Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

a night of Ambien and Vicoden

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

so I followed my docs advice, as well as what a few fellow spineys' said. Take the Ambien right before bed, it'll kick and you won't know it. I think my body is living in loopy-ville. It almost 2 hours for the AMbien to get me to sleep, which was somewhere around 1am. I woke up at 4am for some unknown reason and had to get up at 7 to get my son up for school. AND I'M SO SLEEPY!!!!!!

Does Ambien take time to kick into your system or should you sleep right way? my doc also had me change my pillow to a down pillow that would adjust itself to my neck as opposed to the ortho pillow that makes your neck adjust to it. Interesting thought for me.

Is this normal????? To take this long to fall asleep only to wake up sleepy. all the Ambien website says is that you might have some sleepiness during the day. This isn't sleepiness. This is "IF MY SON DOESN'T LEAVE FOR SCHOOL SOON I'LL BE SLEPPING ON THE FLOOR!" I)

Normal or am I abnormal? Answer gently those of you who "know" me. ha ha... I'm ready to be free of this can't sleep, neck hurts, fingers tingle, muscle jumping season of my life, but I guess its for a reason. Help me cope, guys/gals. Please. :?


  • Gosh I wish I could help. I've never taken Ambien, but am thinking I'll need to hit my GP soon as I haven't slept more than about 4 hrs a night in months. I've been waking up at 2, 3, or 4(if I'm lucky) for no reason. I haven't had pain in months so that's not the issue. I just can't seem to stay asleep. I refilled my Elavil yesterday that my OS had given me to help me sleep prior to surgery, and well it knocked my lights out for about 5 hrs, which is a record!

    Anyway, sorry I don't have answers but as with everything else we face just wanted you to know you're not alone! Hang in there and give it a few days, maybe a week. And if you're still not sleeping call the doc and tell him the Ambien isn't working. There are other options.

    Good luck!
  • Let me preface my comments by saying I have no personal experience with Ambien, having never taken it. From what I have read in the prescribing information, you will have a sleepy reaction if you are unable to get a straight 7-8 hours sleep after taking the medication. If you sleep less than that, the effects of the medication still continue in the body, leaving you feeling really sleepy and forgetful. I get a similar reaction when taking some of the muscle relaxers like soma. (Bear in mind that the medical terminology used can be misleading. When they say "sleepy," I would describe my reaction as "zombie-like.")

    Do you usually have trouble falling asleep? Are you doing all the usual things to prepare yourself for a good night's sleep -- things like avoiding any food or drink that contains caffeine, etc.? Some people are unable to fall asleep if they use a computer prior to going to bed.

    Have you ever tried one of the relaxation CDs? There are breathing exercises that you can do that will calm your mind and help you sleep, also.

    Are you still having a lot of pain connected to your surgery? I assume that is the main reason why you cannot sleep...would that be correct?

    Be careful today. You will probably be even more clumsy as a result of the incomplete sleep cycle. :O

  • I've had insomnia for years and have taken the regular Ambien and Ambien CR. I wish the med did make me sleepy or drowzy, but it doesn't. It really doesn't kick in until I turn the TV off and determine to go to sleep. Before I know it, I'm off to sleep.

    It's true that if you don't get the 7-8 hours of sleep, you will be groggy the next day. At least it's true for me. Also, as above, be careful not to drink anything with caffein after lunch time and don't engage in anything that stimulates you in the evening. I have a friend that can't pay bills, get on the computer or anything else that requires a lot of attention shortly before bedtime.

    I hope this helps.
  • For some people, me included, Ambien doesn't work. I know its the most popular sleep aide on the market because its non narcotic and there is less chance for abuse or dependency. For me, it kept me wide awake. I took it for one month and ended up sleeping more during the day than at night. Let your doctor know its not helping.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Andy...thanks. Yeah, please call the doc! Its better to know that to lay in bed and wonder. I wonder for you too!!!!

    Gwennie, thanks for sending me that link. I checked it out. Before the surgery my hubby would say that I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. Of course in those days, I ran a childcare at home and was busy all day. Now...what do I do???? Not much. I'm really sleepy now and am gonna grab a nap before my son gets home and I'm cranky with him. I don't know if pain woke me up last night...I can't remember...that might be a good thing...maybe not. This new pillow is great though....my doc suggested the down pillow. sooooooooooooo nice. And other than going down to put a load in the dryer...I'm not getting out of bed unless I can sleep this off. This is like just out of anesthesia tired!

    Joy...hmmmm....I like your screen name. Hey might be your real name but I like it anyway. I'd think I prefer to live with joy than focusing on the pain or lack of sleep. But its so good to connect to those who are in this same or similar position. I'm only drinking water these days. Once in a while I'll have diet orange soda. If I can't fall asleep I put the tv on. WAtching a series from Australia called McCleod daughters. Pretty good (to me)

    Dbar...I will definitely let my doc know if it doesn't work. The valium didn't which is why he switched to this. I'm going to give it a couple of weeks to see.

    Nighty nite (at noon) ha ha

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    and has some real negative effects on others. I am one that really cant take ambien as long as I have my other medications and if I have a glass of wine at night.

