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Sleep "Running" (Never Walking)

by Amy

When I was about 18, I started having my sleep "running" episodes. I have scared the daylights out of a number of people over the years; my parents, college roommate, my husband, our dogs and now my own children. I am usually dreaming that someone is in my home or room that should not be. So I scream (often so loud that the next morning my throat hurts) and I take off running.

My heart is always thudding out of my chest and I am absolutely petrified by whatever has me spooked. Someone always stops me (I have never lived alone). I wake up with a vague memory of what I was dreaming about, give my rescuer a sheepish apology when I view the terror on their face and go right back to bed and am asleep in seconds. I do remember having the episode the next morning and can always relate the events.

I have now been having episodes for 21 years. I can go years between events and then have 3 or 4 within a few months. STRESS seems to be the biggest factor to having an episode. The catalyst in the dream has only altered a few times in all of those years. For a few years, I would dream that there were spiders in my bed and not only would I get out of bed and run, I would first rip all of the blankets off the bed (great way to start a marriage by the way!).

Most of the episodes are harmless, just scary. But once and only once I scared not only myself but my husband as well. When my youngest child was still a baby, he cried during the night and I brought him to bed with me. At some point in the night I dreamt there was a fire in the house, I grabbed and ran down not 1 flight of stairs (which was my usual) but 2 flights, with him in my arms. My husband, who was still awake on the ground floor of our house stopped me and woke me when I sat down on the steps still clutching the baby.

Although I have serious allergies, I will not take any medication that makes me sleepy or feel sluggish when I am the only adult in the house, because I have always been afraid that what little control I have of myself during these
attacks will be compromised by the meds and I will do something dangerous. My 16 year old now just gets annoyed. He follows me, yells "you're doing it again..go back to bed" and I do.

That same child had horrible night terrors as a toddler but outgrew them. My other son, 13 year old, did and still does wander the house at night, flipping on lights etc. and my great great grandmother was caught more than once running outside at night screaming...trying to get away from someone!!!

Kevin: Hey Amy, thanks so much for sharing your story. Your perspective and humor on your episodes are really admirable, though I can imagine the frustration you must feel at not being in control during these instances and not knowing exactly when the next one is going to be triggered.

One thing I'm curious to know in terms of identifying what mechanisms exactly are involved in causing your sleep running episodes is whether they initiate during REM or NREM sleep. Sleep terrors and sleepwalking are both associated with NREM sleep, but there's another condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) that's associated with (yup, you guessed it :) REM sleep. The vividness with which you describe experiencing the dreams seems like it possibly could lend itself to either a sleep terror or RBD explanation (RBD is much, much more rare of an experience though, and is hardly ever remembered), so I just wanted to mention it so you could be aware of it if you aren't already. You can learn more about it using it's link earlier in this paragraph.

If you were interested in figuring out more about when exactly during your sleep cycles your sleep running episodes take place, I imagine you could use a Zeo to check that out. A Zeo is a cool new personal sleep data device that you wear around your forehead that gives you all sorts of information about your sleep throughout the night. The idea that just came to mind would simply be to wear the Zeo at night until you experience an episode. Then in the morning you could check out if your episode started while you were in REM sleep or NREM sleep, and use that information to explore its causes a little more. Just a thought, but if it intrigues you, you can look into getting a Zeo from their website here.

