I don’t know if everyone sleepwalks at sometime in their life, or if some people do it a lot and others none at all. When I was a kid, I had a couple of sleepwalking incidents (the one I remember is my mom telling me I walked down the hall with my pillow and when asked what I was doing with it, I told her I was putting it in the dirty clothes. I didn’t wake up, but went back to sleep. I did it enough that my parents kept the door to the basement shut at night because it was right across from my room and they didn’t want me falling down the stairs.
Daniel has a funny sleepwalking story where he carried on a conversation with his parents, asking them a variety of questions, the whole time he was sound asleep.
Those are kind of funny stories and though I knew sleepwalking could be dangerous, I didn’t really think about it.
Last night, our power went out at about 7 p.m. A drive down the road let us know it was just in our subdivision, which if there were lots of power outages around, we would be low man on the totem pole (back in an ice storm of 95, we were without power for three days). Now that we are aware of Daniel’s severe sleep apnea, and have been told he is not to sleep without his CPAP, we knew we had to do something. So we found a couple of rooms in town at a hotel where we could stay.
Even though only Daniel really needed to go, we all went. We get two rooms because when you have a son and daughter, putting us all in the same room, just doesn’t work too well anymore. Daniel was wide awake, so I bunked with the kids. We were asleep about 11:30.
In the midst of deep sleep, I heard banging on the door. Loud banging. It took me a moment to clear my sleepy brain. I got up, figuring it was Daniel and something was wrong or it was someone knocking on the wrong door. When I got up, I noticed Katrina wasn’t in bed beside me. As I got closer to the door, I heard her crying. I thought she was in the bathroom, but then realized SHE WAS OUTSIDE OF THE ROOM!!!!! She was hysterical and crying. At first all I could get from her was ‘sleepwalk,’ but as she slowly calmed down, she told me her story.
She had left our room (and I didn’t hear her – Jack thought she was going to the bathroom when he heard the door). She sleptwalked down and into the housekeeper supply closet. She said when she was in there, she sat on a bar of some sort (she thought it was the bed in our room. She saw me standing there (a vacuum or a mop) and kept calling my name and I wouldn’t answer. She was mad and got up to come to me, at that point she saw the vacuum and realized she wasn’t in her room anymore. She got out of the closet (no lights, door shut) and came back to our room and woke me up.
As I listened to her sobbing tale, I was horrified. How could she have left the room and I slept right through it? How long had she been gone? And of course, I couldn’t help but think of how much worse this could have been – what if she had run into an unsavory character in the hallway…
She was afraid to go back to sleep, but she is young and she was tired, so eventually, her breathing slowed. I held her all night and kept telling myself that if she moved at all, I needed to be aware. I am so glad she is safe and the story ended well, but now I need to do some research and see what more I can learn about sleepwalking.