Sleepwalk (Somnambulism)

Question:

Do you sleepwalk, or do you know someone that sleepwalks? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sophie , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

One time I woke up in my school uniform and found my pajamas in the bathroom and didn’t remember getting changed. There are always little things, for e.g., waking up with the fan on, a text I don’t remember sending which makes no sense and waking up in different pajamas than what I went to bed in, and now I’m able to put on my Apple watch the correct way and position on my wrist. Now I’m worried it will never be fully charged for the next day.

Comment from: Grams, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I’m on Ambien. I had a dream I fell down the stairs and decided to sleep on the floor, and woke up in bed. I had horrible bruises. I also woke up cold, my bed was made and only covered in a throw.

Comment from: Trudels, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

The reason I know about my sleepwalking events is because I’m getting hurt! It’s bizarre. It’s usually my face, but head to toes, multiple times a night! I wake up hovering over a surface and I can’t hold my head up any longer. This last time my forehead and nose were badly bruised, I woke from pain, crying, panicked, knowing if I don’t get in bed in this moment, I could die! I’m out again. Only waking to pain of hitting my face again. Five times in 1 night! It usually happens when I’m extremely tired. Crazy.

Comment from: Crystalymarti , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

I'm a 46-year-old woman, and I work 50 hours a week. I don't take any medicine or drugs other than occasional Goody’s powder. I do not drink at all but I smoke in my sleep, burn all my pajamas, gowns, blankets, sheets, etc. I can't stop, I hide them and find one somewhere every night. I sit up in bed, sleep on my face, stick my arms up in the air, and I wake up in all kinds of messed up positions. I even fall out of the bed. I don't know why I do it, it's embarrassing and I snore terribly loud. All this started just 2 years back.

Comment from: robertpri, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 16

At 75 and living alone, this really terrifies me. I have never done this before, but had about seven episodes of sleep walking in the past year. I have no idea why they started. About five were minor, finding my kitchen a mess in the morning, but it was spotless the night before. Worst two cases I was injured. I found myself fully dressed in the back yard and unable to get inside. I smashed my toe and that woke me. The worst was a month ago. I woke with head pain and found blood on my pillow and a scalp wound. In the dining room, chairs and furniture was overturned. This really scares me but I have no idea what to do. Going to bed is no longer fun; it's terrifying.

Comment from: Clearly, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I woke up with a full on black eye last night. Now here is the situation; I have always had sleeping issues, insomnia, i.e., waking up throughout the night, not being able to fall asleep, waking up before I need to and not being able to go back to sleep, and sleepwalking which is always hearsay. I am a 31 year old woman and have been taking Ambien or zolpidem every night for as long as I can remember up until about 3 or 4 months ago when I decided to reduce my sleeping aids. I am now at a point where I don't take sleeping pills for nights on end. The problem I have been encountering the past few months is unexplained bruises all over my body, they are sporadic. As of last night I had no rhyme or reason for these bruises. But I woke up this morning with a full on black eye! Lucky me, I fell asleep watching a movie last night with my makeup on. The evidence is on the corner of my bathroom door, makeup colors match perfectly and of course it is eye level! I don't remember leaving the living room, getting in my bed, walking into the bathroom, or even running into the wall but the evidence is clear! Now back to sleeping pills. Sleepwalking is one of the main reasons I was taking sleeping pills in the first place. Case solved!

Comment from: bboyd3, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 06

Three to four times a year I wake up with soreness, rib pains in my chest. About 3 months ago I went to the emergency room and discovered I had 4 broken ribs on left side. Not a shred of evidence I had done anything in the house to cause the injury, so I wonder if I got injured sleepwalking.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I am the youngest of five daughters...we are all "active sleepers." I wake up with bruises and cuts all over my body at times. I don't recall these events but have been told that I have conversations that don't connect to anything (requesting window cleaner and garbage bags or asking who is in the closet for example), talk on the phone, cook dinner at 3am, watch TV, folded laundry, driven (very scary) and wandered around my house or yard. I also kick and punch imaginary foes. While in the Army I tied a boot lace from my arm and the rack to avoid wandering (an immediate discharge). I have also hurt myself quite badly. My husband told me that I went to get our youngest son who was an infant at the time and crying. He heard a crash and when I returned I told him my foot hurt. I woke up screaming in pain. I had ripped a ligament in my ankle. The ER did not believe that I didn't remember the event and suggested domestic violence counseling. Due to other issues I started taking Ambien and do not move hardly when I sleep if I take this medication. It does not make for a restful night but it keeps me out of the ER. Otherwise I am quite healthy. Yes my kids are active sleepers as well, as are most of my nieces and nephews.

