Sleepwalking

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Biology 202
1999 First Web Reports
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Sleepwalking

Marion Howard

Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder effecting an estimated 10 percent of all humans at least once in their lives (1). This widespread phenomenon varies in its intensity and frequency. While most sleepwalking incidents are short and not dangerous, some can involve self-injury and are much more dangerous for the sleeper. Also, most interestingly, the disorder seems to stem from many different sources, not from one definable cause such as a chemical imbalance. While it is predominantly pre-adolescents who suffer from somnambulism, it is also observed in adults, although the frequency and severity of incidents increase with age. The source of the disorder was once thought to be entirely psychological and an extension of dreaming. It is now understood to be a complex combination of one or more factors, such as psychological and physiological factors as well as chemical interference (such as alcohol and drug abuse) (3). The source of the sleepwalking behavior varies according to age with the younger sufferers having more physiological problems which they grow out of, while older somnambulists, stress and substance abuse play a larger role.

Somnambulism is most common among children from the ages of 4 to 12 (3). Estimates for the percentage of the population which will sleepwalk at least once in their lifetime range quite a bit. Some sources say that most children will walk in their sleep at least once, with 15% sleepwalking more regularly (3). Others claim that 18% of the population is "prone to sleepwalking" (9). There is consensus, however, on the fact that boys sleepwalk more frequently than girls and that it is between the ages of 11 and 12 that the most cases of sleepwalking are reported (9). The fact that most children grow out of it after puberty and that people who start sleepwalking later in life tend to have the problem for the rest of their lives (9) seems to suggest that there are at least two classes of somnambulism, which may stem from different sources.

Sleepwalking most often occurs at a certain point in the sleep "architecture" (6).This is the point where the sleeper's brain waves have become larger and he or she has moved into deeper sleep. This is not REM sleep, but deep non-REM sleep. The series of complex behaviors characterizing somnambulism includes "amnesia following an episode," and "difficulty in arousing the patient during an episode" (9). The patient can also have other REM disorders or psychiatric and medical disorders which do not account for the sleepwalking. While sleepwalking, the patients' brainwaves show a mixture of types of brainwave patterns, including ones similar to those observed in waking patients, as well as those found in deep sleep. It is the "awake" patterns which match the waking behaviors like walking and talking while the patient is still asleep enough so that he or she is not aware of what it happening and is not forming memories of their actions (3).

The difference between older people's sleepwalking and that of children may be related to the sleep pattern changes a person undergoes as he grows older. Children spend more time in deep sleep (the stage during which sleepwalking is initiated) and as one becomes older, sleep is more fragmented, with more time spent in light sleep. The physiological aspects of sleepwalking probably have more to do with the cause of sleepwalking in children because they spend more time in deep sleep. To support the idea that it is physiological sources that cause the disturbance in their sleep, children undergo physiological changes (puberty) which cause the symptoms to go away without the intervention of drugs or other treatment. This is observable in the significant drop in post-pubescent incidences of sleepwalking. Drug therapies are also effective in stopping the problem for many children, implying that it is a chemical cause for the disorder in many cases involving young patients (5). There is also a genetic tendency for sleepwalking in adolescence which some people inherit and which plays out so that children in a family will often all sleepwalk, or uncles and parents will have sleepwalked in their childhood and outgrown it (3). This is another indication that childhood sleepwalking has less to do with psychological and substance abuse factors than with purely physiological factors.

On the other hand, if a patient begins sleepwalking later in life, he is more likely to have the disorder for the rest of his life (3). Stress and alcohol abuse, among other things, have been shown to contribute to sleepwalking among adults (3). Fatigue also increases the chances of a person sleepwalking because it forces the body to go into deeper sleep, allowing the dysfunctional transition into deep sleep to occur more readily, leading to somnambulism. Far fewer adults sleepwalk than do children, only about only about 1 in 200 (3). Adult sleepwalking is more serious in that it is often more aggressive, and so has more potential for self-injury. Sleepwalkers are not allowed in the armed services of the United States, at least partly because of the threat they pose to themselves and others when they have access to dangerous equipment (such as weapons) and are unaware of what they are doing when they sleep (2). Treatments for adult sleepwalkers often includes psychological treatment as well as relaxation techniques and sometimes requires anti-depressants to regulate the behavior (7). The difference in effective treatment from children to adult implies a different source for the disturbance. A more psychological or substance abuse-related set of causes seem to exist for adults.

Sleepwalking is a serious disorder for some and a mild annoyance for others. However, no matter whether it happens infrequently or often, there is the potential for harm to the person who is walking around without having full use of his brain's decision-making capabilities. The more common "type" of somnambulism, that affecting children, is less intrusive and goes away faster than the kind associated more with adults. This could be because the source is natural and a part of growing up and perhaps a part of the changing nature of the sleep patterns occurring during adolescence. Children grow out of their sleepwalking, but adults who suffer from it have in a way inflicted it on themselves or been influenced by the outside world. They then have to treat this other problem, such as a psychological problem, stress, or a drug habit, in order to get rid of the symptoms.

WWW Sources

1)"Is Sleepwalking Normal for Children?"

2) "Sleepwalking Question." by Carol King.

3)"Night Flying-An Overview of the Parasomnias." By Mark Mahowald and Carlos H. Schenck.

4) "The Sleep Disorders of Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking." By Jennifer Meuller.

5)"Paroxysmal Disorders."

6)"Sleep."

7)"Sleepwalking."

8)"Sleepwalking Disorder."

9)"Sleepwalking (Somnambulism)."

10)"Somnambulism (Sleepwalking): Guidelines for the Primary Care Provider."

