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Wake the Sleepwalker?

We have all heard tales involving sleepwalking; some are spooky and some are silly. We are fascinated by stories of sleepwalking because they are so out of the ordinary, like fodder for a bizarre plot twist in a soap opera.

Although most cases of sleepwalking occur in children younger than 15, sleepwalking afflicts adults too. It has been used as a line of defense in modern murder cases.

There are many factors that can contribute to sleepwalking, like keeping a chaotic sleep schedule and alcohol consumption. Genetics also plays a role in a person's likelihood to sleepwalk, as well as stress. Stress of course can also contribute to sleep problems, and so can sleep deprivation.

To see if it is dangerous to wake a sleepwalker


The majority of us learned that waking a sleepwalker is dangerous and can cause the walker a heart attack or a psychotic break, but this is a myth. Since sleepwalking occurs during the deepest stage of sleep it may be difficult to wake the walker and they may become confused or disoriented. While it is best to lead the sleepwalker back to their bed, waking them is much less dangerous than letting them wander around in their sleep.

Do you sleepwalk? My youngest daughter does and it always freaks me out a little. Tell me about your sleepwalking incidents in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
sssara888 sssara888 8 years
I'm a 31 year old woman and I just started sleepwalking last week. I have a ritual when I leave my car. I turn off the radio, close the sunroof if it's open, slide the sunroof cover closed, and lock it up. I never touch the settings on my seat either. Apparently on this night I walked outside with my car keys, got in my car, put the keys in the ignition (I don't know if I actually started the car), turned on the radio, opened the sunroof, and reclined my seat. Then I must have left the car and locked it and went back inside the house. Thank god I didn't actually drive! I never would have known any of this happened except the next morning I unlocked my car and my seat was out of place and the sunroof cover was open and the radio was turned on when I started the car. I was convinced to the point of almost calling the police that someone had broken into my car and done those things. Then I started thinking who would get in my car and do that and not steal it? When I took a shower I was washing my feet and they had mud caked on them. I couldn't explain it but I soldiered on. I had things to do! As the day wore on I remembered I had gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I remember thinking that I had to get something in the car in the morning. That's the last thing I remember before I woke up the next morning in my bed. So I MUST have been sleepwalking. Then, 2 nights later I went to bed as usual and woke up in a sitting position on my couch with the tv on. It wasn't on when I went to sleep. Then last night I woke up standing in my driveway behind my car barefoot. When I went to get my purse in the morning everything was out of place. I was probably looking for my car keys in it again. I didn't find them even though they were in there. I usually don't sleep in anything other than a t-shirt and skivvy's but after the first incident I went out and bought some shorts to sleep in. (I had on a t-shirt and underwear the first time. I wonder if anyone saw me!) This has all happened in less than a week. I must not be waking up my daughters when I do these things. They're 3 and 4 and sleep very close to me. My sister lives with me and hasn't heard me leave the house. I have an appointment with a professional, don't worry!
2 years ago I did a lot of sleep walking. One week before my husband and I (the then boyfriend) moved in with each other my grandmother died. I was so stressed out about it and the stress of moving on top of that. The first night we lived together I apparently got up in the middle of the night to look for something on the floor on the opposite side of the room. I woke him up moving things around and he asked me what I was doing and I yelled at him "If you don't treat me right my dad will bash your face in"! He said that as soon as I said that I walked over to the bed and went back to sleep. How embarrassing. The next night he asked me to marry him! I only slept walked for about 3 weeks after that and haven't done it since.
mango24 mango24 9 years
I have never sleep-walked, because my husband always pull me back to bed when I'm just about to walk in my sleep. He says I sleep-talk everyday, in Japanese all the time. It's weird coz when Im awake I barely talk in Japanese, just a few times in a month. and my husband is not Japanese so he can't understand what I'm talking about anyway =/
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Never happened to me thank God!
emalove emalove 9 years
I don't think that I've ever had a sleep-walking episode, but my best friend Heather ALWAYS did when we were younger. Every weekend as kids, we'd sleep over each other's houses and I would always wake up to find her doing the STRANGEST stuff. Like one time I woke up to find her trying to stuff a roll of toilet paper in her purse...she kept saying "it just won't fit" over and over again. It was funny, but kind of freaked me out. I always led her back to bed and she'd NEVER remember any of it in the morning. Oh, and one of my husband's friends had such bad sleep-walking episodes that she slept-walked outside and fell off her 2nd or 3rd story porch. She had serious injuries. TLC actually featured her on a special they showed last year about sleepwalking. Very scary.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
excuse me not "My mom" his mom. If my mom got up to help we'd all freak out and die.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
