Sleepwalking is a disorder that occurs during non-REM sleep. It’s most common in school-age children, but quite a few adults have also admitted to suffering from the phenomenon. From the hilarious to the downright terrifying, here are some real life stories from people around the world who’ve shared their sleepwalking experiences.
11. Cooking and Eating
“I took Ambien for a time to help with my insomnia. My ex found me eating a stick of butter in the middle of the night like a candy bar, paper and all. Turns out, I’d do a lot of gross sleep-eating and it explained my sudden weight gain. I ate jam by the handful, I hate jam… I swallowed mayo right out of the jar…. We also think I ate the used vegetable oil out of the recycling can. I don’t use sleep aids anymore.” -Reddit contributor, Fluffledoodle
“I was three, and my mom heard some noises in the kitchen. I was sitting on the kitchen counter, sticking pre-cut cookies onto a baking sheet.” -Reddit contributor, OperationJack
“My roommate once found me standing in front of the fridge, freezer door open, gnawing on a frozen bagel.” -Reddit contributor, StickleyMan
“Stuffed and cooked a turkey, woke up sitting at the kitchen table when it was almost done cooking. My roommate woke up at 3 a.m. and I was basting it, he was pissed because it was his turkey and realized when he was talking to me that I was asleep so he just stayed up and made sure I didn’t burn the house down. He showed me videos he took after I woke up and he laughed that my stuffing and the turkey tasted better than what he would’ve made, lol.” -Reddit contributor, untapped-bEnergy
“I woke up late one night with all my sheets balled up in my arms and repeatedly crashing into my bedroom door. Apparently, I was trying to take the sheets to the laundry room.” -Reddit contributor, NW
“My mom woke up to find me in my underwear with the vacuum cleaner, steering it back and forth over the carpet, not even on, electrical cord still wound tight.” -Reddit contributor, WhatTheTuck
“I cleaned, sorted, and rearranged my best friend’s fridge so that I could fit her dog’s 25lb bag of food inside.” -Reddit contributor, Emulocks
9. Going to the Bathroom
“Another time I was semi-aware but legitimately could not stop myself as I got up to pee and turned the wrong direction in the hallway. My brain was confused and thinking this isn’t the right way but my body just kept going. I ended up in the kitchen, peeing in the trash can.” -Reddit contributor, a_good_pun
“I’m not a sleepwalker, however my buddy is. Few weeks ago we all went to the beach. We all shared the same hotel room. He gets up, rummages through my buddy’s bag, puts on his clothes, then goes and pees in the bathroom sink. Walks over to me, taps me twice, shrugs his shoulders, and lays in another bed.” -Reddit contributor, Pokesmot1
“Took a huge dump in the trashcan in the kitchen. Mom saw me do it, woke me up and made me clean it.” -Reddit contributor, pompom96
8. Donning Their Birthday Suit
“My cousin is a cop and he was called to stop a person from streaking. Dude was sleepwalking. Cops didn’t want to wake him up so just protected him till he got home. My cousin wrote the dude a note on his door. His cop friends visited the dude a few days later and dropped him off some muffins and told him what he did.” -Reddit contributor, FapLeft
“I had a patient who had a sleepwalking episode in his apartment building: He went off with his friends and had a few drinks. Later that night, he was found naked in the hallway of his building. They took him to the hospital, and his blood tests showed he wasn’t intoxicated. The building said he had to see a doctor because otherwise, they couldn’t let him live there. It became a safety measure at that point,” Dr. Alexandre Rocha Abreu, co-director of the UHealth Sleep Center at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said in an article on the Women’s Health Magazine website.
“Once I woke up in my room, soaking wet and wrapped in a towel, the next day my parents asked why I was showering at 3 a.m.” -Reddit contributor, phrixious
“I went for a shower once. Woke up all confused at 4am wondering why I was naked and why my bed was soaking.” -Reddit contributor, EpicShelter
6. Singing and Dancing
“I was prescribed Ambien for 30 days to adjust my sleep patterns when transitioned from the night shift back to day shift. Within a couple of nights of my first doses, my wife found me dancing my brains out in bed and in the living room to no music.” -Reddit contributor, meltdownmikey
“I know one person who every night would get up and sing the national anthem and then go back to bed,” Meir Kryger, a professor at Yale University, said in an article on BBC.com.