All the best,

Comments for Sleep "Running" (Never Walking)

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Mar 27, 2011
I could have wrote this myself!!!
by: Sharon - Vancouver, BC Canada

I have been running in my sleep for as long as I can remember!!! I am now 38 years old and my husband and children are so used to it that they no longer chase me down and just let the walls stop me in mid-run. I have tried googling and searching this type of sleep disorder forever and this is the first post/story that is EXACTLY like what I have been experiencing... thank you for sharing!! I don't feel so abnormal and alone anymore :)

Jul 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

I'm Dwight 42 yrs old, this running after I go to bed has really scared my wife One time I ran down hall and also got outside before she woke me by screaming at me. Also broke glass picture frame on wall. This episode happened after stress over something I couldn't fix or figure out! I'm afraid I might hurt wife or self! have sleep apnea but was told this is different! after episodes I don't remember anything until I get waken up by screaming. Need to get help

Oct 27, 2011
Running while sleeping but still in bed.
by: Dawn

You guys are amazing. I have been told by my partner that I actually run in my sleep (I never leave the I have woke up and have known that this is true. I don't have any signs of restless leg syndrome and don't have any feelings of being chased...However, its still strange. I really wish I knew what was the cause of it. Its just to bad I actually don't run while I'm awake and outside; I might lose a pound or two...Thanks again!

Feb 21, 2012
I had a sleep run experience last night NEW
by: Matthew

I was having some dream that a small animal was trying to bite my foot and while still in the dream I took off running to get away from it. At some point I had one foot in reality and one in the dream and I began to realize I was running through the apartment. As I came out of the dream, I realized that there was nothing there actually chasing me.

I have been known to talk and move about in my sleep, but this is the first time that I know about that I have been running.

Feb 28, 2012
Me too! NEW
by: Anonymous

Last night I went sleep running for the first time in ages. I leaped out of bed and sprinted into a wall. Ouch! I haven't done this in years, but it started when I was a really small child - maybe around 3 or 4 and used to happen frequently. My parents even had me at a psychologist. I thought I'd grown out of it but it's happened a few times since I've been an adult.
I always dream someone is leaning over me in bed - it's so vivid, I get a shock and jump up and run. So odd. But last night I really hurt myself, so googled sleep running this morning and found this page. Thank you! I feel less crazy now.

Apr 03, 2012
ouch! NEW
by: Anonymous

I do this 2-4x per week (it is very exhausting!) last night I had 2 separate episodes. Mine is that all of a sudden I remembered I was taking care of a pet for someone and had forgotten about it (for a very long time... it's most certainly dead if I ever found it). I bolt out of bed and fly down the stairs shouting profanities and searching for "the dog, omg the dog"
This scares the crap out of me! I feel like I am going to have a heart attack. Most the time nothing bad happens except I wake my daughter with my yelling and banging around.
But in the last week I broke my baby toe, twisted my ankle, jacked up my knee and tweaked my wrist... all from running in my sleep. I think breaking my toe has made my balance off and in my sleep i now keep hurting myself even more. This has got to stop! Ugh,
glad to know there are other people who deal with this.
it is within 30 mins of me falling asleep

Apr 15, 2012
Oh, I'm not alone! NEW
by: Anonymous

When I was a little girl up into adulthood, I dreamed of being chased, and I physically ran through my room and often out the bedroom yelling. I was always chased by a woman, I don't know why, but there was a part of me that believed her to be death...I'm just thankful somebody else has gone through similar, and that I really am not alone.
I still would like to understand the "Why" a lot better.

Apr 15, 2012
Oh, I'm not alone! NEW
by: Anonymous

When I was a little girl up into adulthood, I dreamed of being chased, and I physically ran through my room and often out the bedroom yelling. I was always chased by a woman, I don't know why, but there was a part of me that believed her to be death...I'm just thankful somebody else has gone through similar, and that I really am not alone.
I still would like to understand the "Why" a lot better.

Apr 24, 2012
Sleep Running NEW
by: Anonymous

I am very glad to find out that this doesn't only happen to me. Today is the third time this has happned to me, the second time my room was completely dark and I ran and hit the foot board of my bed (and broke it) and hit the ground panicing searching for the light switch.

