Ambien: Sweet Dreams or Nightmare? Prescribers-Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

Ambien Pill Bottle and Pill

Goodbye Inhibitions

Rachel Miller described her Ambien experiences as "euphoric."

"I don't have the anxiety that I normally have," Miller said. "I don't stress out about anything."

Miller, a senior anthropology major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been taking Ambien for about eight months now. She was having trouble getting to sleep and decided to ask her doctor for a prescription. Miller said her doctor prescribed her the medication without her having to prove she had insomnia or meet any specific criteria.

She said being on the medication makes her let down her inhibitions. Ambien makes her say things to people online and on the phone that she wouldn't normally say.

For instance, she once e-mailed a man she liked, who had a girlfriend, telling him that he must not be that happy with his relationship or else he wouldn't be flirting with her.

"I remember sending something," Miller said. "I didn't remember exactly what I said till the next day. Then when I read it, it was just uninhibited."

Miller said she wouldn't normally have said those things in an e-mail. It was the Ambien that made her do it. She also said that the man got "kind of irritated about it."

"I don't think about the consequences at the time," she said.

Miller Takes the Wheel on Ambien

One afternoon, after returning home from class, Miller took an Ambien pill to take a nap. Only, she never went to sleep. Instead, she decided to drive to the tire store.

"I vaguely remember not driving too well," Miller said.

She said even though the tire store was just down the road, she got lost and ended up driving all over town.

"I knew where the place was, but I got lost because I was so confused," Miller said. "I finally got there and was talking to the guy (at the counter), but I was kind off-balance so they thought I was kind of weird."

Miller said the whole event seemed like a dream or a vauge memory when the medication wore off.

Advice to Other Prescribers

Miller said the biggest benefit of Ambien is that she doesn't get a hangover from it the next day or wake up feeling drowsy. However, there are drawbacks.

"I guess the drawbacks are the side effects of you doing stuff you wouldn't normally do and just not really having that check on your actions," Miller said.

She encourages new users to have somebody there with them the first time they take Ambien, "so they know if you do something weird, to stop you."

Miller also suggests going to bed within 30 minutes of taking it.