A Very Bad Dream


It’s 2 a.m. — a 911 operator receives a frantic call from a disoriented man who’s just been in a plane crash.

Operator: “Are you able to safely get out?”

Caller: “No, I’m pinned in.”

Operator: “Did it hit any buildings or just flew into the trees?”

Caller: “It’s in the trees. In the field with trees.”

The caller then informs the operator the aircraft, a small cargo plane, was also carrying three other passengers — all three of whom are unconscious.

Operator: “Are you able to look out the window? Are you able to see from the wing where you are at?”

Caller: “No, I can’t see anything.”

A nightmare scenario indeed — which would have anyone wishing they could simply wake up and realize it was all just a bad dream. Well, in fact, it was just that: a bad dream.

As improbable as it may sound, a 75-year-old man from Renton, Wash., had taken the popular prescription drug Ambien, a sedative used to treat insomnia, before bed and dreamed the entire scenario.

Renton firefighters and police were dispatched to the man’s home, where they found the caller in his bed, not a plane. Because he’d been having trouble getting to sleep after a recent surgery, his daughter gave him half a pill. The embarrassed man vowed he would “never again” take the drug.

A sleep expert with Sound Sleep Health, Dr. Mazeika, said, “It must have seemed really real to him to call 911.”

Ya think?! Sleep experts say if you take Ambien and are concerned about your state of mind, do some simple puzzles — like Sudoku or a crossword — to see if you can function. Whatever you do, we think you’ll agree: avoid flying a plane — in real life or in a dream!