Jun 30, 2012
Sleep Runner NEW
by: Cindy

I have had "Good For Nothing" dreams since I was a child. Once I heard RUN and bolted out of my bed into the wall and night stand. I was bruised and required dental embarassing to tell my dentist !! Probably thought I was totally NUTS, but was very professional about it. I am VERY VOCAL in my sleep,frequently disturbing others; and just hope I don't run into anything again. Pretty weird, huh ? My family is used to this and they either try to rouse me when getting too loud or close their door so they don't have to hear me. They love me like I am and that is good.

Jul 20, 2012
Comfort in the fact that I'm not the only one NEW
by: Jesse

I am a 34 year old man and have been doing this off and on all my life. Lately since we moved into a new house I have ended up slamming into the rear wall of a walk in closet and several hallway walls. The worst part is that it scares my family when I'm chasing whoever I am chasing through the house. I always thought that I was different and alone, thank you all for sharing and helping me feel more normal.

Jul 23, 2012
I sleep run too! NEW
by: Anonymous

I have been having more and more "episodes" of sleep running and since my boyfriend hasn't left me and I'm still alive, I haven't been so concerned. Today though I decided to do some research on it.

I sleep run and sleep talk but I am *NEVER* aware that I'm doing either.

What can cause this?

Jul 24, 2012
Broken my foot NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi all!

I was glad to read all of your comments, they make me feel a little less strange.
On Saturday night I went to bed at 11pm and dreamt about a huge spider in my duvet. My only escape was to run (a regular dream which is odd as generally spiders don't bother me)
I ran and the next thing I know I'm on the floor screaming in agony at 11.20pm. I tried to get up and fell again! I noticed my foot was swollen badly and rushed to hospital and had fractured my foot. These dreams are a regular thing for me, I have tried to climb out of windows and woken up in very odd places. Everytime my heart is racing and I'm terrified! I live alone now and my mum has begged me to get help, now I have hurt myself I think I need to get some help! It's reassuring that others have the same problem as me! Will update this when I have spilled to the doctor!

Aug 22, 2012
wow... NEW
by: Bekah

I have been researching this the past few days. I have always had a sleep "running" (never walking) problem. This past week I ran right on down a flight of steps...broke my foot...still didn't wake up...jumped up, and kept running! When my mom finally snapped me out of it, I realized I broke my foot. I had dreamt that the house was coming down and there was an active tornado right then.

Last year, I thought I heard a girl screaming outside my apartment. I got up to go help her...ran down a flight of steps (safely) and woke up in the parking lot wearing only my underwear and a tshirt.

I'm glad to read that i'm not alone...this is very frustrating and I wish I could control it...

Aug 31, 2012
Scared Mom NEW
by: Anonymous

My 18 year old son just had a sleep running episode. He tried to run out the front door but thankfully I could stop him. For years he has had these dreams, such as many of you, of spiders, raccoons, skunks and scorpions in his bed. Usually, he just stood beside the bed and yelled Mom. But now, he has begun to run. He ran out the door the other night and my husband found him behind the house quite dazed. Scary for me as a mom. Not quite sure how to help him. These usually occur within the first couple of hours of going to sleep. Somehow, it is comforting knowing he is not all alone with this issue. Thanks and Sleeprun safely out there.

Oct 12, 2012
by: Ivy

Well i've sleep walked before but I had my first sleep running episode this week, sooooo weird, and i live alone unfortunately. I was dreaming of a huge almost human like hairy worm under my bed and in my dream i ran from my bed to the door trying to get out.... and i actually ran to the door and opened it!!! I live in a small studio apartment, i'm in university. Fortunatley i woke up at that moment. I was so freaked out... am glad to know other people also go through this.

