In a long feature with Bleacher Report’s Brandon Sneed, Urban Meyer talks openly about his struggle with mental health, the point being to shine light on the internal and psychological downsides of being a hyper-competitive person.
The story covers a lot of ground, including the much-covered period at Florida when Meyer’s physical and mental health hit rock bottom. Tucked into the middle of it is a tremendous detail:
Urban Meyer has a bunch of Ambien speeches he doesn’t remember writing and never delivered.
The only help Urban took was Ambien for his sleep. One a night at first, and then two, washing them down with beer. “Every night,” Shelley says. “And it’s highly addictive. He couldn’t sleep without it.”
Even with it, he didn’t sleep much—maybe four hours a night—and it was a feverish, desperate sort of sleep, his mind incapable of stopping its search for problems to worry over and try to solve. He often woke up to find that, sometime in the night, he had filled dozens of pages with football plays and motivational speeches. He remembered writing none of it.
That was years ago. Meyer has since weened himself off the Ambien. He didn’t say whether the speeches were any good or not.