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Ambien's surprising side effects: Sleepworking and shopping (Health)

posted by bibleprobe1(R), 08.26.2008

Sleepworking and shopping: Pills' surprising side effects

Ambien and its ilk can be a godsend for insomniacs, but watch out for rare, unexpected nocturnal surprises.

By Anne Fisher
Last Updated: August 25, 2008: 10:55 AM EDT

(Fortune Small Business) -- Ever since Paul Lewis was a kid, he was a restless sleeper who sleepwalked now and then. But after he started his company, a forensic investigations firm called PG Lewis and Associates in Whitehouse Station, N.J., he found he never slept soundly enough to sleepwalk.

"I just didn't know how to turn the business off ," he says. So his doctor prescribed Ambien, which seemed to help. Then Lewis began to notice a curious thing. He would leave the office with, say, 110 unread e-mails in his inbox. The next morning, all but one or two were gone.

"I would look at my outbox and realize that I had replied to almost all of them in the middle of the night," he says. "I had no recollection of it."

Most of what he sent out was coherent and accurate but every now and then a message would describe in detail a dream he was having. "One time I sent an e-mail to a colleague that was just completely bizarre. He called me the next morning to ask if I was okay," Lewis recalls. "I spent a lot of time reading my sent mail. At some point it dawned on me that it had to be the Ambien." Lewis, 43, sold his company in 2006 and hasn't taken a sleeping pill since.

Finish reading this at: CNN


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