Ambien is a great thing...
I normally don't have much of a sleeping problem, but occasionally work-related stress can lead me to sleepless nights. The bigger problem is when I travel on a red-eye flight. As hard as I try, I can't seem to sleep on planes. With my upcoming flight to Ireland stretching over 36 hours and 8 time zones, the prospect of even being aware of where I was at once I got there was dim.
So, while at the doctor on Thursday I asked about possible sleeping aids. He wrote me a prescription for Ambien. I've tried over-the-counter stuff with not much success, so I figured trying something a bit more powerful was called for. Rather than use it for the first time on the trip, I decided to try two trial runs over the weekend.
Friday night... I took the Ambien around 8 pm and started reading in bed. Around 8:30 my eyes were getting heavy, so I turned out the light and slept until 2:30 or so. A good six hours (pretty normal), so it sounded OK. Talking to my wife, she said I was snoring like a chain saw. She literally had to smack me a number of times to get me to turn over... Me? Don't remember a thing... perhaps this *is* pretty good stuff!
Saturday night... I wanted to know whether the snoring was a constant, so I decided to try one more dose before the trip. This time, no snoring. I also got a good six solid hours before I woke up the first time. The strange thing was how I apparently drifted off. The phone rang around 11:30 and it woke me up. But what I realized was that the light was still on, my book was on the floor, I didn't have my earplugs in, and my glasses were still on. Again, I can't remember any conscious decision that said I was tired... :)
Bottom line is that I'm moderately optimistic that I will be able to get some level of sleep on the way over (and back). Couple the Ambien with eye shades, ear plugs, and a back cushion contraption my wife bought me, and I might even be relatively rested when I get there. I just have to be sure not to *take* the Ambien until I get on the plane. Otherwise I might still find my self sleeping in the Portland terminal when I should be in New York... :)