Nov 25, 2012
Other out there! NEW
by: Tommi

I've been sleep walking since I was 4 I'm now 13, I thought I was insane. I just started having night terrors or sleeping running about a month ago, I was watching something about a serial killer. I remember screaming and then everything went black I opened my eyes and I was standing in front of the door. My Dad was standing beside my asking me why I was screaming and running, I was very confused.I had many episodes after that, in one of them I saw a black figure standing in the corner of my room I started to run blacked out then found my self outside. The first night terror I ever had I was 11 and I was at a friends house I saw this thing again in the corner of the room I started screaming and apparently was banging on the wall I woke up facing the front door. I scared my friend so bad she was in tears, I say scary things to like "They're trying to cut my screen with scissors". The only reason I know I have night terrors is because I have a very restless mind, or I am truly an insane girl. I am relived that I have found people with the same problem as me and hopefully someone finds a cure to it.

Jun 17, 2013
Scared NEW
by: Amanda

This just happened to me for the first time. I was having a horrible dream. I woke my husband up with a loud scream that has left my voice horse. Then I ran out of the room and down the hall...I was doing this in the dream too. But the people chasing me caught me in my dream and grabbed my right leg to drag husband woke me up. The left side of my body has carpet burns on my knee, arm wrist, and foot. I didn't sleep for hours. He stayed up with me. I'm 22. The worst I'd done before this was just get outa bed or, make my bed in my sleep. This makes me feel better knowing other people go through it to.

Jun 17, 2013
Scared NEW
by: Amanda

This just happened to me for the first time. I was having a horrible dream. I woke my husband up with a loud scream that has left my voice horse. Then I ran out of the room and down the hall...I was doing this in the dream too. But the people chasing me caught me in my dream and grabbed my right leg to drag husband woke me up. The left side of my body has carpet burns on my knee, arm wrist, and foot. I didn't sleep for hours. He stayed up with me. I'm 22. The worst I'd done before this was just get outa bed or, make my bed in my sleep. This makes me feel better knowing other people go through it to.

Jun 17, 2013
Sleep running/night terrors NEW
by: Anonymous

I started .5mg of clonazepam 3x daily and 60mg Cymbalta 1x daily 3 months ago and I haven't had night terrors nor ran in my sleep since the 3rd day on the meds. They are a lifesaver!

Jun 28, 2013
Sleep Running, harming myself NEW
by: Anonymous

I am overwhelmed with the stories i´ve read here. It is amazing that people share the same odd problem. Growing up was hard for me as i was frequently called names, as other people assumed i was scared of the dark or whatever. It happens almost once a month, but when it happens its devastating; i break glass, bump into walls, screaming like an animal and sweating. Im not able to remember what caused the panic, but i feel chased by something. When i finish i return to bed like nothing has happened. It happens EVERY time i witness violence, in other words, whenever i see violent acts in the night I run.

Sep 29, 2013
by: Anonymous

Oh my! I'm a nurse(15yr veteran). My son(only child), had his second SLEEP RUNNING episode tonight. I take care of my elderly mom. I live in a 2 story townhouse. I had left house to go to store. My mom has a bed on the 1st floor. Our(me & son) bedrooms are on the 2nd floor. Had thoroughly wore out my son in one day(I guess??). Well son ran down 12 steps into kitchen(the refrigerator that he ran into STOPPED HIM). Even after running into fridge he was drowsy/confused/halfsleep really. He used to talk in his sleep(even before he could talk)....werd btw to her a baby talking random baby talk/in their sleep/ with dark room & their eyes closed(fuh-reakyyyy!). Then he used to grind his teeth. Glad to hear others. But???? How to fix this. He will live on his own one day!

Oct 23, 2013
I've only recently started this... NEW
by: Rachel

I've only just started experiencing such a thing, I'm 21, just finished university. I have always had issues with my sleep, as a child I used to sleep walk, as a teenager I suffered from Sleep Paralysis, afterward I simply put up with insomnia, throughout university I would barely sleep, until weekends where I would sleep for hours on end.

