Last year, a 19-year-old girl in Colorado climbed out of bed and started sleepwalking. She walked nine miles (barefoot) before waking up. A few weeks ago, a 66-year-old man in South Wales peddled his bike off a bridge. In his sleep. Neither story surprised me (I sleepwalk, too).
I wish I was one of those sleepwalkers who just wanders around the room, looking confused. No, I have more energy than that.
I’ve filled a kettle and made tea (by reusing the stale water that someone had left in a hot water bottle). I’ve pulled all the sheets off a bed, because I was convinced there were spiders on the pillow. I’ve jumped up and down in the middle of a room, trying to reach the cats that only I could see were stuck to the ceiling.
As a sleepwalker, I have a few suggestions for all of you non-sleepwalkers out there:
*Talk to us—it helps. True, you may have to listen to a story about ceiling cats or pillow spiders, but if you play along, we’ll have a nice chat and then go back to sleep.
*It’s okay to wake us up. Have you heard that you shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker? It’s a myth. I’ve cut my eyebrow walking into a door frame, and got a concussion when I fell backwards onto a wooden floor. Sure, sleepwalkers get confused when you wake them up—but confusion is better than bloodshed.
*Quit looking at us like that. Approximately 13% of kids—and 4% of adults—sometimes sleepwalk. And it makes us feel bad when we wake up and see you staring at us like we’re the Kraken. So put a fake smile on your face. And consider carpeting. Seriously. It took me weeks to recover from that concussion.