The Science behind sleepwalking

My parents saw me sleepwalking for the first time when I was around 9 years old, and according to them, I had gotten up to make my baby sister a bottle. I didn’t sleepwalk every night, but the nights I did my dad would be the one to notice. Although he saw me sleepwalking he never once tried to wake me up. Sleepwalking can happen maybe only once to a person, and sometimes sleepwalking can be a small walk out of bed and then back to bed. Sometimes I have no memory of wandering around the night before, but other times I can vaguely remember maybe standing up.wdf

Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is actually a lot more common in adults than people may think. The majority of the time sleepwalkers will not remember what they did while they were wandering in the night.┬áThere are two big stages of our sleeping cycle, Non-REM and REM sleep. Often, the walking in your sleep happens once you’re in your Non-REM sleep, mostly because your brain is deep in work and won’t get awaken. While your mind is resting, your body is able to perform activities such as talking, walking, eating, etc.

Once, on a family trip in Las Vegas, according to my dad, I was sleepwalking and walked out of my hotel room. He didn’t realize I had actually left until about half an hour later I knocked on the door ( still asleep) and just walked back to my bed. Scientist don’t have a cut-clear explanation for we some of us sleepwalk. However, some say that sleepwalking might be the brain trying to go from Non-REM to the stage of walking up, meaning it would be skipping your REM sleep as well as other stages.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-science-of-sleepwalking-97626685/?no-ist

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308305.php

http://www.healthguidance.org/hgimages/15592Sleepwalking.jpg

7 thoughts on “The Science behind sleepwalking

  1. Anna Strahle

    I have been known to sleep walk throughout the years. I have never done something as crazy as walk out of my own house in the middle of the night (my friend woke up in the middle of her front yard), but there was one time where I was so nervous for a test that I “slept studied”. I knocked on my parents’ door in the middle of the night and woke up my dad. He followed me back to my room and sat there as I read him the definition of hypothesis. He told me to go back to sleep, and in the morning I had no recollection of what had happened. I looked into why this may have happened, and an article explained that sleepwalking usually happens when a person is sleep deprived. I had been up late nights studying for my many tests that week which compares with that justification.
    https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking

  2. Alyssa Marie Frey

    Sleep walking is so strange, especially because the person can seem totally awake with their eyes open and everything! I’ve had many experiences with people I know sleep walking, however it can be very dangerous. A friend of mine had to get a security alarm system in her house just because her brother left in the middle of the night and walked around the neighborhood! I was wondering if it really is dangerous to wake a sleep walker, and I found this http://mentalfloss.com/article/49053/why-arent-you-supposed-wake-sleepwalker which says it will not actually harm them. However, they may be very agitated or lash out in an unfriendly manner.

  3. Hannah Gluck

    Ive watched my younger sister sleep walk a few times so I can say how strange it is. At first I didnt realize what she was doing and then my mom pointed it out. She didnt say anything she just walked in a bunch of circles around my house until she just went right back to bed. Very strange. I have also been told never to wake up a sleepwalker because it is dangerous. This article got me thinking so I went ahead and researched a little to see why people say that. I found this article that actually says it is a myth. Although it can startle them and cause them a bit of confusion there has never really been harm done in this act. Overall I think this is a really interesting post and I would definitely want to know more about this very strange act.

  4. dhc5097

    This is very interesting to me. I personally have never been one to sleep walk but I have heard stories of people sleeping walking and performing every day tasks and then not remember it at all when they wake up. I wonder why this occurs to some people but not all.

  5. Allison Maria Magee

    Wow. That’s crazy! I’ve heard stories of sleepwalkers but I think that’s so interesting how you walked to perform a task and walked out of the hotel room. I don’t sleep walk but I do move around a lot in my sleep. When I was nine and on vacation, I was sharing a king sized bed with my grandmom and she told me I rolled onto her side of the bed. When she got up to move to my side to sleep, she says I rolled right back over. I find it so interesting that some people move a lot in their sleep while other’s don’t at all. I wonder why this is?

  6. Evan Michael Wentzel

    My sister is also a fairly common sleepwalker, and first time I saw her doing it I was kind of freaked out, I thought she was faking it to get attention (which she does quite often). It’s interesting how there are multiple levels of sleep, and how people behave differently in each level. I never realized until reading your post that scientists think sleepwalking comes from your brain attempting to skip a level of sleep, this is interesting to consider that your brain sort of “glitches” and causes you to be partially awake.

  7. Victor William Gregory

    This is interesting. My brother-in-law is a serious sleep walker. Any time he sleeps in a new place, or has been away for a long period of time, he sleep walks. He has made sandwiches, attempted to play a video game, and he has even tried to climb out a window (on the first floor). I know that when i was young, I would occasionally sleep walk but I have grown out of it. I wonder why certain people grown out of it, while others develop it as they get older. Maybe this is affected by the way we were raised?

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