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, write in the Sleepwalking Experiences Forum on Serendip)


06/27/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am interested in sleep walking. I did it as a child and have started doing it again. I am 51 years old and find myself in many different places in my home. I often wake up and when I figure out where I am I go back to the bed room and stay there for the rest of the night


07/01/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am 28 years old. I have been sleepwalking for 10 years. I am aware of the situation when i sleepwalk. I just think the situation is real. I have gone looking for people that werent there. I have thought there were bugs everywhere. I have thought there was an earthquake. I will take my alarm clock off the table and put it under it. It makes sense to me as I am doing it. My husband will wake up and tell me that I'm dreaming and I get mad at him and tell him that it is real this time. I'm just wondering if that is normal with sleepwalkers---to remember all that you did. And is there anyway to stop sleepwalking.


07/06/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I have just got recently engaged to a wonderful man.We live together. He is so great to me, however, he has sleptwalked, talked and even fought ME in his sleep.(because I am right next to him) I was awakened in my sleep to him trying to gouge out one of my eyes,he has gotten up in his sleep and turned on the microwave in the kitchen, sat up and talked to me in his sleep, and so on. I am starting to get worried. It is getting to the point that I have to sleep in the daytime while he is at work, if I want to sleep. I read your posting on this site after having looked up sleepwalking in the search engine. Any insights you may have on this would be extremely grateful.

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007

yea so last night i think i was sleep walking. im only 15 years old turning 16 in like two weeks.but last night i came home i little drunk and was really really tired. i layed down and i just kept thinking about getting up and brushing my teeth and washing my face. i fell asleep and this morning i woke up with toothpaste in my hair and on my fingers and on my arm and leg. the only person that couldve done that to me would be my parents and im pretty posative it wasnt them but the bathroom was spotless when i woke up. so it lead me to believe i was sleep walking and tryed to brush my teeth ... James, 13 March 2006

 

 

Hi, my name's Joe and I have just turned 14. I am a really bad sleepwalker, I recently while asleep ran out of my room to the front door, ran outside and tried to jump over the neighbours fence, I know this because my Mum was watching TV and saw the whole thing. This is one of the worse sleepwalks I have ever done and I also sleeptalk alot and many other stuff. I am quite scared that one day I might wake up somewhere I have never been or even worse not wake up at all. And I would like to know if there are any things that can help prevent sleepwalking. Thank you for your time ... Joseph Agius, 24 March 2006

 

 

Hi I don't have a comment but a Question, a freind and I were talking the other day about sleep walking and the subject of not being able to wake a person up that is sleep walking because he said a freind of his had driven a car. I asked why they didn't wake him and he said you are not suppose to wake a sleep walker. My question is is that true and if it is true why is that? ... Les Redding, 8 October 2006

 

 

Hi i am only 11 years of age. I sleep walk probably almost every other night. When i wake up i have no clue what has happened.This morning my mom told me i had slepwalked. That night i went downstairs asked my mom what she was doing(of course i was sleepwalking) she told me she was going to go to sleep,then she asked me what i was doing then i said i was just going to watch T.V.She told me it was 11 o clock and i needed to go to sleep so i yelled "FINE" then went back upstairs. Later at 6:30 when my mom usually wakes me for school she called me then i yelled "morning!" then fell asleep. she noticed i wasnt down a little while later so she called.This time i woke up and went on with my day......Is that normal for a child my age to sleep walk? ... Ruby, 21 November 2006

 

 

I have a son age six who has been sleepwalking and talking scince he could walk and talk,he tries to get out of the windows, doors, and often throws his toys or what ever is in his way across the room cursing at what ever he is dreaming of, this is taking it toal on our family as he does not go one night without waking more than three times a night, he is a very emotional person easily frustrated etc. we are currently waitng on a hospital opt so he can be assesed but in the mean time do you have any advice? ... Leanne Fox, 11 October 2007

 

 

I am alarmed that you say those who begin sleepwalking later in life tend to keep it up. I am 67, and last night fell out of bed on my head. I hurt my arm and have a knot on my head. It hurt like the dickens. This is one of many episodes that I have had in the past 3 or 4 years. I have awakened my husband, telling him the ceiling is on fire, I have crawled over the footboard to "escape", tried to get out of the front door, etc. I am afraid I have some form of strokes. My doctor wants me to go to a sleep clinic. Any opinion? ... Martha Meyer, 18 october 2007

 

 

I'm interested in the subject of sleepwalking because i feel this is influencial in the beginning stages of life as a person. As a fact, we understand they grow out if it. Like if flowing in natural, somewho a stage or natural behavior into growing up. I'm trying to write a childrens book and so i want to be familiar to their way of thinking of learning. Habits that mark their life through adulthood and influence them to the their way of way of think and viewing perspectives. How are paradigms created? ... Juan Adame, 27 October 2007

Comments

Anahi:]'s picture

sleepwalking and sleeptalking

well im 16 years old,
and lately i have been sleepwalking.
i have been to the point where i crash out and wake up to hearing my mom complain about how i was talking smack and stuff to her the night before, n i have been seriously confused at what she says i've done. a few days ago my family told me there was one night where i was walking up and down the stairs in my house, looking around confused and talking casually...now im only a 16 year old girl, living above the influence and i rarely drink so i really do not know if its even normal for any of this to be happening. i don't know what to do, and i really don't want matters to get worst as i grow older. what can i do?