SLIDESHOW

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Comment from: Confused Wife, 35-44 Male Published: September 09

My husband is 43. He told me he was medically discharged from the Navy for sleepwalking. I never experienced it until a little over a year ago, when he'd grab the lamp of the night stand while laying down and put it on the floor and fumble with it. I asked what he was doing and he said scanning an item. He does that at work. He would not stop his fumbling so I told him he was dreaming, and to stop, and he became angry saying I was interrupting his work. I was afraid he was going to break the light bulb and cut himself, I tried to take the lamp from him, but he threw it across the room, cussed me out, took his blanket and pillow and went to sleep on the couch. About an hour later, he came back asking what happened. Something similar happened a few weeks later. Then last night he got up, started fumbling with a box on the floor, ripped the top off, when questioned he said he was filling, something he does at work, yelled at me, then he started peeing in the box, when I told him to stop he was sleepwalking, he cussed me out, slammed the bedroom door, went into the bathroom, and came back told me I was crazy and went back to sleep.

Comment from: Kytf, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I just sleepwalked yesterday. I got up from my bed, poked my mom and unfolded my hand as if I was holding a book. I said here is your book. She asked, "Which book?" I said, "Your cook book." I went and laid down on my bed. My mom came and she asked if she could get me some covers. I said, “I gave you your cookbook, so go!” The next day my mom asked me what was wrong with me.

Comment from: Desparate, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 24

I have 2 teens (boy and girl) and a 6 year old at home. My husband of 18 years has been bed wetting for almost two years now and sleep walking for almost a year. He thinks it is all funny when we tell him what he did. I have video taped him sleep walking. It is really getting to be to much for me to handle. He had tried more then once to climb in bed with our daughter, stacked stands like walls, went outside talking with the dog, and almost destroyed our 6 year old's bed while he was in it asleep. I don't know how to convince him to get medical help anymore. He has a bipolar disorder and the doctors he see told him to see his physician but no luck.

Comment from: M211, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I’m 16 and in my whole 16 years of living I have never experienced sleep walking until two nights ago. That day I had to go in to a new job and start training. I got home around 10:30 and I know I was extremely tired I changed into my PJs and turned my alarm for school the next day. That’s all I remember from that night. I woke up at 2:07 in the morning in my mom’s room, sleeping next to my dad’s side and my mom was nowhere in sight. I was really confused and thought I was sleeping but I realized it wasn't a dream. Later that day, my mom told me I woke her up at midnight and started telling her she had to take me to my job and that I had to go fold clothes or else they would not give me the job. I laughed it off with my mom because why would I leave my house to go fold clothes, but I just wish I could remember ever doing this.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I have always been a sleepwalker. Folks told me from the time I could crawl, I did it. I am 50 years old and still doing it. I have awakened outside, in cars, halfway down staircases, and the like. I have gotten hurt twice when I fell down stairs. Once, I fell in the tub and shattered my wrist, and I have been locked out of my home more times than I can remember. I do all kinds of crazy things when I am asleep.

Comment from: mammy worries, 7-12 (Caregiver) Published: July 31

I am a mother of four kids who are nine, seven, five and we have an 18-month-old baby. Quite frequently they sleepwalk. Sometimes they just wander around their rooms, but more worryingly on weird occasions, all the elder three sleep walk at same time and have climbed ladders, stairs etc. There must obviously something worrying the lot of them. I can’t understand it.

Comment from: roberta, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I am a 35-year-old woman who sleepwalks. I don't know how often but I wake up with cuts and bruises on my legs. Sometimes my back door will be open when I wake up.

Comment from: Peg, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I sleepwalk, according to my boyfriend, and I talk and even eat food but I don't remember it the next day. I had left over lamb chops and potatoes and ate the lamb chops and whole can of cheese. The next day when I decided to have the lamb and potatoes for dinner, it wasn't there! I was shocked! I do feel tired the next day.

Comment from: Cameron, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I'm 16 and I have been sleepwalking for a while, when I was little I used to wake up under the bed with no recollection of how I got there, within the past year I have started to get out of my bed and walk about, I have also started eating cheese whilst sleep walking (I know this because I have found bits of them in my teeth when I've woken up) I've also sat up, opened my eyes and had a conversation with my mum, she says I didn't say a lot and was only saying the most basic answers to what she was saying.

QUESTION

Why do we sleep? See Answer
Comment from: Fiona, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I used to sleep walk when I was a kid. Stress appears to bring it on and I have been sleep walking on and off throughout my adult life.

