Perhaps, you are part of the 3.6% of the population that suffers from a sleep disorder known as somnambulism or sleep walking?
Well, you're in good company. America's best friend, Jennifer Aniston is a sleep walker too. In 2006, while still wed to actor Brad Pitt she is quoted as saying:
“I sleepwalk. I set off our alarm once. I was outside. The alarm scared the **** out of me and I woke up, and I was out by the pool equipment in the back. I don’t know what I was doing. I heard this yelling because he’s terrified, he hears the alarm and I’m not there!”
Sleep walking is a sleep disorder where there is activity during sleep. This can include moving, talking, dressing, eating etc... The cause of sleepwalking is uncertain but it is clear that there is a genetic link. Sleep walking usually starts in childhood and resurfaces in adulthood during periods of stress or sleep deprivation.
For most sleep walkers their disorder poses no real problem... their symptoms disappear as soon as they catch some Zzzzzzzz. However, there are a few folk who are a real danger to themselves and others. If you find yourself or a family member wondering regularly here are some survival strategies:
1. Get locked up - Lock the doors and hide the keys. Perhaps under someone else's pillow? Ditto for car keys. And credit cards 🙂
2. Make a noise - Fit a bell onto your bedroom door or get some safety alarms fitted so that loved ones are alerted when you are roaming around. Let's hope they don't think you are an intruder. Perhaps you should urge them to swap their firearm for something less lethal like pepper spray.
3. Danger zone - Pools, stairs and busy roads should not to be encountered when sleep walking. Address this with your family and find ways to make these areas out of bounds.
Sleep walking can also be treated with prescription medications and alternative therapies such as relaxation techniques, hypnotism and guided imagery.