“Walked outside my room whistling some random song then go back to my room sleeping again. My dad said it happened late at night while he was watching basketball highlights and he said he asked me where I’m going and I said I’m going to the bathroom but what I did is go back to my room whistling still and go back to sleep.” -Reddit contributor, III_Raijin_III
“My wife has this… The time I got her on video when she was having a dream she was doing the chicken dance tho.” -Reddit contributor, JazzFan418
“While on a WestPac (Western Pacific) Deployment on a submarine, I was fairly new on board and was sitting as the helmsman one night on the midwatch (Mindight-6am) when one of our new officers walked into the control room, started complaining about how filthy the room was, and that we were miles off course and headed for disaster… He did all this in nothing but underpants and sandals. After a quick call to our corpsman, it was determined that he was sleepwalking. Soon after he received new orders at a training facility.” -Reddit contributor, dougglatt
“When I was about 9-10 I was a cub scout, and naturally cub scouts sell popcorn. I took popcorn selling a little too seriously, I’m talking going back for every single house I went that wasn’t home when I first came by. It was during this popcorn season that I had my sleepwalking. I don’t remember it but according to my dad it went something like this. At about 10 at night (2200 for you non US people) my dad hears a knock on his bedroom door. He says come in but nothing happens… so he gets up and opens it. There I am standing there in only my boxers. My dad asks me what’s wrong, but instead of responding with an actual response I give the spiel that I give when I’m selling popcorn. My dad busts out laughing and tells me he’s not interested. And just like that I turned around and went back to bed.” -Reddit contributor, Echeb
“My brother once walked down to Cumberland Farms at like 4 in the morning, filled out a job application, and was very surprised when he got a call telling him he had the job that he had no recollection of applying for. Sleeping him was much more productive than awake him.” -Reddit contributor caro822
“Apparently I once drove to the store, bought some things, brought them home and left them on the kitchen table.” -Reddit contributor, PirateCodingMonkey
Consultant neurologist Guy Leschziner told the BBC that one of his patients (Jackie) went driving and motorbiking in her sleep. Shortly after moving from Canada to the UK, Jackie’s landlady told her that she saw her go out one night: “You went out on your motorbike… you clomped down the stairs and you had your helmet and you went out.” According to the landlady, Jackie had been gone for about 20 minutes. Jackie said she had no recollection of the event.
3. Walking… Outside
“I have a nice lady I see regularly. She’s a very healthy lady, great person, and she comes to the office because for her, sleepwalking is normal. Her husband just had an accident and became quadriplegic, so now she had this stress factor of a family member having a major accident. One day she came in and said, ‘Hey, I think I need to up my medication. I was in the middle of the street by myself in the middle of the night.’ She could have been run over by a car,” Dr. Alexandre Abreu said in an article on the Women’s Health Magazine website.
“Around when I was 7 or 8, I walked to the neighbor’s house in the snow and rang the doorbell. I think it was September or October in Colorado, and I was probably only wearing a flannel nightgown. I have no recollection of whether they answered the door or how I got back home. My grandmother told me it ran in the family: My uncle sleepwalked all the way to his grandparents’ home a few miles away,” Women’s Health Magazine reader, Daphne A., said in an article on the publication’s website.
“I’ve no idea what I did, as I live alone, but I woke up one morning with dirty feet and a few leaves in the bed. The worrying thing is I sleep in the nude, and my clothes were still hung up from the day before, so I was either very tidy with my sleep undressing, or I was wandering around the garden in the nude.” -Reddit contributor, Emily_Starke
2. Hurting Themselves
“Once while sleepwalking, I got a piece of glass in my foot, pulled it out, stuck a paper towel to the bleeding wound, and went back to sleep, only to find a bloody paper towel in my bed in the morning,” Women’s Health Magazine reader, Rebecca S., said in an article on the publication’s website.
“Passed out with gas permeable contacts in my eyes. Woke up with no lenses in. Went to bathroom to find I had taken my contacts out while sleepwalking and covered them in toothpaste instead of contact solution. My eyes burned with a minty fury that day.” -Reddit contributor, robots_control_us
“I’ve slept-jumped out of the top bed in bunk beds multiple times before, onto wood floors, and it is not fun.” -Reddit contributor, iceman012
According to Psychology Today, some people do the unthinkable in their sleep: they kill. “American history is littered with cases of sleepwalking killers – usually men who wake in the night and kill their wife or lover. The best-known historical case is that of Albert Tirrell, who, in 1845, killed his lover, Maria Bickford. They had been having an affair, and after being repeatedly caught by his wife’s family, he decided to kill Bickford and set fire to the building they were sleeping in – apparently to conceal the evidence of his crime. Unfortunately, the landlord was awoken by Bickford’s screams, and Tirrell was eventually caught and tried. He was acquitted of arson and murder, but found guilty of adultery. The rationale – provided by his use of the defense that he was asleep when he committed the murder and started the fire – was that he didn’t choose to kill Bickford, although he had chosen to continue his affair with her,” the publication wrote on its website.
Do you have any bizarre sleepwalking stories of your own? Please share them below. We’d love to hear them!