Today we are going to Muse about sleepwalking. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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On the Subject of Sleepwalking
Today, I was talking with a friend and the subject of sleepwalking came up. Many adults walk in their sleep. I am one of them.
Most of my nocturnal adventures have been without consequence.
Years ago my wife woke me because I was sitting on the edge of the bed, scooting up and down the mattress making “brrrrrrrrrr” sounds. She asked, “What in the world are you doing?” Indignantly I replied, “Leave me alone. I’m mowing the lawn”.
Another time my wife woke me or thought she did yelling at me, frightened, “It jumped on me”. At the time we were living in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was beastly hot and the air conditioner for our apartment had broken. We went to sleep with the window open to allow for some air movement. When we opened the window we discovered that there was no screen. At this time a serial rapist was in the news and as I drifted off to sleep she asked something about the rapist. That was the last thing I was thinking about as I fell asleep. So now suddenly “It jumped on me”. I came awake in our young boys’ room walking like a zombie with my arms outstretched, growling. They were screaming looking at “monster Dad”. I must have been trying to get the rapist. It turned out to be a kitten that jumped in through the window, landing on my wife. I found it whimpering, cowering behind a curtain.
I have walked out of a motel room and down the parking lot in my pajamas, asleep. I have come awake in my underwear in the middle of the street down the block from my house. Numerous times I have arisen in my sleep and gotten dressed.
This doesn’t happen all the time, but frequent enough to be aware. Jeanette will often put the alarm on at night so the chime will sound if a door is opened.
As I have said, most of my nocturnal adventures have been without consequence but . . . not all. Some years back I went into the kitchen and prepared a steaming bowl of Cream of Mushroom soup using the microwave while asleep. I carried the soup over to my chair in front of the television and, as I sat, I dropped the soup into my lap. Wowie! That woke my up. I had second degree burns down both thighs, groin to knee. It took weeks to heal.
According to the National Sleep Foundation
Sleepwalking usually involves more than just walking during sleep; it is a series of complex behaviors that are carried out while sleeping, the most obvious of which is walking. Symptoms of sleepwalking disorder range from simply sitting up in bed and looking around, to walking around the room or house, to leaving the house and even driving long distances. It is a common misconception that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. In fact, it can be quite dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker.
The prevalence of sleepwalking in the general population is estimated to be between 1% and 15%. The onset or persistence of sleepwalking in adulthood is common, and is usually not associated with any significant underlying psychiatric or psychological problems. Common triggers for sleepwalking include sleep deprivation, sedative agents (including alcohol), febrile illnesses, and certain medications.
more to come
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