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A frightful story...do you, or someone you know, sleepwalk?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Last Saturday I went to a batchelorette party. I left at 6 pm, and was toying with the idea of spending the night at the girl's house, depending on how much I had to drink, so I wouldn't have to drive home. We rented a party bus, so that part of the driving wasn't a problem. Anyway, the party itself wasn't much fun. In fact, I would have left early, had it not been that I was stuck on the bus. So, I didn't drink much, and decided to go home after.
I walked into the house at 2:30am, a few of the pets met me at the door, and were really agitated. I thought they were just excited. I smelled a weird smell. I couldn't figure out what it was, until I got to the kitchen. GAS. I was like what the heck? I walked over to the stove, and one of the burners was on, no flame, but leaking gas into the house! I freaked! I shut off the burner, and ran into the bedroom and shook my boyfriend to make sure he was ok, who woke up (thank God) disoriented. I said "you left the gas on on the stove!" He said "huh, no I didn't!" I said "get up, the whole house smells like gas!" and ran out of the bedroom, and opened every window and turned on all the fans. He was cooking at 6 when I left. I asked him "did you leave the burner on for almost 7 hours?" He said no way. He said he remembers looking at the stove clock at 2am wondering where I was, and went back to bed. He figures he must have turned it on then, while sleepwalking. I don't know, can only 1/2 hour reek up the house like that? And it's a safety burner, that you have to press down and then turn, so I know it wasn't one of the cats accidentally bumping it.
The thoughts going through my head...If I'd stayed overnight like I had thought I might. He, and all our pets, and maybe even the upstairs people, if the gas leaked upstairs or the house blew up, would be dead. If I hadn't come home. IfIhadn'tcomehomeifIhandn'tcomehomeifIhadn'tcomehome.....
Imagine, along with what else I would feel, the GUILT I would have if I decided to stay overnight because I was TOO DRUNK while almost everything I love in this world died!? I thank God every time I think of it, that he gave me sense enough to come home.
So, you see, my boyfriend sleepwalks. NEVER before has it been anything serious. He usually gets up and eats or drinks something, and comes back to bed, with little or no recollection of doing it the next day. He will talk to me and not remember it. He has opened cans of mandarin oranges, drank all the juice out of it, and put the can back. Or opens new milks, when there's already one open, and drinks from it, and puts it back, with the ring on the shelf next to it. Once, he cracked an egg on the kitchen table, left it there, and went back to bed. There are certain nights where he thrashes around a lot, but I chalk that up to too much sugar before bed. He has a thing for fruit snacks. I dated an insomniac once, who had weird dreams and sleepwalked while on Ambien for the insomnia. He once ate an entire jar of pickles in his sleep, and woke up on the kitchen floor next to the empty jar the next morning. And one time, he woke up yelling that things were crawling on him. My boyfriend doesn't drink alcohol at all, or take sleep aids or anything. Occasionally, he just sleepwalks and does weird stuff.
Does anyone else suffer from this, or know anyone who does? What's your story, and how do you deal with it?
Oh, and the stove knobs now reside in a different hiding place every night!
post #2 of 19
As a kid I turned on all the lights at my parents house once while sleepwalking. Then my Mom told me one time she came into my room and I was sitting up in bed. She told me to lay back down and I kept telling her I'd choke. Finally she asked why I would choke and I replied, "Because I'm eating my cereal." My DH doesn't sleep walk but he can hold a conversation in his sleep and not remember it.
post #3 of 19
Apparently I sleepwalked (that doesn't sound like a word to me, maybe because it's late ) once when I was quite a bit younger, and my mom told me about it the next day.. though I did remember a little of it. It was on Halloween back when I was in grade school and it was late, and I got tired when we were out in the living room and mom was reading the newspaper. I guess I got up and went to my room to go to bed, and (sleep)walked back into my doorway several minutes later and said "I don't remember what color it was.."

After that, I went and laid down on the floor in the middle of the living room instead of going back to my bed. The next thing I knew, I was awake and it was morning, I was back in bed, and my covers were in a huge ball-like mess on my floor.

No idea how that happened..
post #4 of 19
DH says he used to, till he woke up on the garage floor with his knees torn open (in his late teens).

I suggest removing all the knobs from the stove, just in case. Is there anything else that should be sleepwalker proofed? Extra lock for the doors that are key open only, bells (like over store doors), motion sensors, lock up the kitchen knives at night (in case he were to try to use one and fall)?
You may even want to see if there's anything that can be done about this - a sleep study and the appropriate doctors to handle it. As you realized he could have killed himself and your neighbors.
post #5 of 19
Oh my God.. the possibility alone is just devastating.. it seems like such a simple thing, coming home.. but this time it was a miracle! Wow, wow.. scary stuff. \t So glad everyone is OK!!
post #6 of 19
Oh wow, how very very scary!! I'm so glad you went home! Don't think about "what if", that thought is too scary! Just be glad you did, you knew you had to go home, it was meant that you are all ok!

