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Woman Emails While Asleep! Have you ever done anything like this?

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2009 at 9:32 AM
  • 9 Replies

Somnambulism in the Internet Age

Woman emailed party invites in her sleep

A new form of somnambul­ism for the Internet age has been identified by doctors and reported in the latest edition of the medical journal Sleep Medicine. Sleep researchers from the University of Toledo, Ohio, reported the first ever case of someone using the Internet while asleep, even sending emails inviting people over for drinks and caviar.

The 44-year-old woman had gone to bed at about 10pm, but rose a couple of hours later, walked to the next room and sat down at her computer. She turned the machine on, conn­ected to the Internet and success­fully logged on with her user name and password, before composing three emails and sending them to friends. She only found out what she had done when one of them telephoned the next day to reply to the email and accept the invitation.

The mails themselves were perhaps not up to the woman’s waking standard; each was in a random mix of upper and lower case characters, badly formatted and containing odd expressions. One read: “Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4.pm. Bring wine and caviar only.” Another said simply: “What the…”

The writers of the report have dubbed this new variation of sleepwalking ‘zzz-mailing’. They say: “We believe writing an email after turning the computer on, connecting to the Internet and remembering the password displayed by our patient is novel. To our knowledge this type of complex behaviour requiring coordinated movements has not been reported before in sleepwalking. She was shocked when she saw these emails, as she did not recall writing them. She did not have any history of night terr­ors or sleepwalking as a child.”

Unlike simple sleepwalking, they argue, the activities the woman engaged in required complex behaviour and coordinated movement, as well being able to remember her login details. She had no memory of the events next day. It’s thought that the somnambulistic episode may have been triggered by prescript­ion medication.

While certainly novel, this is hardly the most dramatic sleepwalking behaviour on record: there are cases of people driving cars, playing musical instruments, cooking meals and doing paintings (like Welsh nurse Lee Hadwin, dubbed ‘Kipasso’).

In some cases, somnambulism has even been used as a defence in murder trials, such as that of Scott Falater , who initially claimed to have been sleepwalking when he stabbed his wife 44 times with a hunting knife. While Falater was found guilty, other defendants have (sleep)walked to freedom. In 1982, Steven Steinberg was acquitted of stabbing his wife 26 times, while in 1987 Ken Parks – who had a long history of sleepwalking – was found not guilty of murder after driving 14 miles (23km) to his in-laws’ house and killing them both, apparently in his sleep [FT167:42–45]. Jules Lowe admitted beating his father to death in Greater Manchester in 2003, but claimed he had no memory of it. His defence of somnambulism was accepted and he was acquitted in March 2005 [FT198:25].

In June 2005, a teenager climbed a crane in Dulwich, southeast London, in her sleep and curled up on the concrete counterweight 130ft (40m) from the ground; her parents rang her mobile to wake her and she was rescued by hydraulic ladder [FT201:22]. For more on sleep-climbers, see FT65:42–43. A Fife man regularly prepared and cooked meals in his sleep [FT212:6]. Then there’s sleep sex, an REM behavioural disorder distinct from somnambulism: a middle-aged Australian woman had no idea she was leaving her house at night and having sex with random strangers [FT193:13].

by on Feb. 20, 2009 at 9:32 AM
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Replies (1-9):
jblueeyes228
by Member on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:13 PM

 I have been a sleepwalker since childhood, many times I've woken up in other neighborhoods in terror. Luckily that was a much safer time. I don't know if it's genetic but my father also did it. My parents thought I would grow out of it but at 53 I still do it. Just last year I got up and made a pot of coffee and sat and waited for my family to come over to join me,well my family did'nt come of course and my DD woke up and put me back in bed. I remember NONE of it. It's a very scary thing to have.

supermom11995
by Member on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:18 PM

I don't think I've ever done anything like this, but when I was taking Ambien I would do some really crazy things I would have no recollection of.  The scariest thing was I would start cooking in the middle of the night and leave the stove and eyes on.  The kitchen would be a mess in the mornings.  My hubby caught me doing it more than once, and I never had any memory of it.  I quit taking the Ambien, and like magic, it stopped...  Of course, now I don't sleep anymore due to insomnia, but what're ya gonna do?????