Comment from: Brenda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 23

My first sleepwalking episode occurred when after a nap, I found myself outside in the middle of the day in my PJs.

Comment from: Evvieann, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

I am a forty-year-old woman and have been sleepwalking my entire life. Sometimes I just wander about or I eat. But what scares me the most is I also beat myself up and I have even thrown myself down a flight of stairs. I am terrified every night as to what I'll do next. Sometimes I don't know where I have been for days at a time. Anyone able to offer some advice as how to deal with this problem would be much appreciated.

Comment from: cher, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I sleepwalk and I hurt myself quite a bit.

Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

I tend to sleepwalk during periods of extreme stress. I also occasionally did so as a small child. It then resurfaced in college when I was having difficulty adjusting. The episodes subsided until my marriage broke up, 17 years later. I have anxiety disorder, OCD, and moderate Asperger's Syndrome.

Comment from: Steve, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 11

I'm 42 and first started sleepwalking when I was about 10 years old, when my mother found me standing in the street after hearing the front door open. To my knowledge, I hadn't done it for a long time, but over the past few years my family has witnessed me yelling gibberish, having conversations with myself, walking around the room, using the bathroom, and other activities while asleep. Over the past year, I have injured myself twice. Once, I stood up and tried to walk while my foot was asleep, resulting in a nasty fall and a sprained foot. Last month, I apparently stood up and ran straight into the metal support pole in the middle of the room, fell face first onto the floor, and separated my shoulder. Thankfully, I narrowly missed a rotator cuff tear. The doctor who treated my shoulder is questioning if the gabapentin I have been taking the past three years may be a cause. Also, over the past year I have been diagnosed with OCD and depression, which also may be a factor.

Comment from: Mum, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 19

My daughter sleepwalks at least twice per week. She doesn't remember doing it but it is getting quite worrying for my husband and I because she has gone outside on at least three occasions. We now hide her car keys and also the front door keys so she can't let herself out. Last night she was sleepwalking and a very large television in her room was knocked on to the floor. If she was in the way she could have been seriously hurt. She has just gone through a very bad relationship breakup and it has been since then these episodes have occurred.

Comment from: 35-44 Male Published: May 06

My 40-year old male cousin has been sleep-walking for around 12 months and usually, after having been out drinking with friends. His wife has also, found him urinating in various places other than the toilet and he appears angry if she tries to lead him back to bed. He remembers nothing of his experiences and his wife is now getting most concerned at the frequency and possible dangers of her husband's sleepwalking.

Comment from: 0-2 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 19

I think my 2 year old may be a sleepwalker. One day while sleeping he got up walked over to his table sat down picked up a towel that was on the table and tried to eat it, he then woke up dazed like he didn't know what was going on. I'm kind of concerned, hopefully this is something he will grow out of, I noticed recently that he has been having night terrors as well.

Comment from: 25-34 Male Published: April 13

I sleepwalk and I have had conversations with my wife, used the bathroom and unforgotten. I have gotten violent, yelled, cussed and even hit my wife. I had no memory of any of it and frankly I’m scared of doing worse. I love my wife and I don’t like hurting her.

Comment from: Alexandria, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I have been sleepwalking for as long as I've known. My family says that one time they heard weird noises coming from my room and it turns out, I was trying to climb up the wall. Other times I have tried to "escape" out the door while wearing my sister’s boots. It is very scary not knowing what I do in the middle of the night.

Comment from: mom, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 22

My daughter woke up and found herself outside my apartment. My son said he heard her come out of her room but then stated she was not in the apartment. She then knocked on the door and asked my son to let her in. She said woke up in the hallway and became scared because she didn't know how she got there. She is 8 years old and I remember one day waking up and my front door was open but we all were asleep I assumed it wasn't locked but now we’re not so sure.

Comment from: wandering in Warwick, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

My father and my two older brothers and I all have had sleepwalking problems. My two brothers stopped sleepwalking as adults and I stopped at around 17 yrs old when I trained myself to turn on the light when getting out of bed, and my father as an adult used to sleepwalk during very stressful times at work. After 40 years of not sleepwalking, I started again at 57 years old and for the last three years have been trying to conquer it. I live alone and always awaken from the sleepwalking by falling down. No broken bones yet, but I've had many very hard falls. Last night I fell head first into the side of my cast iron bath tub. Sometimes I am standing still sort of rocking back and forth in one spot and then my legs give out and I go down, frequently with not enough awareness to put my hands out to break my fall. It's at its worst when I'm over tired and when stressed. I also have fibromyalgia, so it's easy to be over tired. I try not to do anything stimulating after 9 pm at night as I tend to sleepwalk to finish chores, like house renovations, if I continue to do them after 9 pm. I do have an appointment with a sleep clinic in two months, we'll see if they can help. I've had and passed a sleep apnea test.

