Mumbling, snoring, tossing, turning and even talking are some of things that most people do during the night, but a stranger issue affecting us is somnambulism, or sleep walking to you and me.
Did you know that 30% of Americans have experienced some kind of sleep walking?, debunking the myth that it is a rare occurrence.
But what is sleep walking? And how is it caused?
Basically, when we go to sleep our brains fall into a mode known as our ‘sleep centre’. This ensures that our bodies make no sudden movements by blocking the part of the brain that usually would be in control.
However, the cohesion between the body and the ‘sleep centre’ can sometimes break off, meaning although the mind is asleep, the body is still wide awake, thus, resulting in the disorder.
Before making a diagnosis, it’s best to know what actually causes it.
- Genetics-it is considered that sleep walking is an inherited disorder, as those who have a parent who suffers from it are 10 times more likely to develop the disorder themselves.
- Your health or any conditions you have can make you prone to sleepwalking. Asthma, arrhythmia or mental conditions like panic attacks, stress or a personality disorder have all been found to have a negative effect.
Sleep walking can be a very dangerous disorder which can have devastating consequences. Here are some ways to combat it or deal with it more efficiently.
- Try tying a bell to the sleepwalkers’ bedroom door means that others can be alerted if they move in the night.
- Don’t go to sleep with a full bladder. This is more likely to make a sleepwalker wake in the night.
- Consult your doctor. There is medication out there to help with sleep walking so book an appointment
It will come as no surprise that there have been some pretty unbelievable instances of sleep walking through time. Here are a couple of the most memorable stories.
Teenager walks…….from bedroom window!
Rachel Ward, an 18 year old A level student living in West Sussex decided to go to bed after a long art exam at 9:30pm.
After a few hours of slumber, Rachel, in sleepwalking state got out of bed, pulled on a jumper and stepped out of her 1st floor window and jumped 25ft below. Unbelievably, she did this without breaking a single bone and only really came round from her sleep trance the following day.
Artist comes alive at night
Lee Hadwin, nurse by day, artist by night. The amazing thing about Lee’s drawing exploits is that he is completely asleep when he creates these pieces, and has no recollection of them the following day.
After years of sleepwalking, Lee decided to leave pencils and paper lying around in the hope that he would make something creative; the results are amazing. Check them out here.
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