I suspect a lot of people reading this blog either right now have trouble sleeping, or have at one time had trouble sleeping. I know that before I got my hormones balanced, I had a horrible time with insomnia, and I have at one time or another taken Ambien, Lunesta, and a host of other sleep medications. To my knowledge, I never drove impaired, but it scares me to think I might have on occasion.
The news about lower recommended doses of Ambien hit the news last week, and this article from the NYTimes.com is important reading. Apparently, the active ingredient in Ambien and some other sleep medications (zolpidem) is staying in the body longer than previously thought, and especially in women, and it is thought to contribute to excessive morning sleepiness. That sleepiness is thought to have contributed to a number of accidents. Since this story broke, I have had a heightened awareness about impaired drivers when I hit the gym early in the morning.
I haven't taken any prescription sleep medications since about a month after I started on the bioidentical hormone protocol. I now take melatonin to sleep, along with Cortisol Manager (it's a supplement that helps with high cortisol levels----it's reduced mine by about 30%!) I also knit in the evenings to help me relax. I have also used Benedryl (over the counter, it's an old allergy medication) when I really can't drop off to sleep.
Hope everyone is having a good start to 2013! We had four days of gloom and rain here last week; I was SO happy to see the sun on Friday! It's been sunny ever since, but by Tuesday and Wednesday the highs will only be about 40 degrees------brrrrr (well, brrrr for NC!) I'm heading out for a walk this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!