Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder (called a parasomnia) that can be caused by sleep deprivation, stress, and genetics. It starts during deep sleep and usually involves walking around while the person is mostly asleep. Although the term is “sleepwalking” there are some people who can perform other complex tasks while in this state. Here’s a list of things that people have been caught doing when sleepwalking, other than walking.
While most people who sleepwalk tend to stay in their homes, there are a few who have been known to drive and get very far doing it. No one knows how common it is, how they are able to successfully navigate the roads, and how many road accidents are caused by this, but there have been a few reported cases. In 2012, Becky Mason from the United Kingdom was enjoying a night in with a friend before going to bed. She somehow drove 5 miles to her office, still wearing her pajamas when the confused security guard told her that it was the weekend. While driving home, she crashed her vehicle into a lamppost. She was arrested for drunk driving but was acquitted when the defense proved that she suffered from sleepwalking.
2. Talking (Too Much)
Everyone will talk in their sleep at some point, and it usually has the same underlying causes as sleepwalking. Unlike sleepwalking, this condition is more of an embarrassment rather than cause serious harm and unlike the movies, people don’t tend to share the deepest darkest secrets, until one case in 2001. The Massachusetts Supreme Court overturned a conviction of attack founded by a jury after hearing one of the person’s children reveal what happened in his sleep. Still, most people who sleepwalk are more likely to swear, rather than share their bad deeds.
3. Commit Robbery
In 2007, 36-year-old Maria Hudson fell asleep while watching television then proceeded to put on her kitchen gloves and some pants over her head. She then walked 10 minutes to a convenience store where she shouted, “Hand over your money!” while pulling out a 12-inch kitchen knife. She woke up a few minutes later to two police officers pinning her to the floor and no recollection of what just occurred. The shop owner was cut during the event but nothing he couldn’t recover from. It turns out that she’d been watching Sleepers with Brad Pitt just before she fell asleep. She was cleared of all charges and is still seeing a medical expert.
Often times watching shows where people sleepwalk to the kitchen and eat everything in sight, its hard to believe that it could happen, but there are quite a few people with sleep-related eating disorders. These people usually have a very healthy relationship with food when they’re awake but when they’re asleep, they tend to eat foods that they would never willingly eat. While some may stick to a sandwich or two, other will have a five-course meal and then dessert. It can have serious effects, the most obvious of which is weight gain.
5. Get Creative
Many people believe that most of our creative thinking takes place when we sleep, and a girl proved that fact in 2015. Her family who was well aware of her sleepwalking decided to film her playing the piano while she slept. Not only was she able to play one of her favorite songs, but she did so while snoring and resting her head against the piano. Lee Hadwin began to sell paintings that he created while he slept. He sold his work to many people including former president Donald Trump.
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