 

sweetie00
by on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:21 PM

This is so weird and scary. My sister used to do this. she walked into  another persons house. A dog woke her up. Thank god it didnt maul her.....or that she didnt get shot!

Quoting jblueeyes228:

 I have been a sleepwalker since childhood, many times I've woken up in other neighborhoods in terror. Luckily that was a much safer time. I don't know if it's genetic but my father also did it. My parents thought I would grow out of it but at 53 I still do it. Just last year I got up and made a pot of coffee and sat and waited for my family to come over to join me,well my family did'nt come of course and my DD woke up and put me back in bed. I remember NONE of it. It's a very scary thing to have.

 

momof1wildchild
by on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I've sleepwalked since childhood. I have had various sleep studies done over the years, been put on various medications to keep me asleep, but nothing has helped.

I've woke up many times and done strange things, though I don't think I've composed any weird emails lately. lol

I did wake up a few months ago, and start calling people. One call was to my doctor's office at 2:30 in the morning. I left a message on their office voice mail, requesting an appointment. The receptionist in the office called me about 9 that morning, and I could hear laughter in the background. She told me everyone got a kick out of my message. I guess I just went on and on. I had no memory of it and to this day, can't believe I did that. lol

I got an email from my SIL, who also told me about my phone call to her in the middle of the night. She said when she answered, I was rambling and made no sense; she figured I was asleep, so she hung up. 

Very embarrassing, but thankfully the people that know me, know I do this and aren't surprised..though I imagine that they aren't very amused to be awakened in the middle of the night. laughing

KimberlySue79
by on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:47 PM

I was a sleepwalker as a kid. My worst episode was when we were in our motel on vacation & everyone was sleeping, I was halfway out the door in my sleep when my mom woke up just in time to get me back into the room. there was a swimming pool right outside our room. She didn't sleep the rest of the night.

KimberlySue79
by on Feb. 26, 2009 at 2:53 PM

LOL my grandma was talking in her sleep one night like she was on the phone. She was telling someone how to make deviled eggs, and she went on & on about how great deviled eggs are & how much kids love em & " get a real charge out of them" This went on for a couple minutes. It was so funny!

Quoting momof1wildchild:

I've sleepwalked since childhood. I have had various sleep studies done over the years, been put on various medications to keep me asleep, but nothing has helped.

I've woke up many times and done strange things, though I don't think I've composed any weird emails lately. lol

I did wake up a few months ago, and start calling people. One call was to my doctor's office at 2:30 in the morning. I left a message on their office voice mail, requesting an appointment. The receptionist in the office called me about 9 that morning, and I could hear laughter in the background. She told me everyone got a kick out of my message. I guess I just went on and on. I had no memory of it and to this day, can't believe I did that. lol

I got an email from my SIL, who also told me about my phone call to her in the middle of the night. She said when she answered, I was rambling and made no sense; she figured I was asleep, so she hung up. 

Very embarrassing, but thankfully the people that know me, know I do this and aren't surprised..though I imagine that they aren't very amused to be awakened in the middle of the night. laughing


ellyc19111
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2009 at 6:31 PM

I think she's full of shit!

cmarielin
by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 12:49 AM

Hec, as many times as I've dreamed of heated debates and polls on CafeMom, I wonder how much of that stuff I've been actually doing in my sleep??  I'm going back through to check....

Hey, the next time I say something on here that nobody likes, I'm going to blame it on my rare case of somnambulism!  LOL

sleep

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."  ~Patrick Henry

brycies__mom
by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 12:53 AM

AMBIEN IS CRAZY! THEY GAVE IT TO ME IN THE HOPITAL THE NIGHT BEFORE I HAD LO AND I WAS WATCHING A MOVIE AND Talking to a nurse who took blood from me. and honestly i dont remember  even turning on a movie.

Quoting supermom11995:

I don't think I've ever done anything like this, but when I was taking Ambien I would do some really crazy things I would have no recollection of.  The scariest thing was I would start cooking in the middle of the night and leave the stove and eyes on.  The kitchen would be a mess in the mornings.  My hubby caught me doing it more than once, and I never had any memory of it.  I quit taking the Ambien, and like magic, it stopped...  Of course, now I don't sleep anymore due to insomnia, but what're ya gonna do?????

 


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