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Bizarre things people do in their sleep

10 September 2014, 10:30

Nairobi - For most people, sleep is a time of rest – they go to bed exhausted, sleep soundly, and wake up refreshed.

However, some people suffer from sleep disorders, also known as "parasomnias" and spend the night doing many strange things.

One of the most common examples of parasomnia is sleepwalking. But as far as parasomnias go, sleepwalking is actually quite run-of-the mill.

Here are five examples of some of the most interesting, strange, and sometimes dangerous things people do in their sleep.

Also Read: Poor nutrition can affect your sleep

Murder your mother-in-law

By the year 2000, there had allegedly been an estimated 68 cases of homicide-while-sleepwalking reported worldwide.

One of the most notable examples took place in 1987 in the US, when 23-year-old Ken Parks got out of bed, climbed in his car, drove to his in-laws' house, strangled his father-in-law and stabbed his mother-in-law to death before driving himself to the police station.

Where, he simply stated: "I think I've killed some people... my hands." He was later found not guilty.

His case was recorded by reporter, Rosalind Cartwright, in the journal Sleep.

Throw yourself from a window

If you're a sleepwalker, there's a good chance you might try "self-defenestration". This happened in 2007, when a teenager in Germany jumped out of a 4th-floor window in his sleep.

Also Read: Lack of sleep gives you the munchies

Surprisingly he survived the fall and sustained only minor injuries (it's worth mentioning that he remained asleep throughout the whole ordeal).

Mow the lawn naked

In 2005, a computer expert was allegedly caught by his wife mowing the lawn in his sleep, naked, at 2am.

Rebekah Armstrong was woken by a strange noise coming from their garden. When she realised her husband Ian, 34, wasn't in bed, she went downstairs to investigate.

Rebekah found Ian mowing the lawn completely nude. Being afraid to wake him up because she had been told it's dangerous to disturb someone who's sleepwalking, she just unplugged the lawnmower, went back to bed and let him carry on.

Ian eventually got back to bed but didn't believe his wife when she told him what he'd done.

Climb a 40 metre crane

A man was walking home at 2am in Dulwich, England, when he somehow noticed something terrifying – a girl curled up on top of an inactive crane.

He called the emergency services, but only after a fireman had climbed up after her did they realise that she was asleep.

This made the ordeal even more frightening, as the fireman was now afraid to wake her in case she became frightened and fall. He searched her, and found her cellphone and called her parents.

They explained that the girl, who was 15, often sleepwalked, and called her on her phone. This woke the girl up, and she was taken down safely, having climbed 130 feet (40 meters) up, and 40 feet (12 meters) across.

Have sex while asleep

Jan Luedecke, 33, from Toronto, attended a party in 2005 and after a heavy night of drinking, fell asleep on a couch.

A few hours later he was woken up by a female partygoer whom he didn't know, shouting and pushing him. However, he claims he only woke up when he was pushed onto the floor.

Luedecke was accused of raping the woman, but he says he was asleep and did not even realise he'd had sex until he went to the bathroom and discovered he was wearing a condom. The courts were initially sceptical about his defence, even after hearing a testimony from Dr. Colin Sharipo, who said that this is a legitimate disorder.

Eventually the deciding factor in the case might have been that not one, but four of Luedecke’s ex-girlfriends testified that they'd all experienced his sexsomnia when they were dating him.

Chandré-Morgan Roberths



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