Comment from: Bobby, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

I am a 46 year old male. I sleepwalk frequently. I have walked out of my house a few times. I have racked up balls on a pool table, and the list goes on. Recently on vacation at my brother and sister-in-law's house, I fell down a flight of stairs into their pitch black basement. I woke up while falling, breaking my collar bone, a rib, and dislocating my shoulder. I have been in therapy for weeks. I know I am very lucky to be alive, but I am very worried about future walks. I suggest that the sleepwalker be awakened if someone sees them...It might save a life.

Comment from: HeatherLK, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I am 41 years old and have been sleepwalking regularly for about 10-12 years. I can usually fall asleep for the first hour of the night but then I am up every 30 minutes or I am sleepwalking. Recently I fell on my face so hard, it felt like I broke my nose. I also missed the last 5 steps of my staircase and sprained my shoulder. I've tried all the sleep medications and they don't do anything. I wish there was something that could help because I am so tired during the day.

Comment from: Nicole, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I'm 28 and have been sleepwalking since I can remember. I see things, usually spiders or snakes, and scream and run away. I have hit my partner while sleepwalking, and flung myself off my bed. I can remember part of the experience if my partner tells me about it in the morning. It happens about once a month.

Comment from: daisy1cow, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 11

My 16 year old son used to sleepwalk when he was younger. I have noticed the last few nights he is doing it again. He found his window open one morning and the screen was found out in the middle of the yard. Scary since he is on the second floor. He now has them shut and locked. Last night he woke me up as he was opening my closet door at 3:20am. I asked him what he was doing and he mumbled something and went into the bathroom where he turned the lights on and off twice, ran the water in the sink and went to bed. I smelled something hot and came downstairs and found the oven on at 400 degrees! He is going to hurt himself or burn the house down.

Comment from: sososimple, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

This morning, about 2 a.m., I woke up looking for the brownies I had mixed in a bowl to bake. I wanted to add the three eggs I had cracked up and stirred up for the brownies. I looked everywhere for the brownies with no success. So I put the three eggs in a cakepan and baked them for 5 or ten minutes, then proceeded to taste them with spaghetti sauce on them as a topping. It was then I fully woke up - feeling embarrassed and shocked. I have done this only once before that I know of. The other time involved looking for another person in my house that was injured (and didn't exist). I am in stage four lung cancer and wonder if these events are stress- or fear-related? It is scary to think I turned on the oven, prepared something to bake and baked it. Sounds dangerous to me even though I laugh about it now.

Comment from: Darminicus, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

I started sleepwalking when I enlisted in the military, I was medically discharged because of this, I continue to have episodes and are beginning to get more frequent, what scares me is that others have said that I become violent, esp when they try to lead me back to my bed or wake me up, I have had many tests done, but no closer to resolving the issue. I remember waking up on my floor with a wrist band on and my truck was almost out of gas when I filled it up just before getting home. I am sick of dealing with this.

Comment from: jmlinck, 35-44 Male Published: December 21

My son, who is now 40 years old has experienced sleepwalking, which was witnessed by his wife. My son has sleepwalked since a young child. I am concerned because I thought that was normal for young children.

Comment from: Nona, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 14

I've been a sleepwalker since about 5 years of age, I'm now 53. I can go months, even years between episodes. Stress seems to be the trigger, concern for my elderly dog during the recent cold snap set me off recently. I woke up, lying on the bed, shivering, no duvet, pillows. Downstairs my dog was asleep under a mountain of cushions, towels, pillows and my duvet. This was at least amusing, less amusing was the time I sleep-drove, taking the car out of the garage, driving about 2 miles before returning. How do I know what I did? I delivered a nonsense letter to a friend, the only recognizable bit being my signature.

Comment from: mslili, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I have a seizure disorder since 1991. I was wondering if this can cause sleepwalking. I just started sleepwalking a couple of weeks ago and I'm starting to do it a lot. When I do it I don't remember it the next day. My boyfriend would tell me everything what happened. I would do my sleepwalking around the house and he'd follow me around and watch me where I'd go or do. My sleepwalking most likely happens early morning between 1am-5am.

Comment from: Glenn, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 27

I have been a sleep walker all my life. I am 40 and I still do it. I have cooked entire meals. My concern is, my 3 year old is doing it now. It scares me because I too could have burned the house to the ground.

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