And it most definitely will not kill them! At the worst, waking a somnambulist (yes, that’s a fancy word for ‘sleepwalker’) will cause a temporary bout of anxiety or confusion due to the sleeper not knowing where they are or what is happening. However, it is advisable to wake sleepwalkers in a gentle manner because sometimes this disorientation can cause them to react violently for a short time until they come to their senses. In fact, rousing a mobile sleeper could actually save them from harm, even death!
Most somnambulists simply perform boring tasks such as walking around the house or removing their clothing. But some engage in complicated activities such as attempting to cook or having sex! In a 2007 issue of Scientific American, Carlos Schenk of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center describes a pair of extremely unusual cases of somnambulism. In the first, a teenage girl named Sandy tore her bedroom door off its hinges in her sleep, despite the fact that she was unable to perform such as feat later when she was awake! The latter account involves a young man who DROVE his car 10 miles to his parents’ house while sleepwalking. This individual woke up while frantically pounding on their front door! Sleepwalking events such as these are rare, to be sure, but it is typically a good idea to awaken a sleepwalker, if only to save them from tripping or running into something.
Learn more about sleepwalking here.
19 Interesting Facts