Do you know what that is without Googling it? Well, my life likely holds few distinctions but I actually HAVE somnambulism. I’m a sleepwalker.
Actually, I sleep strangely in general. I have nightmares at least several times per week, night terrors, night paralysis, I talk in my sleep – don’t ever call me on the phone when I might be sleeping as I will certainly have a conversation with you, only it will be about odd things that make no sense like blue cows and the number 486.
My Mother caught me trying to get out the front door when I was three years old. I was sound asleep. Since then she has had to gently lead me back to bed all through my childhood and even into my teen years. Doctor after doctor told us that I would outgrow it but… that hasn’t happened yet. I’m 35 now and I still sleepwalk.
How do I know?
Oddly, I have a strange “aura” the morning after I’ve been up and about in my sleep. So, I go and look around to find the tell-tale signs and I normally do: all my lotion bottles taken from the bathroom and lined up on the mantle in the living room, four dining room chairs lined in front of the door, food on the kitchen counter, etc. And sometimes I know I’ve been up and about because I’m somewhere besides where I went to sleep. I’ve awakened in front of the refrigerator, in the shower (with it on), and – scariest of all, I think – in a downstairs closet with the door closed and locked, curled up in the corner behind some boxes (this happened many years ago when I lived in TN.) I also once pulled a sink off the wall and had no idea until I was awakened and told what I had done (normally, I would NOT have the strength to rip a sink off a wall and wouldn’t anyway!)
This is all bad enough, yes, but the absolute scariest bits for me are the terrors at night: those times when I have a nightmare and try to wake myself up and can’t move my voice or my body. Unlike sleepwalking when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, I’m keenly aware of things when I have night terrors.
And that’s what brought this issue to my mind at this particular time. Yesterday I fell asleep when I got home from work. I got too hot and began to have a terrible dream and finally woke up sobbing uncontrollably. This happens more than sometimes. When this happens, I’m not only scared from waking up in such a manner, but I’m upset to a point I can’t even explain. It is like the worst part of everything that has ever collected in my subconscious coming to the forefront of my mind and it is such a feeling that I can’t explain it or get away from it.
So, I do sleep very oddly, to say the least. I keep hoping to outgrow it but… is there still hope for that?
And for those who will say that it is dangerous… well, yes, I mean… I know that. But, I also know nothing to do about it.
So, there’s your word for the day: somnambulism.
I just hope it won’t be my word for the night.
Incidentally, not all of it is negative. I have amazing ideas while I’m sleeping and am very good at making mental lists of things I need to do the next day while I sleep and… get this… remembering them! And, when the big earthquake hit Illinois in 2008, I had a dream of an earthquake, woke up, looked at the clock and it was 4:38 a.m. I told my Mom the next morning that there had been a bad earthquake and, sure enough, the IL one had happened at 4:37 a.m. So, some of it is pretty neat but a lot of it is definitely not.