As for the sleep walking, I too would suggest looking in to sleep study. You don't want this to happen again! I have only a little experience with sleep walking. My brother used to do it almost every night. Sometimes he'd eat, sometimes just wander around, but usually (and don't tell him I'm telling you!), he'd go to the bathroom. Except, he wouldn't actually make it to the bathroom!

So, as you can imagine, we had to do what we could. As strange_wings suggested, you should try things to wake him up / get your attention. Unfortunately, what we noticed for my brother was that one thing would only work for a while, so we had to change things up. Some of the things we did on his bedroom door: A loud cowbell on the door for when it opens, a motion sensor (BRIGHT) light, an electric alarm for when it opens, a fan (we rigged it to turn on when the door opens and blow right in his face). And, don't tell my parents, but one thing I did: string across the door frame, so he tripped! That woke him up! What can I say, I was a tough big sister to have, and was sick of, um, dealing with the aftermath. It worked, but was quite mean (he didn't usually fall on his face, just tripped and stumbled and woke up). So if you wanted to be nice, you could put string out and a mattress or something in case he fell!

Whatever you do, good luck! And again, I'm really glad you're all ok.
post #7 of 19
LOl!! You should have thought twice before switching on the fan or any other electrical component come to that BANG!!!!!
I used to sleepwalk a lot as a child, my dad drove a taxi for a couple of evenings in the week and would come home at about 2.0am, one morning he found me walking along the street totally naked ( not pretty ) he just turned me around and guided me back in home
post #8 of 19
lol i like the string idea my bf sometimes talks in his sleep but i've never had anyone close to me sleepwalk as far as I know so good luck :|
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by menagerie mama View Post
Does anyone else suffer from this, or know anyone who does? What's your story, and how do you deal with it?
I have always done sleepwalking and talking! Usually it happens when I'm really tired and/or stressed.

When I was young, the biggest thing was tearing the sheets/covers off my bed and taking them to different parts of the house. I'd then go back to sleep and wake up cold. I was always dreaming that I had insects in the bed and that's why I wanted to get rid of the sheets. When we would stay at the cottage, my grandmother was terrified that I would walk down to the lake and accidently drown. So she used to double lock the doors.

I went for a month long backpacking trip to Europe. I did some really strange things there. When we were in Italy, we were staying at a camping area with sleeping cabins that were arranged in a circle. My girlfriend woke up to the cabin door open one night and there I was walking around in circles in the middle of the park with my pj's on.

Rob (hubby) has many stories to tell - I often will open things up in the kitchen and leave them in the wrong areas. While sleeping, I have also been known to yell at him and start arguing about things happening in my dreams. Then I get mad at him if he tells me to go back to sleep.

I remember one time Rob woke up and I was crouching in the corner of the room. He asked me what I was doing and I said: Be quiet! I'm catching owls!

Who needs to drink to get entertained? Just let me fall asleep and the show begins.
post #10 of 19
I'm glad that everything worked out well for you! Please don't play the "what if" game...it will only tear you up!

I do weird stuff when I take Ambien for my sleeplessness due to chronic back pain. Sometimes when I take it, I will call my sister in California and talk for hours, and not remember it, or call a friend and make a lunch date, which I don't keep because I don't remember making it. I have also been known to do on-line shopping or e-Bay-ing, and not realize it until the packages start arriving. It also really screws up my short-term memory, so I try not to take it unless absolutely necessary (I only take it if I've gone for several days with only a couple of hours of sleep.) That stuff can really be dangerous!!!
post #11 of 19
I do when I am really stressed. We raised our neice until she was 2 1/2. The night after she went back to her Mom. My Hubby found me wandering out the door. It was -30 outside, At least I had my boots on
post #12 of 19
I had sleepwalked right out of the front door once. My Dad caught me and guided me back to bed. I obviously don't remember a thing but I laughed when he told me that some years later. My step-sister woke me up in mid sleep walking another time. I kept opening and shutting my closet door which woke her up! I haven't done any sleepwalking after my teens though.
post #13 of 19
I didn't read anything but the title...I used to sleepwalk as a child
post #14 of 19
How scarey! I have never sleep walked but I do talk in my sleep. I am always waking up with bruises and stuff though...and have no idea how I hurt myself.
post #15 of 19
Oh that is scary! I'm glad you can hide the knobs from him!