Anonymous's picture

my son

my 8 year old son is sleepwalking at least 3 times in a week
he will get up looking for me he trys to talk to me but his worts will not come out than he will get frustrated he will than cry he will say come on come on come on than he goes
back to his room turns on tv goes back to bett and sleeps
some times he does it 2 times a night any help would be good

Anonymous's picture

peeing while sleepwalking ( angry and embarrassed )

im 37yrs and very relieved to know im not the only 1 who has died of shame and embarrasment though its a small consolation compared to how i feel inside.

drinking is to blame for my sleep misfortunes but it was all very diffrent in my late teens and all thru my 20's when clubbing and music was my love in life, if i had too much to drink then i would throw up (mainly in the toilet)
without causing bad feelings to friends,though i had my moments and we all make mistakes. but as soon as i hit my early 30's and my life became more settled i would binge drink down to just some weekends and thats when my sleepwalking became a major issue.
at 1st i would get home fom the pub ( luckily while i was single) and wet my bed in my sleep..then i eventually sleepwalked to my bedroom door or wall and urinated numerous times( i would know this by the very obvious smelly dark saturated wet patch on the carpet..even though i was shocked and confused nobody had witnessed it due to living alone so i thought 'it was just a phase' stupidly.

it was only when i stayed round my best mates house( 2 sharing) that my sleepwalking progressed to darker events.
we would drink all day on a saturday down the pub (when we were all single )and come back to there house to crash out on the sofa. but on 2 occasions 3 months apart i got up from the sofa and urinated on the living room rug and in the kitchen, i was caught red handed both times and on the 1st time round my mate said what the hell do u think ur doing ? and i replied ' what do u think ' before blaming him for disturbing me !! i kind of knew ' something was wrong' before i went back to sleep as if nothing ever happened.
but my worst nightmare was when i went on holiday and got drunk with my mates(a large group)on lager and half a bottle of whiskey, we were all sharing the same room and eventually passed out on my bed from a good night out at a restaurant... when i woke up i found myself outside on the grass with my quilt which confused me ? so i got back into bed and slept.
when i woke up in the morning everyone was already awake and some were really pissed off with me, so i asked whats happened ? they said i had got up in the night and urinated all over a my friend while 'she' was sleeping !
thats when i could of died right there and then.that was a few yrs ago, since then i have watched my drinking to the best of my ability and there have been no more shamefull episodes to this day but the guilt u can push to the back of ur mind though u can never forget.

Anonymous's picture

Erm yeah, that's actually

Erm yeah, that's actually hilarious dude...no offense but I can see how that would be embarrassing at the same time. If you had done any research when these events were ocurring, you would have discovered that drinking can contribute to sleep walking, ESPECIALLY if you don't go to the bathroom before you go to sleep.

Anonymous's picture

Freaking me out

I thought i was alone on with but Ive read a few in this with the same problem. I never noticed it before but i moved in this my girlfriend and she went ape wen she found me at sat at the bottom on the bed peeing on the floor the other day. i had had a few drinks after work. again it happened last night but she said i tried to open the balcony door. i live three floors up in quiet worried about this as i cant remember anything. I'm in my 20's and don't drink as much as i used to as a student.

Anonymous's picture

Random Sleep walk

Hey i am 15 years old and i never sleep walk regulary and i woke up last night in my closet. I do not remember a thing on how i got there but i remember waking up because my head was slamming against my clost wall. The next morning i had a huge headache and i am still clueless on what happened. halp me

PEGGY's picture

About sleepwalking in the middle of night

Almost every night I did turned off TV and off LIGHTS and off glasses leave on dresser then in the middle of night or early morning, the lights leave on and tv leave on and sometime glasses leave on me so I tried to switch bed from left side to right see what happen because on left side near light switch so switch to right side on bed why it happen like that? every /almost every night why? and how can stop?

Anonymous's picture

Enlisted Sleepwalking

I am currently in basic combat training (boot camp for the rest of you) on Christmas leave and in the first week I began sitting up in my bunk and talking, walking circles around my bunk, somehow managing to unlock my locker and put on deodorent in the latrine, eyes rolling while walking in small circles, etc. I think once I poked at someone else's weapon hanging off of their bunk but that's it. The worst scenarios were in the beginning, the walking around in circles (in other words going nowhere) and sitting up in my bunk talking ocurred later on.
My job does not consist of weapons and I will never see a battlefield. I know this for a fact. I have sleepwalked in my life twice, and I remember every instance of it and that I was merely still in the mindset of the dream I had been having and not thinking clearly. I love the Army and do not want to lose my chance of a career in it. I desperately want a fix for this.
Somehow living in the same room as 59 other females seems to have confused my subconscious. Every noise that I hear makes me think that it's time to wake up, and I remember seeing other females dressing in the dark like me but after a few seconds of staring I realize that they were imaginary. How shocking! When they've told me I'd sleptwalk, I actually do remember them, however vaguely. A couple of them I have no recollection though.
I seem to be improving with the sleepwalking over time, as I adjust to my environment, but I am still scared of losing my job. I've also found that when I sleep with my Bible, it makes me feel more peaceful subconsciously, and I have not heard one sleepwalking or talking in my sleep incidents ocurring.
Please tell me what can be done to help prevent this from ever happening again! Thank you!

Anonymous's picture

im sarah and im 24.

hi, this past week i have sleepwalked 3 times, i never actually leave my room, but 2 nights ago i stood up then got back into bed twice then got on my bed on my hands and knees and started pulling at the sheets, my boyfriend was sat in bed watching a film on the laptop and saw it all....luckily he was awake the three times this week, the other 2 times this week i've just reinacted my day hand movements and just walk about the room, he'll watch me for a while and say 'what are you doing?' which wakes me up ..i remember replying 'nothing' and go back to bed, its quite worrying really cos ive read some things that people do, like climb out of windows and walk down the street, so i now make sure i go to bed with pyjamas on...just in case i walk outside...hopefully i never will. around 10 years ago when i lived at my parents house i walked into my mum and dads room and sat on their bed and my mum was like 'what are u doing?' i said 'i need a wee' and she said 'this is not the bathroom' so i stood up and went to the bathroom and back to bed. i remember that but i dont remember this past weeks events. i talk in my sleep alot and he can have a conversation with me...it doesnt make sense tho, the last one i think was about lollipop ends, lol.