As soon as my youngest nephew could walk we found out that he was a sleepwalker. And boy was that a scary realization. An 18 month old roaming around the house completely out, sometimes he would try to open the front door and go outside. Thank goodness for the motion alarm inside the house and for the alarms on the doors. My sister and I had to install a double baby gate on his bedroom door but still he'd get out and head for the staircase. My mom would always walk up just before he stepped down the stairs or fell down the stairs (which wouldn't have been good because the house has a chair-lift for getting my handicapped brother-in-law up and down the stair - big heavy steel tracks along the staircase and on the landing). But after my sister had her first spine surgery she couldn't jump out of bed to stop him from heading down the stairs and my brother-in-law couldn't walk so they'd yell at him to wake him up or get his attention. Their yelling would usually wake me up downstairs and I'd run and get him and take him to me bedroom downstairs. And this sleepwalking baby would proceed to talk to me about all sorts of weird things that he said were going on in the house. Luckily he's pretty much grown out of the sleepwalking. There are a few times each year where he wanders around the house and we find him asleep on the kitchen floor or in the garage. But he has tried to go outside the house. I wander what he's gonna do at college because the stress of the workload and the competition in the music program could trigger him to sleepwalk or to escalate in his normal sleep-talking. this kid will have a deep philosophical discussion with you while he's asleep and have no recall that he said those things. Waking him up has never been a problem and was actually recommend by his doctor and the sleep specialist he saw. The greater danger with really active sleepwalkers is that they believe themselves to be awake and their functioning like they're awake but they're not observing or aware of anything that isn't occurring in their dreamworld. My nephew could very well sleepwalk and ride his skateboard out into traffic because in his dream is there no traffic, no danger. So we wake him up.
hex913 hex913 9 years
I sleep walk. Usually only under stress. One time (during a particularly stressful time in my life), I was dreaming that there was a meeting going on in my room, but everyone was late. So I walked to the kitchen and got some water before they arrived. Upon reentering my room with a glass of water in my hand (and being very annoyed that no one bothered to show up on time) I woke up and realized it was a dream, so I took the water back to the kitchen, then I went back to sleep. Often times when I wake up in the morning, my boyfriend will tell me that I was talking a lot in my sleep. Basically I "wake-up" (eyes open and everything) and try to have a conversation with him. Of course what I'm saying is gibberish, not even English, and I remember none of it in the morning. It's embarrassing even though I know I can't help it!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Wow, some of those stories are kinda creepy. I don't sleepwalk, but I do sleep talk. A lot of times, I'll start saying stuff and my husband will wake up and listen to me and then in the morning, he tells me about what I was saying. My husband also talks in his sleep sometimes...once he yelled "WHO ARE YOU?" at me and scared me half to death. I've heard that sleep aids like Ambien can cause you to sleepeat, sleep DRIVE and do other things in your sleep with "amnesia for the event". I cannot imagine how dangerous it would be to get in your car while you're sleeping and drive around. YIKES. I'm personally glad I don't sleep eat because I think if I did, I'd weigh 200 lbs from eating everything in sight, lol.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i never sleep-walked, but i used to sleep talk with my sister. we actually would have crazy conbversations in our sleeps, parents would records them and make fun of us :D can you imagine the connection one has to have with another to do that? :) my sister is the sleepwalker in the family, she would take her blanket to the kitchen and make a nest in the middle of it. then she'd wake me up and scream at me for braking her nest. and a few years later i found out my friends brother was doing the exact smae thing, and that brother and my sister were friends and classmates. weird. we used to have a bunk-bed when we were really yong, and she had the top bunk, and she would just walk off it! oh my god, it was scary... one she really hurt herself, she somehow got one leg outside the bed the other inside, so she fell on her vagina... pour thing. sometimes she would walk off right onto huge teddybear sitting on the floor. now she talks in her sleep at about 2am if i am still awake and making some noise. i guess it triggers her somehow. she would tell me her secrets like that - she's 16, so she has a lot of them :D
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
I know I've talked and laughed in my sleep, but never sleepwalked
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I use to sleepwalk every now and then as a kid. My parents would find me in the front room sleeping on the couch. A couple of times I would actually change pjs in my sleep which is totally freaky cause you wake up in different clothes than you went to bed in it and had no idea what happened. Another time I got up, put my robe on and went into the kitchen and started getting some cereal. My uncle who was living with us at the time asked me what I was doing. Thats when I realized it wasn't 8 in the morning but actually 3. It was a surreal moment. It was like I was sleepwalking but I was aware of things Im still a super heavy sleeper so I have gotten up in the middle of the night to go pee and not remember doing it. I don't think I sleepwalk anymore but Im still a heavy enough sleeper to not remember things
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
wow that nail clipper and PB story is GROSS
Fitness Fitness 9 years
These are great tales of sleepwalking! My little one often sleepwalks during her nap at preschool. Her teachers told me that she tried to open the back door, but when it didn't budge she went and snuggled with another student. At night she sleepwalks to the bathroom and uses the loo. Better than wetting the bed I guess.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
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