    Some of my stories are quite funny, some really not so funny. I know another good member here, who also had quite a funny story about Ambien. (T)

    One thing I found out about Ambien, is that it can be so addictive. Not in that you need it, but you almost feel you can not fall asleep without it.

    I still believe the more natural ways of getting to sleep work best:

    - No eating/drinking/exercising 2 hours before going to be.
    - Listen to some soothing music about an hour before going to bed. Some ( I do) use my IPOD with soothing music all night long
    - Do not watch TV in bed
    - Make sure your bedroom is setup for sleeping. No lights on, quiet place and very comfortable.

    Now, there is no gurantee you can sleep an entire night using the above, but it can help. Even with all my medications, I have not had a complete 6 or 8 hours of sleep in over 10 years. I sleep for a couple of hours, get up, go back to bed, etc

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Have taken it for the last couple of years.

    I started at a low dose and am now up to the maximum dose.

    Sometimes it takes about 30 minutes; sometimes longer; sometimes it does not work at all.

    I have better results if I take it, then settle in for the night.

    As I stated - I've been on it for years, so I have my routines. My mother, on the other hand, could not take it. WOW! Did she ever have a bad experience with it. It just conflicted with the other medication and I always have to be sure to tell her doctors about it. She complains she cannot sleep, but she takes cat naps all through the day and will drink a pot and a half of coffee (no wonder she can't sleep at night!) so I tell her doctors she not allergic to the medication itself, it's just the combination of meds she takes.

    I know how aggravating it is to not be able to sleep.

    My mind is so busy during the day and it will not stop at night. I tried the nightly routines; warm milk; herbal remedies. READING... When I finally got to sleep, my pain would wake me up every couple 2 hours. I was at the point that I knew I would wake up hurting and did not want that - if I did not sleep, I couldn't wake up hurting... That's what your mind does when it's deprived of sleep. Makes up its own scenarios that seem to be rational but aren't... That was when I decided to speak with my doctor about sleep aids. I tried them all. Ambien is the one that works best for me.

    Good luck in your quest...
  • When I was younger and on antidepressants, they also gave me Ambien to help me sleep. I had the craziest hallucinations! I thought the walls were falling on me, and I cried and cried and cried. My parents had to drive me around in the car for me to settle down and fall asleep. It was insane & scary, be careful for drug interactions!
  • Today...having learned (hopefully) from yesterdays inaction...I'll take the higher dose Vicoden (7.5) and the Ambien at 9:30. If its like yesterday I'll be asleep by 11. That's enough if I have to get up at 7. I had an Ambien hangover today! But after some fun chatting with A & K...it was ok. Took a nap. That's when brain damaged hit me! This is just me....I'm looney like that I think. AFter my nap I chatted with the girls again and we went for dinner. I haven't eaten yet...its 7:05. I did however clean my husband's bedroom (since I haven't slept there in 8 weeks, it was all his mess!). It took me two hours!!! And I didn't dust (can't) or vacuum (can't). OMG...now I'm really sore. Gonna eat dinner in a moment and try this route.

    I know I'm not supposed to do these things but the frustration level is at near 10. Undone laundry sitting on the floor. Kitchen floor unswept and mopped! Gross! I swept...another no no. Picked up the laundry and got it started. more no no's. I'm not trying be a difficult patient. I want to heal but there's but so much a woman can take in her own home! My dear hubby is working 16-17 hours a day! I shouldn't complain and really I'm not. I'm just frustrated that none of my friends have heard my drama (yeah...I've shared it) and come to help. Sure we have our own lives but dag...I'd do it for someone I barely knew...where are the close friends????? Thank God for my sis. She does grocery for me. doesn't ask for a cent.

    Sorry to be venting. I'm in a houseful of men/boys. My daughter's at college and came last week for break. She was getting these guys in order and said "Mom, how do you do this? They're lazy slobs". ha ha. I'm trying to laugh at this. Probably will after another vicoden. but right now...I'm at crying level. My brother..almost 40 and my 15 year old son fight all day every day. He's moving out soon...next week or so. While he mops and cooks...I can't wait. He's gonna let me stay with hisi laptop though. That I appreciate. Not being selfish. My 15 year old shouldn't have to be on guard when family comes around. Am I wrong???

    Anyway....I hope this works. And Andrea...I'm hoping for no halluciinations. I had those when I accidentally took too Vicodens 7.5 and a valium. Scared the H.E. double hockey sticks. Get it????? LOL

