My first undeniable sleepwalking experience was when I was 12 years old. I can still remember that night in a strange, dream-like way. I had been babysitting next door and it was my first post-midnight babysitting job. I wrote a letter to a friend while I was there. (Back in the days when we still hand wrote and mailed letters.) I came home and went to bed, excited to be flying out of town the next day. Shortly after going to bed and falling asleep, I got up, put on shoes, found the letter, walked out of the house, went to the neighbor's mailbox, put the letter in, and even put the flag up. I then went to the house I had been babysitting at and knocked on their door. They didn't answer. I went back to our house, but couldn't get in because the door had locked behind me. So I opened up our garage door (which apparently wasn't locked), and went to sleep on the huge 20 ft trampoline that was in there. (We had just moved and didn't have a fence yet, so we couldn't leave the tramp in the yard at night.) At some point in all of this, my commotion woke up my parents, who somehow just *knew* I was sleepwalking, although I had never done it before. They found me and put me back in my bed.
I can remember it all in a strange, unreal way. I can remember the thoughts going through my head. I can remember it more vividly and distinctly than many of my awake experiences from that age.
I've sleptwalked many more times throughout my life. I can remember one time at age 12 or 13, being at Girls Camp and suddenly feeling this strange need to get out of bed, put on a raincoat, and go sit outside.
But most of my sleepwalking experiences I don't recall. They come as interesting surprises in the morning. One of my favorite ones was just after grad school back in Texas. I had my own bathroom off of my bedroom. (A luxury for a poor grad student to say the least.) I also had this horrible old metal desk that was missing half a leg. Since I wasn't in school at that time, I was propping up the desk with several of my huge textbooks. I woke up one morning to find the desk totally toppled over, all of the junk on top of it spilled to the floor, and the textbooks missing. I found the books shortly after that in the shower. Thankfully they were still dry and undamaged.Unlike the babysitting/trampoline story, I have no memory of doing that whatsoever.
So when I woke up this morning to find a few things out of place I knew immediately I had been sleepwalking again.
I wasn't feeling so hot last night when I went to bed. I went to sleep a little earlier than usual with the help of a heavy night-time cold medicine. I remember distinctly going to bed in my sweatpants because I have flannel sheets, and fleece pants and flannel don't mix well (you get stuck on the sheets!). I also know that I for sure went to sleep with my good Kleenex box right next to me, because I had been dealing with a several hour nosebleed yesterday. (Another ailment I've dealt with my whole life.) And I am pretty darn sure my thermostat was set at a very normal temperature. Oh, and I NEVER sleep with socks on.
But when I woke up this morning I first realized I wasn't wearing my pajamas anymore. And yet, I was boiling hot. I first went to the thermostat to find it pushed up as high as it would go. 90 degrees in here! Whoa! Next, I realized I was wearing socks. Even stranger, socks that matched. (Something I don't even bother doing when I'm awake usually!) I went over to make my bed and realized my Kleenex were missing, and that inside the covers were several cat toys. (It is common for me to wake up and find my kitten has placed some by me in my sleep. But never before have I found them in my bed with me.) It would be several hours before I would accidentally find that I had hidden the Kleenex behind my mini-filing cabinet in my bedroom. My bedside lamp was unplugged at the wall. And well, it has been a full day now and I still can't find where I hid the cat's water dish. Oh and the (stale) cake that was in the microwave was in the trash. Apparently I was pretty busy last night.
Sidenote- one of the first things I do after I discover I have been sleepwalking again is check the outgoing calls on my phone and the sent file for ALL of my email accounts. So far I have never unconsciously sent an email or called someone. THANK GOODNESS. I can only fear what my unconscious self may choose to say in the middle of the night.
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