SLEEP WALKING COULD BE DANGEROUS

I woke up with a jolt and found myself sleeping in an awkward position. Suddenly, I remembered that I am alone in the house because both my room-mates were out of town. Just then my fear of being alone came back to me. Earlier that night, I had taken extreme care to make sure that all doors and windows are absolutely locked and my room door is also bolted. There had been a theft in the neighborhood and that was what worried me. Before going to sleep, I made sure that my room door is closed tightly so that even there is a theft – at least I would be safe. Now when I woke up at about 3:50 am, I saw that my room door was wide open. I remembered closing it – how did it open then? In that very minute, my heart rate must have increased to a dangerous level. I almost believed that there is somebody else in the house too or there already has been a theft.

Collecting all my courage I walked out of my room to check. Everything was as I had left with just one difference. The balcony door had only one bolt whereas I had put 2 bolts. How was that possible? There was nobody else but me – so how did 2 doors open up on their own. Nothing else seemed to be out of place. I tried to think hard and I got a hazy memory of talking on phone in the balcony – maybe that was a dream. I tried to meditate to remember what actually happened. And after a few minutes I realized what must have happened. I walked in my sleep – I took my phone went to the balcony, dialed my boyfriend’s (now husband) number, he obviously did not answer. I then bolted the balcony door just like I usually do and came back to bed to sleep, while get on to the bed – I woke up. Dialed list on my phone confirmed, I actually called my boyfriend at 3:48 am in my sleep and with hardly any memory of it.

I have been a sleep walker and talker since ever. And I have done more dangerous things than this in my sleep. Thankfully, there had been no accidents yet. I did quite a lot of research on sleep to get rid of this dangerous habit. I realized one thing was very clear that whenever I was stressed about something or slept with some worry on my head, I would almost always sleep talk or walk. In this case, it was the worry of the theft that caused it.

I tried various things and one among that was to keep a sleep journal. I learnt that mostly dreams combined with stress levels causes it. And dreams are like episodes of a TV series, if we could remember them we could have a look at our subconscious and would know exactly what stories are cooked there. In this sleep journal – I logged my thoughts just before going to bed. Also I kept the journal just next to me, so whenever I woke the first thing I would do was to log my exact thoughts. Whether it was midnight, early morning or late morning – I made sure that I always log my very first thoughts. After a couple of months of doing this, I could figure out a pattern in the relation between my dreams and my thoughts just before going to bed. It was a very interesting pattern and told a lot about my personality too.

I combined this with regular meditation just before sleeping and it helped a great deal. I also made sure that I never slept off while watching TV or reading a book. Writing the journal and meditation would be last things I do before going to bed – no matter what.

Now after 6 years of marriage – my husband has only witnessed some blabbering but thankfully no adventurous walks in my sleep.

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