Thursday, April 6, 2017


I have suffered from intermittent insomnia for years.  Oh, don’t get me wrong I can fall asleep easily, I don’t obsess or have racing thoughts, nope falling asleep is not my issue.  I am not saying I don’t have issues believe me I have issues about my issues but falling asleep is not one.  I do however have a terrible time staying asleep.  Most people go into REM sleep and then they pass on over into Beta sleep which is that deep restful sleep.  Not me.  I go into REM sleep, jerk and I am awake.  Sometimes I can fall back to sleep but most of the time I spend the rest of the night tossing and turning willing myself to fall back asleep. 

Years ago, my doctor sent me to a sleep clinic.  They attached electrodes to my head and wrapped chords around my body and then told me to go to sleep.  I mean what could be more restful than being trust up like a Christmas goose and told to sleep.

Nope, no pressure there.  I tried to sleep.  I turned this way and squiggled that way until I finally dozed off just enough to have that falling off a curb feeling.  I jerked awake and that was all there was to sleep for the next eight hours.  When the test was over and the doctors all converged watching the video, examining the EEG and the EKG and the ABC’s of my night they all came to the conclusion all I needed was a good sedative.  Low and behold there was a brand new one on the market.  Everyone was talking about it.  Drug reps were handing them out like Tic Tacs at a garlic festival. 

I happily filled my prescription in anticipation of a good night’s sleep.  I celebrated by going to bed early.  I fell asleep quickly and remembered nothing until I awoke in my backyard.  It was the middle of the night and I was standing in the middle of my backyard, in the middle of winter, naked.  I had pajamas on when I fell asleep but here I was wide awake in my backyard without a stitch.  I made my way back in the house found my pajamas wadded in a pile on the floor of my kitchen, the refrigerator wide open and the water running.  I thought, hum that’s odd.  Someone broke in my house raided my refrigerator and left the water on.  I checked the locks after I dressed secured the house once again headed off to bed.  I tossed and turned wondering what in the hell had happened that I would tear off my clothes venture into my yard wearing nothing but my birthday suit.   The next morning, I felt like I had been on a ten-day Tequila bender.  I pulled myself together and drove the sixty miles to my office. 

I continued to take the sedative hoping and praying that it would put me to sleep like that woman on the Sominex commercial, sleep, sleep Sleep.  Each night I would wake in some form of undress in either a closet, the kitchen or one time standing in the shower.  I spoke to my physician about the sleep walking and she told me it was one of the side effects of Ambien, that some people had complained of sleep eating, but that I shouldn’t worry and the side effects would eventually go away.


Then it happened.  The reason I will never take a sleeping pill again.  It was a night much like any other.  I got the munchkin in bed, completed my nightly routine then snuggled down in my bed for hopefully a night of sleep.  I fell asleep easily enough.   I slept.  I slept soundly.   I slept soundly until I awoke in front of my office door.  Standing in front of my office door that was sixty miles from my house in the dark of night.  I was standing in front of my office door sixty miles from my house NAKED.  Not a stitch.  I was letting it all hang out.  I was airing out the laundry.  I looked around and luckily not a soul was around.  I ran to my car and popped the trunk and like Eve I began searching for something to cover my nakedness.  I found a rain poncho and some work-out pants and quickly put them on. 

About that time a police car drove up.  The officer rolled down his window and smiled and asked if everything was all right.  WAS EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT?   No, it wasn’t all right.  I had driven sixty miles in the middle of the night ASLEEP!!  Not only was I asleep but I was NAKED and asleep. 

I still don’t sleep.  I still suffer from intermittent insomnia.  I do not take any kind of sedative.  

I told the doctor what happened and she paused then replied "Well I wouldn't take that anymore if I were you."  Thanks Doctor Obvious.