Now I'm working a usual 9-5 job I've started sleep running, my most recent was last night, I was dreaming I had been buried alive, I must have leapt out of bed and ran, I woke up just before I hit the wall, didn't have time to stop however and naturally ran into the wall.
I'm starting to believe that actually having a normal sleeping pattern maybe caused it... I'm not to sure, but when I leap up to run everyone is awoken by whatever I yell beforehand, then take off.
(I must say it's a good job I have a box room, I'm not too keen on running some sort of marathon throughout the house)

Initially I was a trifle worried about what was wrong with me, but reading this and knowing I'm not alone makes me feel a lot better.
Thank you!

Jan 29, 2014
Sleep running is for the birds. NEW
by: Anonymous

Despite sleep running being probably my only form of exercise, I do seem to get these "attacks" in the early morning. One time, the running ended up causing me to break my arm and be in a cast for 6 weeks. My doctor seems to think it is related to sleep apnea. I've done a sleep study and will be getting a CPAP. I'm not sure if this is the answer or not. Sometimes I can go months between episodes. God I just wish that when I went to bed, I stayed there till I was aware I was intentionally getting out of it.

Apr 21, 2014
I feel like i finally fit in NEW
by: JD

I'm 18 and for the past couple years i've been running in my sleep at least once a week, it seems like it's always someone chasing me because they want to murder me or something like that, i always end up outside and i can even move furniture or unlock doors in my sleep. One time i woke up and i guess i was near a fence and cut myself on barbwire, might've been the scariest night of my life.

May 27, 2014
Didn't think there were so many like me NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow. I really thought I was one of the only ones with this problem. We call them "Terrors" at my house and they scare the hell out of everyone, including myself. I always describe them as an "anxiety attack in my sleep" where my dreams get insanely twisted and, surprise surprise, I run around the house screaming, crying, sweating and just all out panicing. I'm only 14, and have been having these since I was around 10. I'm glad people understand how scary that is, at such a young age, and even now, to have almost no control over your body.

May 31, 2014
wow... this is crazy NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm 28 years old and for the past 10 years I have been having these sleep running episodes almost monthly.

Once a year it gets really bad because I'll wake up screaming and running down the stairs.. usually afraid or spooked about something in my dreams(nightmares).

Lately I have been finding myself going downstairs way too many times and I'm afraid that it's only going to get worse. I don't scream everytime, but the way I run down the stairs wakes everyone up in my house and it's getting really hectic.

Oct 29, 2014
Running and screaming NEW
by: Anonymous

I did this last night. I had a dream a giant spider was on the ceiling in my bedroom. I screamed and ran into the living room where my partner was. I freaked him out. I woke up when I ran into his arms. We took 5 minutes to calm our heart rates down. I've done some unusual things in my sleep, like crawling around my bed, or talking about random stuff. My favorite was taking off my earrings and handing them to my partner for safe keeping. He thought that was funny.

Jan 23, 2015
by: Anonymous

wow, I didn't realise this was an actual 'thing'. im 24 n ive had these sleep running episodes on and off for the past 4 years. its always spiders. Either giant ones or just hundreds of normal sized ones. I see them and run. Last night was the first time I actually fell over though. that left me more confused than usual. but its good to know im not alone in this.

Feb 02, 2015
Not much to add - me too NEW
by: Rachel

Nice to know I'm not alone. It happened last night after being free of it for quite a while. Of course, as we all seem to agree, it was triggered by overwhelming emotional stress. I'm telling myself it's a barometer, one of many I have, telling me to ease up on myself while doing positive things to improve the situation I'm in.

Years ago, there was a period of time that I would sleep with all windows closed for concern of going out the window. I only crashed into a wall once.

I am always seeing someone in my room. Last night I think the person was incorporated into my lamp. My heart pounded so hard I got nauseous.

