Finding the Humor in Sleepwalking
I was watching Step Brothers the other day and got inspired to write about sleepwalking. Sleepwalking is often portrayed in movies and TV shows as a hilarious phenomenon that is completely exaggerated and unrealistic. In actuality, sleepwalkers can find themselves in dangerous situations when they are not monitored closely by a roommate or family member. While it is true that sleepwalking is more common in children than adults, many adults still experience sleepwalking episodes well into their senior years.
So, what causes sleepwalking exactly? Officially, sleepwalking is a sleep disorder called parasomnia. It is closely linked to night terrors which can happen in tandem with sleep walking, making this a miserable experience for parents especially. A person that is sleep walking is neither fully awake nor fully asleep but somewhere in the middle. Sleepwalking normally occurs in stage III of the sleep cycle before the REM phase takes effect. Sleepwalkers usually display an incoherent, blank look in their eyes and are unintelligible when speaking but can engage in physical activities like running, moving objects, using the restroom, and even using a motorized vehicle. The period of sleepwalking usually does not last very long, averaging about ten minutes but may range from several seconds to thirty minutes. In almost all cases, the sleepwalker does not remember their sleepwalking episode and normally learn about it through their family members.
Previously, we published an article on Funny Sleep Deprivation Stories, which you should totally check out. While sleepwalking is a serious affair and many must take extra precautions before they go to bed, several enjoy sharing their stories through humor. Thanks to the folks over at Sleepwalkers of Reddit, we have a plethora of amazing sleepwalking stories to share!
Kick Him While He’s Down
Epicfacepaint12’s half-brother had a skiing accident and tore his ACL, obviously knocking him out of the rest of the outdoor vacation activities. While the half-brother lay sleeping soundly, the author began to sleepwalk and “cannonballed onto him” resulting in the half-brother waking up with a terrifying scream since his half-sibling had inadvertently targeted his injured leg. Best of all, Epicfacepaint12 slept through the entirety of the incident and even brought ice from the freezer before returning to bed. If it were me, I would have a hard time speaking to my relative after that kind of a wakeup call.
Amphibology29 wrote about an incident in her newlywed days when her husband suddenly quit taking his prescription medication. She awoke to a strange noise coming from the bathroom and decided to investigate. All the l lights were off, and her husband was inside continuing to make some curious rattling sounds. She opened the door where she incredulously witnessed the shower curtain being ripped down and the window blinds being taken apart. When asked what in the world was going on, her husband responded that he needed the materials, “Because this is what Ninja Turtles are made from.” I, for one, believe that she chose an excellent husband.
Doppelgänger at Dusk
Forty-eight-year-old MadLintElf recounted a night where he, “Woke up in the middle of the night, no lights just the full moon. I apparently was standing in front of the mirror but didn’t realize it. Saw my reflection and went into defensive mode, as I tried to punch the person in front of me, I quickly realized it was me.” I wonder if he broke the glass? It must have been quite the shock when his fist connected with glass instead of a person.
Loldemort7 describes the time his cousin and uncle were working on the roof together. His younger cousin was inside the house taking a nap. The younger cousin began to sleepwalk and climbed out onto the roof where his brother and father were working. The two startled workers asked what he was doing, and instead of answering, the younger cousin, “jumped off the roof (two stories) and landed on the roof of the family car. Then he ran around the car, screaming at the top of his lungs that monsters were chasing him.” If he can sleep through jumping off the roof, then I’m pretty sure nothing can wake this guy up.
I was happy to read these stories and find that people can find humor in a potentially life-altering sleep condition. Thankfully many people grow out of sleepwalking by the time they reach adulthood but not everyone. About 4% of adults still experience sleepwalking episodes. If you suddenly experience a bout of sleepwalking then you might consider if you are experiencing any of the following: sleep deprivation, medications with sedatives, alcohol consumption in the evenings, fever, stress, or restless leg syndrome. All the aforementioned factors can play a key role in sudden episodes of sleepwalking. Be sure to address the situation and don’t just “sleep on it.” Until next time sleepyheads!