Anonymous's picture

Sleepwalking And Peeing...

I remember when I was young my mom use to get so mad at my
younger bother for not only sleepwalking,but also peeing in her pots and pans cabinet...

This would happen almost nightly with my mom having to wash
every pots and pans in the morning when she got up to make breakfast for us kids...

Its been years after now and Ive talked to my brother about this but he claims he does not remember doing such a thing and gets red in the face and walks away pissed off at me for
reminding him of the past...

I have talked to his wife to see if this is still going on
in there home today, but she to does not want to talk about this either....

I did not mean to hit a soft spot with this subject but Im
one of those people that remembers these stupid things when we were kids...oh well I just thought I would share...

Anonymous's picture

I am also interested in

I am also interested in peeing while sleep walking because my fiance frequently gets up in the middle of the night and pees in random places. He will do it in different spots throughout the room but there tends to be one spot that he does it most often. I will wake up when he gets out of bed, and when I try and wake him he is just completely unresponsive and will act confused. Only one time in particular can I remember, he actually seemed to "snap out of it". I think this was due to the fact that I was particularly insistent on waking him up because he was standing at the edge of the stairs and I was afraid he was going to fall. When I started yelling his name I could just see the awareness light up his face and he came back to bed. He says that he does not remember any of these episodes, apart from that one. He's never gotten hurt from his sleep walking but it is bothersome because we've had to replace different electronics that have gotten ruined. Anybody ever hear of something similar?

Anonymous's picture

Re: I am also interested in

hi, my husband actually has said he has been sleepwalking since a child and a couple times during childhood he has urinated in a closet. Well about 6 months ago he started sleepwalking again, the first time i was pregnant sleeping in bed and he started jumping on the bed and all around me screaming " i have to pee", i was like are you crazy or something, im pregnant and your jumping around like a monkey go to the dam bathroom. And another time he woke up and told me he had to go to the bathroom and walked to the bathroom and then didnt come back so i went looking for him and could not find him anywhere, i was screaming his name and nothing. Then i looked in our daughters bedroom and he was sleeping in her bed. Then it stopped for a couple weeks after that, and then recently it started up again, and he is actually peeing in the same corner everytime. its driving me crazy. Im not getting any sleep either because now the minute he gets up to sleepwalk i wake up and snap him out of it before he does anything. Then a couple times im so out of it i dont wake up and thats when he pees. We are waiting for our insurance to kick in and then im taking him to a doctor cause i can not take this anymore. I have never experienced this in my life, till now.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I sleep walk

I have been a sleep walker for as long as I can remember. As an adult I found for me soda pop makes me sleep walk. I pretty much never sleep walk as long as I don't drink pop. I'm 41 and my boyfriend drinks a ton of pop so I thought I'd give it a try again. Sure enough, after a couple weeks of having just one pop a day I started sleep walking again.
I also sleep with a LOT of night lights. For what ever reason I feel like if I can see what's around me the dream that I was having doesn't turn into my dream reality.

the wonderer's picture

I'm a walker

I have walked in my sleep continually for the past 3 years.I can get changed and go for a swim in my pool or fall and hurt myself.I have broken a glass table and cut myself picking up the pieces. All the time i have no idea what i do. It's only the signs of wet clothes near the bed(i never do this normally) or cut fingers,bruises etc. I have knocked myself out falling on a hot water service while i walked. (my daughter heard the crash and found me) i have no idea how often i walk except for the bumps & briuses. Recently i had a friend stay and they witnessed it first hand. I walked and said i was looking for something. This seems to be a common thread as i've torn up my room looking for something.It concerns both myself and doctor because i may get in my car .The witness said she'd talked to me and i replied normaly, only that i was naked and wondering did they know i was asleep.I accept the fact i do it but possibly more than i know of. I would love to be in a sleep program to see how often i walk and actually what i do.I feel for everyone who has this as i know it can be frightening when you wake up not knowing.

Anonymous's picture

sleepwalking

hi my husband is 34 years old, he has been sleepwalking since a child but for the past year it has been getting alot worse. sometimes he just gets out of bed for a short time and does different things i.e looking for things, grabbing things and the worst is choking. he has never been violent but has shouted at myself recently. i have got 2 young children and i am affraid he is going to be thinking of something whilst sleeping and maybe act this out, he wouldnt mean to hurt them, i am affraid he is going to dream about something horrible and maybe try to do something about it. he can get up about 4 times in half hour and to be honest it is really getting annoying.
please help.

Anonymous's picture

Sleepwalking Adult

I had my first experience with sleepwalking last night. I woke up downstairs on the couch covered with a blanket which I use as a throw. I went to sleep in my bed upstairs at about 8:00 p.m. and woke up at 11:10 p.m. on the downstairs couch. I was confused as to what was going on. My husband says I talk in my sleep occasionally but never had sleepwalked until last night. I am 66 years old. It worries me that I may fall down the stairs and break something. I'm hoping it will never happen again.

Anonymous's picture

Sleep Urinating

I think stress with alcohol tends to be a factor in this. I am 39, and my gf informed me that she found me peeing in the hallway on the closet door...this really freaked me out, she said she yelled at me "what are you doing?", and I replied "shut up dont bother me, I'm wasted". I had been drinking heavily the night of the incident, but I guess this was around 5am. To my knowledge, this has never happened before, at least I've never noticed anything wet. My gf and I have lived together for 3 years, so if it had she surely would of said so. I have been stressed lately to go along with what most people are saying with this happening. I think that I will personally refrain from excess drinking and hopefully that cures the problem.

