Asleep at the Wheel...

… or, Drive, He Snored.

Ever feel you spend all your waking hours in your car?  Well, thanks to modern science, now you can also spend your non-waking hours trapped in traffic. 

The Associated Press reports:

All sleeping pills, including the blockbusters Ambien and Lunesta, may sometimes cause a bizarre but dangerous side effect — sleep-driving, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

It's like sleepwalking but behind-the-wheel: driving while not fully awake after using a sleeping aid — with no memory of doing so.


FDA wouldn't say exactly how many cases of sleep-driving it uncovered, or if it knew of any car crashes, saying only that "there have been rare adverse events reported."

Along with the potential Slumberland commuting, the FDA is also warning of sleeping pills causing "other less dangerous "complex sleep-related behaviors" — like making phone calls or fixing and eating food while still asleep", and "life-threatening allergic reactions, as well as severe facial swelling, both of which can occur the first time the pills are taken."

The pills in question-- "sedative-hypnotic products"-- are "Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital; Dalmane; Doral; Halcion; Lunesta; Placidyl; Prosom; Restoril; Rozerem; Seconal; Sonata."  I'm sure the manufacturers would want it pointed out that these behaviors, swellings, and possible fatal allergic reactions are rare, and average users shouldn't lose any sleep worrying about them.


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