Student Sleepwalking

Magnus Swanson, Reporter

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Have you ever sleepwalked?

Nearly one in three Americans may experience sleepwalking during their lives. Sleepwalking is the act of getting up and walking while asleep. One may appear to be partially awake and partially asleep while sleepwalking. Sleepwalkers also appear to have open eyes although they look glazed, according to the Huffington Post.

“One time I woke up and started taking a shower.” said Ryan Haak, sophomore. “I don’t remember it but my mom told me, and apparently it was 3 in the morning.”

While sleepwalking, a person can do complex tasks because there is a lot of brain activity like when the person is awake. In this case, the brain activity looks like the person is sleeping, but they can still do a complex task such as showering.

“I sleep walk a few times a month,” said Michael Ryan, sophomore. “One time I was sleeping downstairs watching T.V, and I walked over to the refrigerator while talking to myself, and I don’t remember any of it.”

In fact nearly 8.4 million Americans sleepwalk regularly, according to CBS News.

So what causes sleepwalking? One reason is that around 80% of sleepwalkers sleepwalk due to their family heritage. So if one of your parents or siblings have sleepwalked, you have an extremely high chance of sleepwalking, too. Insufficient sleep can also induce sleepwalking, according to healthcentral.com.

People can also sleepwalk while lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is where you are aware that you are dreaming. In a lucid dream, you will be able to control what you are doing and realize that you are actually dreaming.

“I was 4 years old and had a lucid dream that somebody was breaking into our house,” Said Ms. Brittni Westaby, health teacher. “So I slept walked downstairs to grab the key to lock them out, and I woke up actually holding the key.”

If you encounter someone sleepwalking, here are some suggestions. Do not wake up a sleepwalker, rather guide them. They can become very agitated and may not react in a good way, however this is not common within the majority of sleepwalkers. People who wake up from sleepwalking are often confused, disoriented, and scared, so be thoughtful once the person actually does wake. Explain to the person: “You’ve been sleepwalking.”

“One time I was sleepwalking, and my mom tried to wake me up, and I pushed her,” said Mason Freund, junior. “I don’t remember any of it.”