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Sleepwalker found frozen after taking Ambien


Man freezes to death while sleepwalking barefoot in his underwear in 20-below zero weather.

Ambien, the most-prescribed sleep aid in the United States has helped millions, but it has also has been linked to hundreds of cases of sleepwalking, sleep-driving and even sleep-shoplifting.


Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

I have also heard of this. And personally, I have a friend who I have known since Junior High, was on the med for a short time, and had to come off of it for just this very reason...sleepwalking. Not good.

Lastly, can you imagine a person on Ambien, getting behind the wheel of a car during the middle of the night, then go driving? Scarey.


Specializes in behavioral health. Has 1 years experience.

I've had issues with ambien. I once answered my door close to naked and had a conversation about my neighbor about her antagonism of my personal freedoms (she used to call the police if I was listening to music or watching a movie). I used to work nights so it was in broad daylight (about 8:30am). I sort of remember (dream-like), she was just standing there talking to me. I have no idea how long we talked and I think I tried to cover myself up with my hands. Even though she was a horrible ()(#, I later apologized because exposing yourself really borders on sexual assault and I felt really bad about it. I have peed on myself (gross I know!!!, but at least I cleaned up too!). I have had hallucinations. I kept demanding that my boyfriend look at the pretty pictures on the bottom of a mug. He told me that he would look at them 'tomorrow'. I do remember these things, but only as if it were a dream. Work called me early this morning and I can't remember what I said. That's bad mooshoo, so I called them back when I remembered I had talked to someone. *Shame on them for calling me to come into work at 6:30am when they know that I stayed late at work until 1am the night before!!!* Some of them know I take sleeping meds. This list continues. Every other med makes me groggy in the morning or doesn't work well. I just need to be really careful to go to sleep minimum of 30 minutes after I take it.

Any sleeping pills I think is horrible the damage can do to your body is tremendously dangerous. But i know most of the patients in the nursing home I work take ambien and it works wonders for them and they are happy about it. So what ever feels good works eh!:wink2:


Specializes in behavioral health. Has 1 years experience.

I wish I didn't have to take sleeping pills, but I can tell you that the damage caused by chronic insomnia is worse. Night after endless night of 2 hours to fall asleep and 30min-60min awakenings all night threw me in a very nasty state. While it is true that some people function alright like this or have worse insomnia, it was too much for me.

I'm sorry to hear that. I did not mean for you though I'm just answering the question of sleepwalker found dead. It is hard to get an insomnia because hard to function in day to day lives. Well hanging there I'm sure it will be better eventually for you. :saint:


Specializes in behavioral health. Has 1 years experience.

I think it is very sad as well =(. I have a really rough day yesterday, so that probably didn't come out well. :icon_hug:

Not to worry sometimes we have no control of what we said and nothing to worry about. The best medicine is prayers. Sometimes when I cannot sleep I pray my rosary and it put me to sleep. Take care of yourself and I will include you to my prayers hopefully things will be better even though will be slow but surely eh! Take one day at the time life is too short to be worrying about little things you have a wider responsibility in life just look at the bigger pictures. Bye.....:wink2:

This man was just 60 or so miles from where I live and that was the day I thought hell froze over it was so cold here. He was not the only person to die in this area from exposure during that cold spell.

As far as ambien and insomnia go - Ambien has saved my life. It is the only thing that works (most of the time) and even then, I only sleep for 5-6 hours with one or two waking spells during that time. I don't have a phone with me upstairs and with the exception of one time - I get in bed, take the pill and read until I sleep. The one time I didn't do that, I did make a phone call to finalize travel arrangements - then woke up several hours later and did it again. The company told me I had already call them when I tried to give them my credit card number again - lesson learned.

Ambien is just like anyother medication, it has risks and benefits. This man had already had several episodes of sleep walking while on the ambien. My question is why wasn't something done then?

i dont have problems sleeping, i just have to rest my back on something and next thing i know im sleeping, but my husband on the other hand is opposite and sometimes if i stay up with him late night watching tv, we always see commercial of ambien and he said next time he sees his doctor he would ask about it but now reading about this article i dont think i want him too...:no:

i seriously hope no one is considering suing the manufacturers of ambien.

if that is the case, our litigious society should start suing etoh manufacturers when involved w/etoh-related auto accidents.

or any drugs that have risk of adverse outcomes.

too many unanswered questions.



Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

I *used* to take Ambien...until the night hubby had to pull me out of a bathtub full of water in my gown! I had no memory of it the next morning either :D


Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

I had a friend who used to take Ambien. She said that if she didn't go to bed within 15 minutes of taking it she would be a demon. She said that she left the headlights of her car on all night, left the door wide open with the keys in the lock all night, she sideswiped a cement post while going to the ATM. She doesn't take it anymore. I took unisom for a while, not on a regular basis, I only took half of the pill and it was enough to knock me out for 16 hours.


Specializes in MICU, SICU, CRRT,.

I have to admit..I am an Ambien user. There are several things that i have done with no recollection, which is usually because i take it, then decide to do something else..clean, bathe, play online, etc. The only thing i have done that i regret, was running my car into a ditch..because i decided to go visit a friend after taking my meds. Lesson learned..i take it as i am getting into bed now. My husband does not like my taking it, but he also is under the impression that insomnia is all in my head, and i can "will" myself to sleep. I was diagnosed 8 years ago, and ambien is the only thing that does not leave me hungover the next day. It is a very helpful med for those that truly need it, but the warnings about taking it right at bedtime should be better understood by users.

nuangel1, BSN, RN

Specializes in CT ,ICU,CCU,Tele,ED,Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

i take ambien and have never had a problem with it .the insomnia was awful months and months and lack of sleep affected my personality and not for the better.as we all know people who take any drug can suffer sideeffects .the med may not be for everyone but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be an option for people who need it.


Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

We had two different pts take ambien for the first time on our floor. Both stripped naked and walked into another pt's room. One pulled out his iv and his foley bag was dragging behind him. What a sight to see a man dripping blood and naked come into your room. Everyone understood and the pt apologized.

Life is like taking a med for the first time. You never know what is gonna happen.


Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

I had one too many patients who took ambien and would then do the "strip naked, pull out every line" thing, so everytime a patient asked for something to help them sleep, I suggested Restoril to the doc.

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