I do sleepwalk and things sometimes. Mostly DH says I sit straight up and mumble something loudly that doesn't make sense and just sort of fall back against my pillow. I've also taken off my shirt a few times (unfortunately for DH the only time after we were married that I did that, he was away!). I've gotten out of bed to do weird things. Once I was standing at the wall between the stand for our air filter and DH's dresser doing something like turning knobs and pushing buttons. I think it was to make a noise stop. I don't really remember much, just that part because DH woke me up when he was trying to figure out what I was doing.

I know when I was little I'd sleepwalk downstairs to the couch and Mom would find me there. One time she found me on the bathmat in the bathroom with my little blanket I slept with.

We have a friend that has to lock himself in his bedroom at night. He used to live here with DH before he and I got married. One night he ripped the curtains off the wall in his sleep. Fortunately, locking the door has always at least kept him in his bedroom. He hasn't unlocked any doors in his sleep to my knowledge.
post #16 of 19
My father had some sleep disturbances, but only one serious sleepwalking incident that we know of:

About eight years ago, when he was still in relatively good health, he used to be in the habit of sitting at the kitchen table reading and having a late snack of Cheerios after my mom went to bed (I was not living here then). He usually fell asleep there, and my mom would find him when she made a restroom trip around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, when she would wake him and send him off to bed.

But one night around 2:00, he came down the hall and quietly woke my mother and told her to call the police, because someone was in the garage, and was trying to get into the house. Mom did so, and when she came out whispering to the dispatcher on the cordless phone, she found my father standing beside his bowl of soggy cereal, gripping his wooden cane and pointing it at the door to the laundry room/garage. Mom asked what he was doing, and he said, "Shh! They're out there! See the knob turning? Now stand back, Dorie -- if they come in, I'm gonna have to shoot 'em."

But the knob was not turning, and the cane was not a gun!

Finally, Mom had the presence of mind to go into the master bedroom and check the alarm system. She found it activated, as usual during the night -- so she knew there was no one in the laundry room trying that doorknob, because the alarm would have gone off when they opened the door between the garage and the laundry room.

When the police arrived, they secured the front door and told my parents to come out that way while they checked out the house. Mom had to turn the alarm off in order to open the front door, and when she did, the beeping sounds of the keypad startled my father, and that seemed to finally wake him up. He was adamant at first that he had seen that doorknob turn, but eventually accepted that he must have dreamed it.

After that, we all feigned terror whenever he brandished his cane, asking him, "Is that thing loaded?"
post #17 of 19
When I was about 13 or so, we had been babysitting the little boy, Tommy, down the street. About 3 am in the morning, I went into my parents room crying hysterically that we needed to take Tommy home. (He already was home) They were trying to calm me down but I kept saying we needed to take Tommy, my little sister, home! His mom would be worried!! I am the youngest and I do not even have a sister! They finally got me calmed down. I thought it was all a dream until my mom told me it wasn't!

And then one time, I was sleeping in a roomful of girl scouts. I didn't walk then but my talking in my sleep woke everyone up! And when one of the other girls accidentally stepped on me while on her way to the bathroom, she told me sorry and I told her "That's ok, you can step on my head anytime!" I have no memory whatsoever of that!
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
When I was young, the biggest thing was tearing the sheets/covers off my bed and taking them to different parts of the house. I'd then go back to sleep and wake up cold. I was always dreaming that I had insects in the bed and that's why I wanted to get rid of the sheets.
My middle son did this once. He came up to our bedroom - sleep walking- and was mumbling something that I could not understand. I had to take him back to his room. When we got there, I saw he had no sheets or blanket on his bed. I could not ask him (since he was still asleep) and started looking around for them. I found them balled up and shoved in the closet. I asked him about it the next morning and he had no clue how they got there. Poor guy. He sleep walks as wells as sleep talks. DH has been known to do the sleep talking occasionally.
post #19 of 19
My sister left the gas on overnight last Christmas. The three cats (including Zissou, and Percival ) were all freaking out and luckily my dad is a light sleeper and an insomniac, and he came down and smelled the gas and opened everything in time. It had probably been on for 5 hours, low level. Me, my parents, my sister and her husband, and my then-8-mo nephew whose room is right above the kitchen all would have blown up if the three cats hadn't woken my dad.

It is pretty scary. She wasn't even sleepwalking, she's just absent-minded. Do you think he could open a child-proof knob on the door? Maybe you can figure out a way to contain him to the bedroom where there's nothing flammable.

Glad you came home.
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