Jennifer's picture

3:07 AM

So three nights ago, all I remember was "waking up" and I was sitting up in my bed, staring at my clock, wondering why I was up, so I went back to bed. Then the next night, I remember I was sitting up in my bed with my main lights turned on, and my curtains had been closed (which I always leave them open), and I was staring at a clock that said 3:07. That means I would have had to get up, turn on my lights, and close my curtains, then go back to my bed. I didn't remember getting up to turn on my lights or closing my curtains, but I do briefly remember getting up to turn them off, reopen my curtains, and climb back into bed. I don't know how to describe it when I "wake up" because it's not like I'm just waking up from a sleep, it's always that I'm sitting in my bed, and my eyes are open just staring at something. I'm 16 now, but I remember episodes from many years ago where the same thing happened each time. I was just sitting up in my bed staring at my clock and my lights were on. I read a lot of the stories where people will wake up the next morning and not know what happened, but I won't go back to sleep fully, I will just be sitting there.

Crystal's picture

3:07

I used to wake up almost nightly when I was a sophomore and junior in high school at 3:05 am. Some one told me that my biological clock thinks that is morning and it wakes me up. Then years later I was watching the exorocise of emily rose and it said that 3:00 is the withching hour and people who wake up at that time (for no apparent reason)are probably more sensitive to spirts and such!

rab's picture

my sleep walking

hey im 16 and have serious sleep walking and talking issues last night i got up from my bed and went to my dad and his girlfriends room (i remember all of this ) and whisperd on her she replied wat rab i said my "my edad has a fresh towel for you" now i know this isnt anything but it seems to be every night now wat causes it ???? its very bad everynight ill wake up screeming like sum1 is going to kill me ! its scary and im thinking on going to my doctor . i woke up in my mums bed once too .. these are just little things i do . i wake uip screeming basiccly everynight or i wake up and think i can see sumone WIERD i get up n try and hit this wierd out line shouting at him to get out my room and wen my mum or dad see this they cum in and im hitting the air? another thing was i had a dream i went to the toilet this is about half a year ago.. and i dream im having a pee and then next thing im soked ive bloddy wet me bed now am sorry but im getting to old for that lol so any body hoo has encounterd the same PLEASE REPLY TO ME id luv to no i wasnt the only 1 the last issue

cheers

Mike's picture

My Personal Problems, Because You REALLY Want To Know

Well, I'm fourteen and sleepwalk about 4 nights a week... I've probably missed the 11-12 year cutoff which SUCKS because I'll probably have this forever. I've woken up all the way down my street (scary), or playing computer(not too well, obviously), or with all the pictures in my room put on my bed in rows (I really have some issues here). Anyway, I want to propose a theory.,, could it be, instead of too little sleep, too much? Its the summer, and I noticed that if I go to the beach or do something really active I *usually* won't sleepwalk. If not, I'm much more likely to sleepwalk. Am I restless or something? By the way, it seeems that I'm split down the middle for remembering and not remembering what I was doing, so I guess both can happen.

No, I haven't peed on anybody.
Yet.
-Mike, July 30th, 2009

Anonymous's picture

Hehe, i love the stories,

Hehe, i love the stories, about 7 years ago when i was 8 i peed on my mom's boyfriend's face while i was asleep, happy days:D

Dee's picture

sleepwalking

I have been sleepwalking since i was a child. I really realized it when I was 10, I went out one night in the snow in my bare feet and woke up. I am really concerned about it now because I am 57 and I had a incident where I woke up one morning holding my cigarettes to my chest ( I quit smoking 5 years ago so I no longer have to fear starting a fire in my home ). Now I am taking my earrings out at night and I dont know what to expect next. I am seriously thinking of buying a camcorder so I can find out whatelse I may be doing. Sleep disorders seem to run in the family, when my mother was in her 60's she was constantly falling asleep. When my son was 3yrs old he started having night terrors. I would like to find a way to cut down these episodes. Is there anything that will work. I have a problem with medications, when I took Ultram for my muscle pain, it seemed to have triggered something, thats when I woke up with the cigarettes so the only medication I use is Tylenol PM.

Jenn Partin's picture

sleepwalking on meds

If you have been sleepwalking all of your life (like I have) you definitely know by now that ANY medication intended to induce sleep or that induces sleep as a side effect ALWAYS triggers episodes of sleepwalking. My advice to you is to find a work-around for your Ultram. Unfortunately, I have found no instance, in using drugs that inflict sleep in one way or other, that didn't make me have a sleepwalking episode. Alcohol is definitely not a viable substitute and will only enhance sleepwalking. Also being overly tired, sleep deprived, or emotionally destraught. Basicially, my only advice is eat right, sleep enough, and don't take any meds that cause drowsiness.........and if you can do this.........your better than me.

I am 44 years old and seem to be getting worse every year. Mainly because I break every rule I just gave you. My biggest complaint with sleepwalking is the disruption it causes for my spouse. It is a constant source of argument for us. I am active about 3 nights a week, and 3 nights a week, I'm waking him up.....mostly unpleasantly. I have researched and researched and still only come up with the above list that is consistantly recommended. In worst case scenieros......which might be me.......physicians can offer you muscle relaxants like Valium that is supposed to make you not be able to walk about in sleep. Almost like enforced paralysis.

I wish you luck with your sleep problem. I myself am extremely frustrated with mine also. I've done everything from choking my spouse, carring my infant child around, and taking down a light fixture, to emptying my silverware drawer and lining each piece up symetrically along my kitchen counter......for what purpose, I'm unsure. To my knowledge, I've never left my house which is kinda strange to me.

If you are more disciplined than me, stick to the rules. It's supposed to decrease episodes. Good luck!