    I'm glad for my spiney family. We don't take offense at these things. WE all get it!
  • Hi, just adding my 2 cents--literally--as my cheap & easy fix for not being able to use either of the above (b/c they did nothing for me) was to try something from Wallgreen's called "Sleep 2", which is just good old benadryl, 25 mg per tab. I take one w/ my 1/2 valuim about 45 minutes b4 I need to get to sleep & it's zonk-ville until about 4AM when pain wakes me (like Ron, I've not ever slept thru the night since my initial surgery in '06) But it cuts me about 5 hrs of really nice sleep, w/ good dreams, etc...then I take an asprin & another 1/4 valuim until the alarm goes off @ 6AM for school. Lucky me--I never have needed more than 6 hrs of sleep, good thing b/c now I'd never get it anyway, but you might want to give this stuff a go. Same ingredient as dramamine (motion sick stuff) but my NS said they used to take it in med school when they needed to zonk out while 48 hr on-call duty. You can rouse yourself if you need to--it doesn't zombie you out--but it lets you just drift off nicely, & I combine it with the valuim (have a lot of muscle spasms when I 1st lie down) & it does the trick.
    Another one is Restoril, an old benzo from the 60's. Very gentle, very easy to titrate either up or down. No weird dreams, just a nice ease into la la land. But I like the benadryl better. And no RX needed.
    Gee--your household sounds busy! Maybe that's contributing to your wakefulness also..hope things improve for you, all-around.
    Yes, we all "get it" here..don't even bother trying to explain things to someone who's not a fellow Spiney. We are unique!
    Here's to better zzzz's to you soon!
  • Remind me tomorrow to send you a discussion we had a while back about the different things we did on ambien and didn't know it. it was some pretty funny stuff looking back at it now.

    You may need to bubble wrap all the sharp corners of your house...coffee table, end stand etc, if you start sleep walking lol. I'd say put bubble wrap on the floor but that would be too noisy lol.

    My scariest moment was when I left in the middle of the night and drove to the icecream store. Of course it was closed so I guess I drove to the gas station and bought a bunch of junkfood and made an icecream sundae. I woke up to the evidence and it's like a dejavu feeling or like remembering bits and pieces of a dream but doesn't seem real.

    Ok, I'm really signing off and going to bed this time, I promise haha.

    Praying we all have a good nights sleep and sweet dreams and no sleep walking. Good night my spiney friends!
  • Ming that is really, really scary (about the driving and not remembering)! If that is a side effect I can't believe it's still on the market. Someone could hit & kill someone and not remember it at all!
  • Thank goodness I don't have my car keys and our door has a super loud alarm "FRONT DOOR OPEN". Not that it matters I think. I might need more time to adjust to this Ambien thing.

    So yeah...overdid it yesterday but with the vico...it was ok. I'm only achy today but that's fine. I took Ambien around 8:30. Called dear hubby and said goodnight since he wasn't home. When he did get home around 10:45....I was still awake so said goodnight again. I woke up around 1...didn't get out of bed. Just kinda said "heck no" and turned over to sleep. but when that alarm went off at 6:45am.....I wanted to cry. I am so darn tired.

    I'm thinking that a lot of it is my "brain" fighting the ambien's working so early. My youngest son is ADHD...well, not so much hyper anymore. He's learned to control that part somewhat. The dx is ADHD with impulsivity. He's 15 now and it is still a challenge. Things like cleaning the kitchen, going to bed on time, picking up his xbox stuff, waking up on time...none of those are natural to him. I mean they're not natural to any kid but a kid with ADHD loses focus quickly which is why I have to say "J...15 minutes till bed...count down". It'll be 10:30 and he's still cleaning. At 11, he feels he needs to love on mom even though I'm almost yelling "go to bed already". So...with only 6+ hours of sleep or so...I'm beat. I'll give ambien another few days but thats it. I can't be a zombie like this. Makes me cranky. I'm not a cranky person so this is weird to me. gonna sleep off the rest of this ambien. I have some translating to do this morning, but that will have to wait.

    Ming...don't forget to send me the stories. Either as a PM or on FB. LOL.

    Andrea....good to c ya!
  • That was very scary when I realized what I did. I seen something on the news or somewhere about it shortly after this happened warning of that affect. Sleep eating was a common one. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't lose weight cuz I was on weight watchers and eating like I'm supposed to then realized the junk food I was eating at night when I thought I was sleeping.
  • Here's the discussion that was done awhile back about the side effects of ambien and the funny and sometimes embarrassing. This is not for children's viewing though. I think the best and funniest ones start on posts #28, #30, #32 and pretty much the rest of them after that but you are free to read all of them.

    It's seems that the side effects such as the sleep eating and other things were for those who were on ambien CR. There is another Ambien that has a generic form called zolpidem which is not a controlled release.

    Have fun reading and hope it doesn't scare you away from trying it again. Do you have the CR form? I hope you get a good nights sleep tonight.

  • I'll check these out. I'm on the Zolpidem tab 10mg. I think its a matter of adjusting for me. I'll take it this weekend and not on Sunday nite and see what happens. I CONTROL MY BODY...not drugs. LOL....I can say that on Vicoden. hee hee
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I do take generic Ambien on occasion. I try to limit it to 1-2 times a week at most. Usually after I drift off to sleep I get very solid sleep on Ambien. But as was mentioned above I have to be determined to sleep. If I leave the radio on and get interested in what's on the radio (I love old time radio shows on Sirius) then it's harder to sleep. I have to turn off the radio and tv - then it works. And yes, you can have an Ambien hangover if you don't get enough sleep.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
Sign In or Register to comment.