Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sleep Walking and Talking

My poor kids. They came from parents who have a history of sleep walking and/or talking and have apparently inherited the curse. We all did/do it in different ways, though...

Scott: Scott used to sleep walk as a child. As an adult, he usually just talks. On one occasion, he woke himself up because something had been funny in his dream and he began laughing out loud. The noise of his own laughing woke him up. On another favorite...I was awakened when he sat bolt upright in the bed and began patting the bed between us. I asked him, "What are you looking for?" He replied, "A turning kitty kitty." He plopped back down into normal sleep before I could ask, "A what?!" (To be fair, Scott wants me to tell you that we used to have a cat, named Kitty, who used to turn in a circle once or twice before laying down between us to sleep.)

Me: I had sleep walking night terrors as a child. Everything you read about night terrors will tell you that the child will not remember them when they wake but I remembered them well. Many of my night terrors revolved around the theme that I had to accomplish some insane task before it was too late or else. I'd walk from my bed to the kitchen to retrieve an invisible laundry basket, go somewhere else to fill the basket with standard-sized papers, then return to my bed where I'd stand on the bed "wallpapering" the wall with these papers. Time was always close to running out. At this point I'd awake, gripped in terror and full-blown anxiety attacks. Some nights, I felt a heaviness, a foreboding right as I'd fall asleep. I knew I'd be having nightmares that night and I was terrified of falling asleep.

Mika: Mika had full-blown night terrors when she was younger. We'd awaken to her loud, terrified crying. We'd run to find her, somewhere other than her bed, crying and pointing to something unseen. We'd try to calm her, talk to her, hold her, but she'd fight us with everything she had...kicking, hitting, trying to run away. After a while (a while that seemed forever), she'd finally wake up. We'd hold her as she sobbed, gasping for breath, not knowing why she was so scared. Now that she's older, she still wakes up crying in the night. Last week was the most recent. She came sobbing into our room. I asked her, "What's wrong, Mika?" Her reply was incomprehensible, "I...uh...I...can't...I...I...uh...don't know..." I told her that she was ok and to go back to sleep. A few minutes, she returned. "I...uh...I....can't....uh...I...uh...can't..." This time Scott answered, "You are sleep walking. Go back to bed." Mika replied, "No," and immediately turned and went back to sleep. The rest of the night was uneventful.

Samuel: For the longest time, we couldn't figure out what was wrong with Sammy when he woke up crying in the middle of the night. He cry. We'd go to him asking him a thousand questions trying to find out what was wrong and all he'd give us in return was groaning and moaning. Anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour later, he'd start crying again. We'd go to him again. This cycle would repeat several times during the course of the night. After years of this, we finally figured it out. Our nights now go like this: Sammy wakes up crying, moaning, and groaning. One of us goes to him and simply tells him, "Sammy, go downstairs and go potty." Sammy then gets up and goes downstairs, pees, and returns to bed. We all sleep uninterrupted the rest of the night.

Josh: So far, Josh hasn't shown any signs of the night-time curse.

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Anonymous said...

Our 2yo dd talks in her sleep, she cries at times and there is an occasional giggle. Just the other night she was yelling that Abby (our 8yo) was talking to her (she was sleep talking again!) Oh and then she will count in english or spanish too (its really cute lol)

Our 8yo dd, sleep walks when she needs to go to the bathroom. She will get up and come to the living room (if we are up she just stands there in a stupor of some sort) until we tell her to go potty. There was one time I came to her room to wake her up for the day and she was stark NAKED! I flipped wondering why? then come to find out she was sleep walking, wet herself then took off the clothes and crawled back in bed, not remembering any of it!

Anonymous said...

This is really quite funny!
Hearing it all makes my sleep talking seem alright. My roommates always seem to get a kick out of it at night!!
Thanks for sharing!!


The Four Week Vegan said...

That is amazing. I had no idea that type of behavior could be passed down. I sometimes yoodle in my sleep, or at least that is what dh tells me. Our middle dc had night terrors when younger, but has thankfully outgrown them.

Anonymous said...

What a scientific discovery...sleep walking is hereditary. Actually, I didn't know that. No one sleep walks or talks here. Just a bunch of snorers. LOL