I would like to take Ambien, the sleep aid, during long airplane flights, but I'm afraid that I won't wake up in case of an emergency. Am I right to be worried?
P. W., Seattle, Wash.
Dear P. W.,
You may be asking the wrong person. I would fly in the "brace for impact" position from takeoff until well after landing if I could. Each time I board a plane, I believe that I am going to die. This is why I'm an inordinately happy person--because so far I have not died. But enough about me. Although you may need to be woken by a flight attendant, the adrenaline that will surge through your system should counteract the lingering effects of an appropriate dose of Ambien. It would not be responsible of me to recommend that, depending on the likely outcome of the in-flight emergency, you consider swallowing several more Ambien during this adrenalin-induced period of hyper-awareness.