For Device Driver Download and Updates Click Here >>


By: staff

Date: Tuesday, 27. March 2007

Congressional representative Patrick Kennedy focused attention on the problem in May 2006, when he crashed his car into a security barrier outside the U.S. Capitol. Kennedy said he could not recall doing it and recalled that he had taken Ambien and a second drug, Phenergan, prior to driving. Both of these drugs can act as a sedative.

All prescription drugs for insomnia may be capable of causing sleep-driving, according to the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA wouldn't reveal how many cases of sleep-driving it had linked to insomnia but said it had found more than a dozen reports on the phenomenon and is worried many cases may remain uncounted.

The risk of embarrassment or possible legal problems are cited as reasons why sleep driving problems may be under-reported.

FDA neurology chief Dr. Russell Katz says the problem is rare and he is unaware of any deaths but, he says, the problem is potentially very dangerous.

To lower the risk of a sleep-driving episode, Dr. Katz advised patients never to take any prescription insomnia drug along with alcohol or any other sedating drug, and especially not to take higher-than-recommended doses of the pills.

"We really want people to know these things can occur, and these sleep behaviors can be perhaps to a large extent mitigated by behaviors the patients can control," Katz said.

Some of the insomnia drugs may be riskier than others, so the FDA also recommended that manufacturers conduct clinical trials to figure that out.

The drugs recommended for testing are: Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital, Dalmane, Doral, Halcion, Lunesta, Placidyl, Prosom, Restoril, Rozerem, Seconal, and Sonata.

Further comments to this article have been disabled.

All Comments (9)

Showing 1 - 9 comments


My mother has undergone many test after falling Blacking Out behind the wheel of her car. Thousands of dollars later and loosing a job I find out that she has been taking Ambien. Come to find out reading all the sleep driving stories on the internet this may have been her problem all along.


I took restoril after being prescribed a antibiotic for a throat infection, went to sleep around midnight and woke up in my car doing 50 some 40 miles from my home.Relized something was wrong tried to get home and again fell asleep on the highway and hit a car in front of me. Next thing I know I am in jail.


Hi there,
where is the over the ear hearing aid like device available? Thanks, J

Arri Royonshu,

>.< How about some more tips for staying awake on the road or things we should do?


i need more information about sleep driving on how it can affect their work. and what some health risk of driving.


There are electronic devices that are shaped like an hearing aid. It goes around the ear and senses the nodding effect of falling asleep.

It may not work for someone driving asleep with head erect.


i heard that there's something we put in ears to avoid sleeping while driving, is it true?

Tim T,

Tony, I too need more info regarding this. I am taking clonazapam and citalopram, had 4 drinks before going to bed, and woke up(kind of)in my car in a ditch. I am facing DUI charges. but feel I had no way of anticipating this situation. Please e-mail any related info to


I need more information on sleep driving and the legal out comes of people who have been charged with driving under the influence. D.U.I.

Truck Driving Jobs

driving information
other driver info
travel information for drivers

Travel and Driving