I was prescribed Ambien a few years ago for insomnia problems. I was told by my physician that I should only take it if I can devote a full 8 hours to sleep, and that I may experience minor side effects like a drugged feeling if I didn't get the full 8 hours of recommended sleep and some people have reported sleep walking.
I took my tablet that first night and waited to get tired, waited for something to happen. I felt nothing for about two hours, then suddenly I felt lightheaded and when I attempted to walk to the bedroom I bumped into the furniture.
The next night after taking the Ambien, I went straight to bed and laid down. I didn't get to sleep right away, it must have taken at least an hour before I stopped looking at the clock, when I woke the next morning and could hardly keep my eyes open. I had an incredibly hard time waking up.
My husband caught me walking to the front door and opening it, just standing there in a daze, a few hours after taking the Ambien and for whatever reason waking up. I've also gotten out of bed to turn on every single light in my house and then come back to bed.
I've taken the Ambien tablet and stayed awake for a few hours. Because I don't feel the effects of it while I'm sitting down, I could be at the computer typing emails that make absolutely no sense and mailing them out before I go to bed, only to have family members emailing me the next day asking me if I had been drinking the night before.
I talked to my doctor about what has been happening to me and she told me that there have been reports of people making food, sleep walking, making phone calls, mailing emails and never remembering doing so the next day. One time after taking this medication I took all of the labels off of every bottle in the bathroom and put them in a neat pile in the middle of the floor and went back to bed. I also got up one night after taking this medication and stabbed myself in the leg with a steak knife. Not bad enough to need stitches but bad enough that I bled all over my night clothes after going back to bed.
Ambien can be habit forming and should only be used for short periods of time for the treatment of insomnia. You should tell your doctor if you have any side effects that are bothersome to you.
*Update: I no longer take this medication due to the side effects*