I really am still asleep while I'm running and screaming. And, yes, I can scream so hard my throat hurts next day

Apr 01, 2015
Haven't run in years!! NEW
by: Amy (from the original post)

Shortly after my initial post I completely stopped having episodes. Here is what changed...I have allergies and within 6 weeks time we replaced all of our carpets with hard wood, my beloved golden retriever passed away and my husband (now ex) who smoked moved out. Allergen triggers and MAJOR stress trigger disappered. I have never had a running episode again. That being said, I have had a few screaming episodes but thankfully I now stay put. I literally had chills tonight as I read all of your posts and realized that all of those years that I thought I was crazy and alone all of you were out there suffering as well. I'm not saying its a cure all but check into the allergy and stress angles. I feel for all of you and pray that each of you finds relief. Amy

Apr 18, 2015
running and jumping NEW
by: Anonymous

I have had maybe 5-10 memorable sleep running events in my life, all but 1 happened in the last 5 years. I'm 21 I live in the college dorms with no roommate. I read all of these posts and was shocked to find that this happens to others. I don't scream or yell that I know of but every time until last night I run for the light or just as far from my bed as I can until reality washes over me. I've had dreams of giant mosquitos in my face and spiders even one time a glowing white squid sliding across my floor towards me I've seen people standing over me and I always run so terrified. Last night I dreamt kids ran under my bed, but I was asleep on my couch adjacent from my bed. So I ran and hurdles the footboard and panicked in the middle of my bed for what felt like 3 minutes. I was ready to fight I thought the kids were going to sneak up the sides of the bed. All of the sudden I realized it was a dream and then became scared I was going insane and fell back to sleep there completely exhausted. I have never been more afraid and I would love to make it stop I'm afraid to have these events later in life with a family or too hurt myself. Thanks for sharing everyone I'm sorry you are afflicted by this strange problem I know how draining it can be.

Apr 28, 2015
sleep running NEW
by: linda

hi all. my sleep running is the same, every time. i am extremely afraid of spiders, specifically of them dropping down on me from above and this is what i run from.

in my sleep/wake state i see a giant spider dropping down from my canopy bed or ceiling. it glides down on a thread of silk. its purpose is to drain all the fluid from my body - to desiccate me. (i sometimes see webs of silk or smoke in the corners where my ceiling and walls meet.)

i come fully awake in the living room having exited my bed, run through my bedroom, through the living room and into the kitchen. there i collect the broom as my weapon of choice. (i dont know if i actually swing the broom at the ceiling or just imagine i have done so.) my only thought is to beat the spider back.

i have no clear memory, only a vague recollection that i am here because of the spider. my heart is pounding, im soaked with sweat and sometimes in tears . i get back into bed and into a deep sleep until morning. i have no repeat episodes that night.

May 02, 2015
Terrifying! NEW
by: Sophie

Last year on holiday my boyfriend sat up in bed then suddenly scrambled out of bed, running for the door screaming a horrible high pitched scream which terrified the life out of me, my parents and him when he woke up. His mum said he did it as a child but that was over 15 years ago. That was last May. Last night the same thing happened again but at home. He began to scramble out of bed screaming again but this time I pulled him on top of me and held on to him with difficulty until he woke up as I was scared he would fall down the stairs or something! We are both scared and really don't know what to do. He was so unhappy leaving for work this morning...

May 06, 2015
by: Anonymous

The same thing happens to me (running in my sleep out of some sort of fear)! It happens few times every week unless it's a good week. And it really frightens all my family members. I can also relate to many of the comments above. In my case, although spiders and other insects and sometimes the reason for the nightmares, it is not always the case. Sometimes, I am running from other things such as some harmful chemical being spilled on my bed.. or other scary things. Also, the good thing about me is that I never run into anything (i.e. walls, doors).. I have never bumped into anything! I am 27 years old and these sleep "running" nightmares have been happening ever since I was little... It's really crazy to know that it happens to many other people!! I was looking for a "formal" name of this disorder, but there doesn't seem to be one.

