What’s in the news? Parasomnia. Where people walk, talk, eat and even drive while they think they’re sound asleep.
According to ABC News, sleepwalking is the most well-known form of parasomnia – a disorder where you’re not fully awake, and can’t remember anything you did, which can lead to bizarre and even life-threatening behavior. Contributing factors include certain medications - like sleeping pills – stress, and sleep deprivation.
Experts say that most sleepwalkers never walk any farther than the next room, but going outside and driving can happen. Take the case of New Hampshire resident Ellen Vicenti. She took a new prescription med before bed and woke up in her car in a swamp 15 miles from home.
Another form of parasomnia is sleep talking. One London man became an Internet star after his wife posted videos online of him sleep talking about vampire penguins and zombie guinea pigs.
Another type of parasomnia is sleep eating, where people wake up beside an empty can of frosting, with no idea how it got there. Sleep eating is usually caused by medication – like the sleep aid Ambien, or antidepressants like Prozac.
Finally, there’s sleep texting. It’s most common among tech-crazed, sleep-deprived kids who can’t put down their gadgets and end up sending odd messages when they’re half-asleep.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you may want to see a sleep specialist. Try SleepCenters.org.