Saturday, December 2, 2017

Little niggle

Something is niggling at me and I don't know if I should worry about it or not.  I'm not a born worrier, it's my nature to not sweat the small stuff.  And I don't see any point in thinking about something too much if there's no solution to be found.  

I know I've always talked in my sleep.  I think it was at its worst when I was a teenager.  If my younger sister wanted to find out anything that I would not tell her about, she would wait until I was asleep, then ask me.  And I'd spill the beans.  I can remember having stern words with myself to NOT tell her,  to keep my secrets to myself, that which boy I liked was none of her business, to not give her ammunition to tease me.  

To this day I sometimes wake myself from a good sleep when I hear someone talking and I wake up to find out who it is.   Sometimes it is a shout that disturbs me.  I go straight back to sleep when I discover it is just me. 

One of my younger brothers not only talked up a storm in his sleep but also walked (and on one occasion went outside and rode his bike down the street) in his sleep.   I don't think I experienced sleep walking until I was a very sleep deprived mother of two and woke one morning to discover that the bottle I'd prepared for the baby the night before wasn't in the fridge.   It was empty in the baby's cot and I never just left it with her in the cot, I always picked her up to feed her.  My husband was at work on night shift and if it was the good fairy who had let me sleep that night, she never made a return appearance.   The other possibility was that her barely two year old brother had taken it and given it to her but there's no way that child would have accepted cold milk.  So it had to have been me. 

All my children talked in their sleep and the youngest, for a few years, also walked around the house quite often.  The sliding door that lead outside was very heavy and noisy and I remember the panic the night we heard it open and found her wandering up the path.  On one occasion we found her standing under a cold shower in her winter pajamas!  

So my situation is not really serious!   I'm just more puzzled as to why, now, in my 70s I should suddenly start sleep walking.  I'm not sleep deprived, far from it, very few people sleep as well as I do.  I don't have any ill health, there has been no change to my medications.  Trouble is, I don't know how often I do it.  I've only caught myself out twice.  One night last week I can remember dreaming my daughter was coming to visit, that she had  sent me a text saying she would arrive shortly after midnight and that I got up and put on a light on the front porch and unlocked the front door for her.   The next morning I was puzzled when she wasn't in the spare bedroom and checked my phone to re-read her text message.  I shrugged and realized it had been part of a dream but was startled when I found the porch light on and the door unlocked.  

On the other occasion I woke up to find myself sitting in the dark in the lounge room at 2 am with my glasses on and a book in my lap.  I had no idea why I was there and I was shivering with the cold.  My nightgown was on the floor beside my bed.  What the hell had I been doing and why?  

I know I should not have gone near Dr Google.  If I were a man I'd be really worried as I read that middle-aged men who physically act out their dreams while asleep are five time more likely to develop dementia.  No, even that wouldn't apply to me as I'm past what is commonly known as middle age.  And anyway, the link is not as strong in women.

Image result for cartoon sleep walking

9 comments:

  1. Have you thought about doing something to your environment that might wake you if you get out of bed? Some kind of bell over the door to ring if you open it, perhaps. There might also be some kind of alarm system you can set up, maybe ask your doctor.

    Sleepwalking itself usually does no harm, but people can get hurt doing it, so something that would wake you if you got out of bed or opened a door may be needed.

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    1. Thanks. Good idea. I will give that some thought.

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  2. I just cannot imagine what you feel like after finding that you have did all this stuff in your sleep.

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    1. Strangely, I've just felt puzzled. And sheepishly take myself back to bed as if I've been caught doing something naughty. Not that there has been anyone else around to see.

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  3. Perhaps something is worrying you...I am of no help, really, as I know little about either. Maybe you could talk with your doctor about it. Take care...and stay away from stairs!!

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    1. Hi Lee, Yes, I've given thanks that there are no stairs in the house and only three steps outside. Not that I've ventured outside in my sleep. I have a doctors appt next week, will see what he has to say.

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  4. How strange that it seems to run in your family? Can't recall ever hearing about that before. But then I haven't really had any reason to look into it. Never had any indication myself that I walk in my sleep. If I've been up in the night I usually remember. (Or else I'm very clever at hiding my tracks.) Back in my youth I had a friend who did talk and walk in her sleep, though. I know because on a few occasions I shared rooms or a tent with her. The strongest memory is from when we went camping just the two of us, one night, and in the middle of the night she sat up, eyes open and looking at me, but saying very strange things, and then she was trying to get out of the tent. I didn't know what to do, as I'd heard one shouldn't try to wake sleepwalkers up. On the other hand, I couldn't really let her just wander off out in the night on a strange camping site that neither of us had been to before... So I had to wake her and make sure she seemed to be "herself" again before we dared to go back to sleep. (She was still there the next morning. Phew. And we're still in touch on FB some 40 years later. Whether she still talks or walks in her sleep, I don't know. But she's obviously survived, anyway.)

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    1. I agree, it is sort of weird. The family history of sleep walking probably helps me accept it without worrying too much about it. I've never known anyone come to any harm while doing it. The thing that does puzzles me is why is it starting with me now.

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  5. Maybe you just get into such a deep sleep that part of your subconscious takes over. I've never experienced it so can't be more helpful sorry.

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