Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Psychosis

Some people can get by on a few hours of sleep, but I’ve never been that person.  I get cranky and pissy if I’m tired, and it’s gotten worse with age.  So a few years back, I asked my doctor for Ambien to help with jetlag, just something light to help me acclimate to the time change.

Unfortunately, this short jaunt to Paris and then coming back straight into a busy work week (with extended Ambien use) seems to have whacked out my circadian rhythms.  Instead of being rested, I have felt exhausted and strung out.

Well, no wonder.  Ambien has a number of side effects.  Including hallucinatory dreams the first night you stop taking it?  Empirical evidence (me and G) suggests yes.

My scientist friend has these three rules about Ambien:

  • don’t take for more than 3 days
  • take half a tablet, not a whole one
  • limit alcohol and caffeine while taking it

She also told me that people take Ambien simply for the psychotic trip they get when they stop.  Oh dear.  Not sure that I see the fun in that.

The only good news is I can blame post-vacation blues on the meds.

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One Response to Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Psychosis

  1. I’m guessing you did’t limit the alcohol or caffeine in Paris, am I right?

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