I take Ambien to help me sleep.
I've had bouts of insomnia since I was little, and about six weeks or so ago, when I hadn't slept for a couple of days and I mentioned it in passing to my doctor during a migraine appointment, she prescribed Ambien. The sleeplessness might or might be a symptom or causal agent for my headaches, we agreed, but whatever the case, I should be getting some sleep. Every day.
And the sleep has been amazing. Sound sleep undisturbed by my neighbors' garage band and domestic squabbles and pool parties. I actually look forward to going to bed now and wake up feeling much more rested. But I have (apparently) been experiencing at least one of Ambien's most famous side effects -- sleep walking.
It started out with small hints of something being awry. For example, one morning I came downstairs to find the doors of my TV armoire closed. I rarely close them, since the TV runs so warm and I want air to circulate freely. I didn't remember closing it before I went to bed, but whatever.
Then there was the Peanut Butter Incident. I haven't eaten peanut butter since I made the connection between nuts and headaches, and I thought I'd thrown own my last jar. Imagine my surprise when I found an open jar on my kitchen counter one morning -- its lid off and a spoon sitting next to it. All lined up, the spoon licked clean. Apparently my unconscious mind remembered I still had peanut butter in the pantry and wanted a snack. Thankfully there weren't finger marks in the jar.
But finally this week, when I woke up on the couch in the family room with no idea how I'd gotten there -- no memory of getting a blanket out of the linen closet, going down the stairs and curling up with the pets on the couch in the middle of the night -- I had to laugh. I guess I should be worried about what all else I do in the night, that I'll sleepwalk to the garage and paw through the garbage cans like a raccoon or buy a car online or something. But truthfully, the nighttime antics have mostly amused me. The idea that there's a Sleeping Nora who has a pretty interesting life going on, with the wandering around and eating snacks and potentially watching cable.
For the time being at least, I'm going to make sure all my blinds are closed before I head to bed and keep looking for clues in the morning.
Edited to add: Eric reminded me that I also rearranged the kitchen in my sleep! I'd completely forgotten. I woke up one morning to find Sleeping Nora had moved an entire shelf of cookbooks, an espresso machine and coffee maker to different places in the kitchen. I like the arrangement just fine, as it turns out, but that was pretty weird, too.