P's picture

ultram and sleepwalking

My husband has told me that I have begun to sleep walk. I've never done this in my life. It seems that as soon as I started to take Ultram for fibromyalgia pain, that I started to sleep walk. I didn't believe my husband at first, but, he followed me downstairs last night and told me everything I did. I want him to videotape me the next time.

I can't find any evidence (yet) if the Ultram is the cause of this, but, it seems that when I do take it at bedtime, I do sleepwalk.

MAYB's picture

Sleep Walking

At about 4:00 a.m., on July 4, 2009, I remembered leaving the bedroom to use the bathroom.

On my way back I looked in my daughter and asked her why she was sleeping alone instead of letting the other girls sleep with her.

I thought that we were at my mother's house along with my nieces and could not understand why my daughter would be sleeping alone while the other girls had no where to sleep.

After leaving my daughter's bedroom I stopped to look at the furniture in the living room and thought that they looked like the furniture I had in my previous house and made the comment that they were in good condition and went straight to my bedroom, hopped in bed and continue to sleep.

When I woke up later that morning I remembered everything as outlined above only that I thought it all happened at my mother’s house in Jamaica and not at my house in Canada.

About 6 week prior, I remembered that one night I got up and used the bathroom in the visitor's room across the hall. Although I found it very strange the next morning I was not concerned, however, I am very concerned now because it has happened a second time.

I would like to know what could be the cause of this.

Anonymous's picture

I could have seriously hurt myself while sleepwalking

I sleepwalk about once every two to three weeks but I usually get to my bedroom door and I realize what I'm doing (I'm always searching for my door...). It's kind of unusual because I'm not sure if I'm completely asleep because I have some clue of what I'm doing. I also have nightmares almost every night and frequently scream in my sleep. One time while sleepwalking I tripped and kind of hurt myself while looking for my door but I never found this a problem. However, that has all changed as of last night. Last night I was bitten by a spider or something but in my dream I thought I was stung by a scorpion. Right as that happened I jumped out of my bed and was screaming bloody murder. I was screaming as if someone were chasing me and trying to kill me. I remember yelling help, help over and over and running towards my wall and tripping all over my desk and then I threw myself into a mirror that was against my wall. In my mind I was trying to find the door to run away from whatever I was dreaming about. So once slamming against my mirror, it had shattered. I had no clue this happened. I still was screaming and screaming looking for a way out of my room. Finally my roommate barged into my room and had to yell my name multiple times to wake me up. Once waking up I started hyperventilating and still wasn't completely with it. I remebered everything that had happened but didn't know why or what caused me to pretty much lose it. I then got back and my bed and saw blood on my sheets. This is when I realized I slammed into my mirror and broke it. I broke my toenail off, cut up my toe, cut my nose, bruised my forehead, and cut the inside of my upper lip pretty bad. I would have probaly knocked out my front teeth if I hadn't had a retainer in, which acts as a mouth guard. I'm am completely freaked out and scared of what happened. The mirror could have cut my face or anywhere else on my body. I could of severly injured myself and I want to know if there is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?

Serendip Visitor   mike's picture

Sleepwalking and major injury

Hi , i just thought that what i have to say might ring a few bells with someone. I am a 45 year old man and I have suffered from severe depression for a good while now. Together with this I was Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which in my case leads to nightly FLASHBACKS of the trauma i went through. These nightly flashbacks have now led to me sleepwalking. The other night i woke up in my kitchen, by excrusiating pain to my left arm. When i fully awoke i had a 5 inch long 2cm wide 1cm deep cut to my left forearm, and a stanley knife in my right hand. The pain was unreel, and so was the amount of blood in my kitchen. Needless to say i received 17 stitches to my arm, and a lot of awkward questions from medical staff. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN, I HAVE A STRONG FEAR OF KNIVES. I hope this does not happen to you.

jennifer's picture

i am sleepwalking but i can't remeber anything

hello,my name is jennifer i am 10 year old and i want to ask something well, 1 week ago i was riding whit my bike and i falled or strucked whit my bike on a pole (srry i am from belgium) now i start to sleepwalk and i have alot of headaches but my mom brought me to a headdoctor and he said evrything was fine but i can't remeber i sleepwalk s'nights my mom and dad always says i sleepwalk but i am realy worried about this can anyone help me or say what this is ??

Anonymous's picture

sleep peeing, please tell me im not the only one

hey everyone, im female and 24 years old. This morning i woke up, went to get my jacket that sits on top of my dogs cage and it was wet. I was baffled. i had no idea why it was wet. Later on i recalled a dream i had where i got up to go to the bathroom but i dont really remember anything after that and so i realized what i had done. my first reaction was omg im humilated. i didnt want to tell anyone. also later on that day i went to my dirty clothes basket which is in my closet which stays closed and i noticed some of the clothes were wet! i have no memory of going into my closet at night, and then i noticed my calendar was turned to april since its still march i thought that was weird, i asked my dad if he heard me doing anything at night and he said he heard me say something about my calendar being wrong and also me going through my closet. I am a drinker and drink at night to go to sleep so im sure that has something to do with it. Please tell me what i can do, i dont know if i have done this before and i do not want to make a habbit out of it!

