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sleepwalking?


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I spoke about this in another thread, but I want to start one on this forum to hear about experiences/suggestions.

 

So, basically, I think I've been sleepwalking. The past week or so I keep waking up in strange places (bathroom floor, bedroom closet, kitchen floor), even though I fell asleep on the couch in the living room. I've never had this issue before. As a child I had severe night terrors, but to my knowledge never sleepwalked. 

 

Is there anything else besides sleepwalking you think could account for this? Have you ever experienced sleepwalking?

 

I've been taking Ambien for almost 8 months now. I don't take it every night, just 3-4 nights a week (I usually forgo it on the weekend). And this has happened on nights I didn't take Ambien and on nights I did take it. I know sleepwalking is a possible side effect with Ambien, but if it were the culprit would it take 8 months for the sleepwalking to emerge, and would it happen on nights I didn't even take one? I suppose I could have been doing it before and just coming back to the couch, and I have no way of knowing because I live alone. 

 

Also, I was snooping around Wikipedia for information (great source, I know) and found this:

 

 

 

Some medications that may increase sleepwalking include: chlorpromazine (Thorazine), perphenazine (Trilafon), lithiumtriazolam (Halcion),amitriptyline (Elavel, Endep), zolpidem (Ambien) and beta blockers.[4]

 

I'm on three of these medications (lithium, amitriptyline, and Ambien). But it says "may increase" sleepwalking, doesn't say they will cause it; wouldn't that imply I would have had to have been doing it prior to taking these medications? But I have been under enormous pressure/stress lately with school and things, combined with a slight depressive turn, so maybe all these factors together could explain it?

 

I know, I'm not a doctor. Ignore that rambling bit of conjecture. 

 

I mean, I guess it isn't hurting anything. I just don't want it to escalate to more dangerous sleep behaviors. Any ideas or experiences?

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The only times I remember waking up in different places and/or finding food wrappers in the kitchen etc, is when my meds needed adjustment.  I wasn't taking any meds and was finding myself in different places that I couldn't explain.  When I was on meds at the correct doses, I did ok until I went on Ambien. 

 

On Ambien I'd wake up and not remember a single thing, realize I was in the kitchen eating, at the computer (having to go over emails I sent that I didn't remember) etc. 

 

I think even though you aren't taking the Ambien on the weekends, it still may be a little in your system, which maybe could be causing the sleep walking (just a guess though).

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Thanks for your input! Ambien has been such a relief for me, it's allowed me to sleep better than I ever have, so I'm scared of the thought of having to go off it. But if I start sending emails or eating in my sleep, I think I'll have to draw the line. I'm going to discuss it with my psych nurse when I see her next, but I'm scared she will immediately yank me off it and leave me right back at square one. 

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I would hope she would leave it up to you whether you should stop it or not; you seem to know what you'll tolerate or not in terms of doing things/ending up in places you don't know how you got there.  And if you tell her that you'll stop taking it when (whatever you won't tolerate) happens, I think she'd trust your judgement because it isn't just a random thing ... you are aware of what to look for before you decide to go off of it (if you do). (Does that make sense?  I'm trying to word this differently but my mind is kind of all over the place; I'm sorry).

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You make perfect sense. I hope you're right! I don't even take the full dose of Ambien (10mg), I break it in two and take 5mg because 10mg gives me weird visuals like paintings moving and stuff. And she knows all that. So hopefully she will trust me to not take it if this all escalates. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update, I've decided to stop taking Ambien. Yesterday morning I woke up in the kitchen floor to discover a half-empty bottle of wine on the table that I don't remember consuming, and just now I woke up and found spilled food and candy wrappers all over the floor. I feel really nervous about it and hope I didn't do anything else while sleeping. I've checked phone history, email, etc and haven't found any evidence of anything, but this is the last straw. I'm going to try to get in to see psych nurse before my next appointment in January, because I do need something for sleep but I can't tolerate this bullshit from Ambien any longer. 

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Thanks for asking! Sleep has been erratic, some nights I'll barely get any and some nights I'll get way too much. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. I couldn't get an appointment to see her until the first week of December, so I went and bought some sublingual melatonin tablets today. Hopefully it will be enough to keep me sleeping properly until I can see her. I'm not really sure if there's anything else she can give me, though. She doesn't prescribe benzos, so maybe she'll give me some low-dose Seroquel or something. I've tried trazodone and other similar ADs in the past to no avail, and I'm already on a TCA that is supposed to be sleep-inducing (it was for the first few months but not anymore). So, we'll see I guess. Hopefully there's something she can do.

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About the melatonin, I've read here on CB how less is more ... ie, 0.5 mg or so helps better than say 3 mg or something. 

 

I've tried melatonin before and tbh I had a similar reaction to it like I did Ambien ... but I've read many CB members take it and it helps them a lot.

 

I hope it works out :)

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Thanks for the tip! I think these are 5mg, so I'll try splitting them into quarters or something. I've taken it off and on over the years, but I was always taking massive doses (like 20-30mg; wtf was I thinking??) and it never worked well for me before. Maybe that's why.

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