl with the wide eyes??

If she can handle some random naked dude at 3 am asking after the last known address of his pants, she could be a keeper.

Or at least a fun one nighter.

- B x

Indigo said...

I'm definitely NOT friends with sleep these days. If I'm honest, more so since I went deaf 6 years ago. Closing my eyes is like slipping into a sensory deprivation chamber. Some people would love the experience - me, not every single night for the rest of my life.

*Shrugs* More time to write.

On a separate note, I'm paradoxical when it comes to some medications. Sleep aids would just keep me awake. Lovely going to the dentist and not responding to novacaine at all. (Hugs)Indigo

augustinas said...

Im not sure. It used to work well years ago then I think my body became used to it and it no longer worked. The Dr has me take it and xanax at night but one without the other doesnt work but I think my tolerance has become to high. Although when I did only take the Ambien it worked well with no SE and 4 or 5 hrs hard core sleep and I would wake up refreshed not groggy.

Tom said...

@augustinas, the craziest thing about this post is that I have had at least 20 emails from people with ambien stories that make mine positively boring.
One in particular involving a firefighter, a sleeping roomate and an apron gave me cold chills, and a feeling of intense gratitude.
That was after I stopped laughing.

Caprice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caprice said...

Ambien Drug's Maker Concedes It's Possible Side Effects
As a first-hand witness to Ambien influenced behavior, these side effects are a lot more common than the drug maker would have you believe.