Anonymous's picture

I'm 18 years old and I think

I'm 18 years old and I think I had my first sleepwalking experiance last night. I was out having beers with friends and they were weird beers like from czech republic or something and i may have had some illegal tobacco like substance... My boyfriend picked me up and we went home and went to bed. I woke up at 7am the next morning asleep in the spare bedroom, so I went back to my boyfriends bed and asked him why I was asleep in the spare bedroom and he said that I was asleep next to him when he went to sleep. It was freaky as!! This has never happened to me before! Also I had been up since 330am that day so that may have been the reason but not sure... anyone got any ideas why I suddenly decided to sleepwalk?

shannonlebow's picture

Hi my names shannon and im

Hi my names shannon and im 13 years old i dont sleep walk that much any more but last night i did. I usally dont do anything but get up and walk around but one time i did a backflip into my bed when i can barely do one on the trampoline. Another time i was terrified people were trying to kill me. I'm just worried i might accidently hurt myself or someone else. And if you can tell me how to stop it then I'd greatly appriciate it. Thanks

23's picture

Scared to go to sleep

I am a 23 year old female and I still sleep walk quite regularly.
I have always been one to get up and run in a panic while I am sleeping but in the last two years it has escalated to new levels. I smashed through a basement window thinking that I was trapped in the house and when I "came to" I had my head out the window with cuts and scraped on my hands and arms. I smashed the track lighting above my bed which was also very terrifying. I more often than not do things that are more amusing than frightening or dangerous, but I always remember most of it. Last night I woke up with my boyfriend holding me tightly, I was shaking violently and I was really scared. I do not remember anything. He tells me that i jumped up and ran out of our bedroom. When he yelled my name, i turned around and just as I was about to run past him toward the bathroom he grabbed me. He says that I looked terrified. I am so scared that I am doing things that I do not remember and I am even more terrified that I am going to seriously hurt myself or someone around me. I have never been violent before but I dont ever want it to get to that point.

Anonymous's picture

Remember

Hi I'm 14 I sleepwalk occasionaly but when I wake up I remember it completely. While I'm asleep it makes sense but when I wake up...I remember I couldn't go into a room because "the numbers were there". I am always freaked out about something, but other times I only remember waking up in the bathroom in front of a toilet about to vomit...but I never actually do. What is this?

Anonymous's picture

Husband Sleepwalking Urinated

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. Last night my husband sat at the end of the bed, dropped his underwear and urinated on the rug. He sleepwalks, and it can be scary. He doesn't make sense when he talks, does not wake up and is sometimes angry. Drinking and being tired are part of the problem.

Anonymous's picture

husband sleep peeing

i just i mean just woke up to my husband peeing in the closet in my brand new suit case. i was so mad i smacked him cused him and asked about a 100 times how muc he had to drink. i even called his cousin to confirm how muc he drank. Only four beers. he was asleep for about 3 hours and i wake up to him in my closet. Im thinking about taking him to the doctor after all the things ive read tonight. stress, drinking, and they also said serious medical problems could be the cause im taking him to the doctor to be checked out and if i find anything that helps i will let you know.. and if you find anything that helps first please let me know.... hes only 21

Anonymous's picture

No Reason to Sleepwalk

I have been sleepwalking for an estimated 10-11 years now. I am 15 yrs. of age. I've been sleepwalking since I was about 4. I can carry on conversations, walk, almost run, do simple activities, and do pretty much anything I can while awake... The thing is, I do them at 3:00 in the Mornin while I'm asleep. I'm thinkin of puttin a camera up to record my every move while I sleep, so I can know exactly what is up.
Well, anyways. Most Sleepwalking websites say that it is caused by something else, and that a lot of people do it once or twice, but... I do it about 6/7 days of a week..
Reminds me of one time, we went on Vacation... My brother was snoring.. so I got pissed off in my sleep. I jump out of bed, and I scream "OH MY GOD, I'M TIRED OF THIS. I'M GETTIN OUT OF HERE".. and I leave the hotel, and walk around the McDonalds downstairs at like 2 in the morning. Then I come back at around 3-4 in the morning, after scaring the crap out of the McDonalds guys... My parents were sneakin around behind me, following everywhere I went, so I wasn't a threat to anyone... yet.

Ahh... the memories of when I was 7 year old...

Anonymous's picture

remember

Hey, so i am not sure if i am even sleep walking but it has happened a few times now where i wake up and believe i have lost something, i truly think at the time that i am not 'being silly' and i really did lose the thing, even though i don't know exactly what it is.It has gotten so bad that i have thought to myself 'oh god i have to go and wake up my parents to tell them' then i just go back to bed.The other day i wasn't missing an 'object' but a person.
does anybody know what this is? i don't want to wake up my family or friends and act like an idiot?!

Charlene's picture

Hi, I'd like to know if you

Hi,
I'd like to know if you have ever found out about your sleepwalking. I regularly sleepwalk, and it seriously bothers me as i am 26 and a single mother.. I find myself walking around my house searching for my 2 year old, i look in the shower, in the tumble dryer anywhere possible- then after goodness knows how long i wake up and realize that he was/is on the bed that i got up from. i have even woken my sisiter and demanded her to help me look for him, then she calms me down and shows me that he is on my bed next to where i was!! I have also found myself unlocking doors and changing clothes and moving furniture!
The worst is i am aware of every thing i do!!

AM I GOING MAD???

Serendip Visitor's picture

You Are Def. Not alone

Wow I really thought I was the only one who did this til I read about it. I am 22 years old and I literally wake up 1 to 2 times a week either looking for my 3 year old when she is right there or in her room I think my fiance rolled over on her or something or even more bizarre looking for my child I don't have looking under the bed and seriously beleiving they are somewhere and thinking where did they go!!! Finally snap out of it after maybe 5 minutes. A lot of times I also wake up thinking there is something wrong with my daughter that she can't breathe or is choking but is sound asleep. I think it is the fears coming out I always fear of losing her or hear a lot of kdnapping stories and it gets into my head and I also have anxiety I don't know if you do... but I think that it is just my mind racing and worrying all day and also doing it while I am sleeping. I am planning on talking with someone or taking anxiety classes because it is still happening since I was a child just progressing to different fears and doing or saying different things in my sleep And I thought I was crazy especially telling people that don't understand it or go through it think you are crazy it really helps talking with people going through the same things who understand....Chelsey A.

