For people with insomnia, the inability to get a restful night of sleep can be frustrating at best and debilitating at worst. Your body needs sleep not only to recharge but to keep you healthy in a number of ways. So, if you just can’t sleep, your doctor may prescribe you zolpidem tartrate (Ambien), a sedative that’s primarily used to treat insomnia. While this drug may help you sleep, some who have taken it report potentially serious side effects, such as hallucinations, dizziness, and increased anxiety.
While doctors still prescribe Ambien because its benefits can outweigh the side effects for many people, there’s no getting around the strange — and often hilarious — stories from people who use it. Whether you’ve taken it in the past, or you’re currently benefiting from Ambien, these anecdotes about the drug’s stranger side effects might resonate with you.
Once [on Ambien], there was a Harry Potter poster on the wall, and Hedwig started flying around, but sadly didn’t deliver my Hogwarts acceptance letter.
— M. Soloway, California
One time the letters on my phone all floated off the screen and were just kind of chilling there in the air.
— C. Prout, Michigan
“I had a funny dream where baby elephants were chasing me, and then one threw a boulder at me! I exclaimed, ‘Are you trying to kill me?’ The baby elephant replied, ‘No, Rose, we just want to play with you. We’re playing catch!’”
— R. Garber, Michigan
I took it for a week my freshman year of college. I didn’t feel anything from it for several days, and then one night I woke up tripping my a** off. The commotion woke up my ex and my roomie and totally freaked them out.
— B. Harrison, Michigan
I woke up and, to my surprise, had ordered a pair of Crocs.
— Anonymous Female, California
One time I took it before a math tutor session — don’t know why. When I snapped out of it, the tutor asked me to try a problem and I told him the camel ride in Egypt was amazing.
— Michelle A., California
Lindsey Dodge Gudritz is a writer and mom. She lives with her on-the-move family in Michigan (for now). She has been published in The Huffington Post, the Detroit News, Sex and the State, and the Independent Women’s Forum blog. Her family blog can be found at Putting On The Gudritz.