On tour in deep sleep – the secret life of sleepwalkers

on tour in deep sleep - the secret life of sleepwalkers

While others are fast asleep, they are often on top form, albeit involuntarily: schlaandler. They go for walks, drive cars, eat, clean, cook and some even become violent – without realizing it.

Around four percent of all adults are active in this way, according to scientists, and among children as young as 10, the figure is as high as more than 13 percent. A dangerous phenomenon. "There is no such thing as the proverbial sleepwalker safety," warns alfred wiater of the german society for sleep research and sleep medicine (dgsm), based in schwalmstadt-treysa in hesse. No wonder so many people in deep sleep make the headlines.

"Sleeping tourist triggers police operation," it read on around 18. January at the german press agency. A newspaper delivery woman had seen a young man at 3 a.M. In the morning.00 a.M. In oberstdorf in the allgau region of germany, a completely frozen irenian was discovered who had locked himself out of his vacation accommodation during his involuntary excursion. And a woman in bremen found a stranger in her house in the morning of july, barefoot and in boxer shorts. A young man had run up to her, the 79-year-old told the police. How he got into the house? No idea. The 25-year-old could only remember watching a movie with his father in the evening. Harmless compared to the experience of the british adventurer david hempleman-adams. In the spring of 2000, he was traveling to the north pole when he tried to get out of the basket of a free balloon while asleep, 1300 meters above the arctic. His luck: he was wearing a seat belt.

According to experts, the typical time for sleepwalking is the transition from the first deep sleep to the first dream sleep phase, i.E. About one to one and a half hours after falling asleep. In the brain, components of wakefulness mix with deep sleep, without the person concerned becoming completely awake, according to the DGSM. Stress and sleep disorders could be causes, sometimes the tendency is also hereditary. "It is interesting that this person sleeps much deeper than he would normally sleep in deep sleep," explains psychologist mitja seibold. That is why it is particularly difficult to wake up a person who is asleep.

The case of a canadian was sensational. In 1987, the then 23-year-old had stabbed his mother-in-law to death and injured her husband with a knife. "However, he was then acquitted of the murder charge in court because sleep physicians were able to prove that he was suffering from somnambulism," says seibold. That’s what a defendant in phoenix, arizona, hoped for twelve years later. He confessed to stabbing his wife 44 times and drowning her in the pool. In a deep sleep. The then 43-year-old was nevertheless convicted of murder, since he had spoken to a witness a few weeks before the crime, about the case of the sleeping canadian, of all things.

Kilian from near munich is also one of the sleepwalkers. This did not happen regularly, but from time to time, the 14-year-old admits. Once he stood in the garden on a full moon night. His parents were awakened by the rattling of the patio door, brought the then four-year-old back into the house and from then on locked everything up. But these excursions do not go so smoothly for all children. In june 2017, for example, a then two-year-old boy in the ostallgau climatic health resort of nesselwang slipped through the front door and marched off. Soon he was standing on the dark street screaming: "mama". When the child was reunited with his mother, it became clear that the toddler had walked 300 meters.

"In children and adolescents, sleepwalking is usually considered a temporary developmental phenomenon," reassures sleep physician wiater. "The fact that during sleepwalking, sensitivity to pain is reduced and self-injury can occur should be a cause for concern."His tip: secure everything, "especially in unfamiliar surroundings". And don’t wake up schlaandler, also because some react aggressive. Instead, he said, they should calm the victim down and escort him back to bed. Psychological help is only to be considered in very exceptional cases.

Kilian has also become calmer in this regard. But he’s not quite finished with his sleeping, as he sometimes finds himself in unusual places in the morning, for example on the floor in front of the window or under his desk. "I realize i’m owling somewhere else when i fell asleep and then i do wonder a little bit," he said. He takes his predisposition with humor, as well as the fact that he likes to laugh and talk while he sleeps.

However, some people are obsessive about their fuel consumption, like robert wood from scotland. Like many of his peers, he was doing everyday things. For the chef, that meant standing at the stove in a deep sleep, four to five times a week, as the british newspaper "the guardian" reported in 2006. His wife observed that he was already frying omelets, cooking spaghetti and firing up the deep fryer. The food looks excellent, the woman is quoted as saying. She still didn’t want to try the cleverly prepared food, though, to be sure.

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