Anonymous's picture

yes i had this 2 months ago.

yes i had this 2 months ago. just after i fell asleep i 'sleptwalked' (but fully remembered) going into my parents room saying i had discovered some password. then i told them i didnt know why i was telling them, and i went back to sleep. im scared because i can remember what happened, and if its not a sleepwalk, was it some sort of mental epsiode???

Bethany's picture

I remember too

I've been sleepwalking for about two to three years now. I only do it about every other month. I don't drink, smoke, or take any drugs or prescriptions. I am 35 years old. I always remember everything that I do and why I do it. It makes sense at the time but not later. I don't think it was a mental breakdown. I'm a teacher, married with three kids. I am not a really stressed out person, either.

Anonymous's picture

Sleep-Urinating

I'm 18, and lately when I have been drinking in excess I too sleep walk and urinate on the floor. When I go to sleep I get into a really really deep sleep and then when I wake up I can smell urine. And sure enough I pee'ed all over my cupboard and on the floor, it is always in the same place and I never have any recollection of doing this. Anyway I did it again last night so I googled it to find an answer. Sorry if my writing and grammer aren't making much sense, still pretty hung-over. But has anyone figured this out? How can I stop doing this? I am moving out of home soon and it would be mighty embarrassing to have the same problem in front of my friends.

Anonymous's picture

urinating in sleep

When I was 10 years old, my little brother (who was 4) came into my room one night and announced, "I'm really sorry I gotta do this!" When he opened my closet door, I knew there was trouble coming. He dropped his pj bottoms, I ran to him before he could pee on my clothes. I yelled "NO! You do that in the bathroom!" It wasn't until later that I learned that he was not only a sleep talker but also a sleep walker! My 4 year old brother wasn't a heavy drinker...unless you count coca cola! (That was nearly 50 years ago)

My suggestion to you is to moderate your drinking. It is the mark of maturity to be able to control yourself. Perhaps I speak for myself, but a drunken man or woman NEVER attracts good people! And I've been around A Long Time!

Good luck!

anonymagoo's picture

Dude, eff off. You do speak

Dude, eff off. You do speak for yourself. Your "advice" is about moderating one's drinking is both pointless and sounds preachy.

Jenn (18)'s picture

my boyfriend sleep walks,

my boyfriend sleep walks, and urinates in odd places. only when he's been drinking. never when he is sober.
Last night we went to a social and had a few drinks. we got home and passed out on the basement couch together. he woke me up when he was getting off the couch. i figured he was heading to the bathroom. he didn't bump into me or anything - he was very careful!
he turned on the television and started up the xbox360. i thought, jeez, must be morning. siigh.
i fell back to sleep and woke up to a water splashing sound. and there he was standing butt naked near the television and beer fridge, pissing on the carpet.
i thought he was awake and purhaps really drunk and stupid. i yelled, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! he told me "f*ck off, get outta here. im trying to pee" i yelled back, STOP LOOK WHERE YOU'RE PEEING!!! ... OMG YOU'RE SLEEPING, WAKE UP STOP PEEING.

he woke up, hadno idea what he was doing. and just ran up to the bathroom to finish and get some cleaning supplies. he doesn't remember dreaming anything, or even getting up and turning the electronics on.

after reading alot of these threads, i see that it's common in adults who have had alcohol. maybe a solution would be to not drink, or to only have two or three drinks over the course of the evening. it may not be as much fun as getting drunk with your buddies, but it's a hell of a lot more fun than cleaning up piss.

I Want Some Help's picture

Please Help Me! Sleepwalking... Peeing on the floor...

Hi, if anyone could e-mail me any info on support groups or something like that in the Orange County, CA area... please do!!!!

My fiance is working 2 hours away in the mountains and I work down here by the beach so I can only travel up to see every other week for a couple days at a time. It's been kind of depressing lately because I have a lot of nightmares about myself cheating or him cheating.

My Step-Dad had a heart attack last night, so I went out with my friend to have a few beers. I had four beers (which is way less than I normally would drink on a night out).

Last night, I slept walk in my room and even opened my window. I woke up this morning to two spots of pee on my floor. I did it TWICE! I vaguely remember peeing on the floor, but I thought it was a dream.

Anyway... I have been very depressed (and stressed about money lately). I have been wanting to cry ever since I woke up this morning, but I don't want to let myself. I don't want to tell my fiance what happened because I don't want to scare him.

Thank you.

-Embarassed

Anonymous's picture

my problem

i sleep walk and have bad dreams. i wake up on the toilet or sitting in the bath tub. i eat weird things like, raw eggs and batter. im so depressed. i eat.

Anonymous's picture

sooooo

I slept walk and went down the block. And onetime I ate my dogs dog food..

kizz's picture

sleep walking

hi iam a 26 year old mother of 2 and wife.
its never really bothered me before
my parents say that when i was little i used to sleep walk out the front door and down the street with cat on the lead and the 2 dogs walking luckyly everyone knew me and my family well in the couldesac that we lived in and took me home.
this never bothered me as ive grown upi and was only 4at the time.
but i went to bed as normal on the 14/10/08 at round midnite ish and went asleep my youngest son who is 2 wakes up during the nite at times as he did this morning at around 01:20 ish so i thought i woke up and went to see to him and i remember screaming my head off at him really loadly which is very unlike me and then walked out of his room still screaming at him which was obviosly upsetting him and as i walked back into my room to bed i suddenly woke up seeing the clock saying 01:35 ish not to sure on time with son crying following me so i put him in my bed and broke out crying realising that i just slept walked and scared him and myself now scared to sleep through thinking i may do it again am really worried this is not usually like me at alland worse thing is i remember majority of what happened please help if you can
........

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