Jun 07, 2015
Hormone related? NEW
by: Sharon2

I have experienced night terrors since my early 20's. I am now 52. My terrors usually begin with the feeling that an intruder is in my home. I scream bloody murder, jump out of bed, fling open my bedroom door and run the 100 meter dash downstairs, I literally go from 0 to 60. Then I wake up disoriented and terrified, my heart pounding out of my chest. I jumped out of bed on vacation once, tripped, fell down and broke 2 fingers. The terrors stopped with menopause, for approx. 3 years. I recently started taking a hormone replacement medication, and guess what. The terrors are back. I have at least one a week since taking this medication. I wonder if hormones may be a catalyst. So relieved to know that I am not the only one who experiences this bizzare sleep running thing.

Jun 15, 2015
Glad to know... NEW
by: Taylor

I know I have been reading where many have had this for years. Mine started last night. Only once so far I hope. I am visiting home and havr been going through more stress than most people should go through in their life time, but anyways I don't remember anything truly specific about the dream, but all I know is I ran out the room running and screaming. Scared everyone. I haven't visited home since the stressful event, so I don't know if I was just confused because I had no idea where I was. All I know is I hope it does not happen again, because I an barely talk as it is.

Jun 16, 2015
Almost 10 years free of that stupid shadow NEW
by: Anonymous

Im 25 years old and I used to sleep run between ages of 7 yrs old to 16 years old. The last time I slept run, my mother found me at 4 am sitting in the balcony at our appartment,in a 7th floor. Since that moment we had to move to a 1 floor house and my bedroom had a key. I used to have the same nightmare over and over again, a black shadow of a woman chasing me. Entering my old house where I grow up.after years I knew exactly I was in a nightmare when it happened, but I couldn't control my body. But after trying to control my nightmare, I started calling my mother when seeing that shadow. After some months I was able to run after the shadow...and that was how I stopped this terrible experience. Now I'm married and I haven't had an episode for almost 10 years, but sometimes I fear hurting my wife in one of them. Hopefully it's over with me...fucking shadow lol.

Oct 13, 2015
Sleep run free for years NEW
by: Glenn

Hi all,
I was sleep running between the ages of 6 to 17. They would always happen early in the night. I would never hurt myself. I would sometimes climb out the bedroom window or go out the front door. My parents would sometimes find me down the street. In my case I could always remember that I was running but not why I was running. So I was in a semi sleep state. The last time I experienced it was when I was 17 and I was overseas for the first time. That first night in the hotel I went for a run down the hallway. It hasn't happened to me since. The only thing I could think that caused it would be stress of some sort. But reading all the comments here helps to realise its not an uncommon condition.

Nov 01, 2015
Sleep Ran into a Door Today NEW
by: Anonymous

I sleep ran today I guess. I've never done it before. I had drank quite a few beers over a long period of timer before that. I think it's relevant. I don't drink ALL the time. And had smoked some marijuana which is legal here. Anyway so I went to sleep, in the middle of my sleep, I just felt this impulse telling me to get up and basically run. And yeah I ran into a door and hit it pretty hard with my hand... apparently I thought to stop myself by slamming into the wall with my hand in my sleep... yeah I hurt my hand a little bit... but I didn't wake up there. My mom was like shouting at me because she was in a panic (she was on the couch close by). But instead of waking up I ran back to the bed and continued sleeping. Then when I woke up I had no idea really what happened and I cracked my hand and it felt better. So then I asked my mom and she thinks I flew into the wall or something. The weird part is I only remember my feet touching the ground when I got of bed, I don't think I was even fully awake. And I stood there completely confused while asleep while she was yelling at me. I couldn't even talk back to her. So yeah that was my sleep running episode today. I guess I hope it doesn't happen again or something.

Mar 07, 2016
Sleep running NEW
by: Bill

I'm 50. Last night I jumped out of bed after thinking I saw a burglar/image of person in my bedroom and ran out of the bedroom in the direction of the image. My heart rate spiked and I was out of breath for about 15 minutes. Nobody was there, the dog, who sleeps on the bed tore after me and went crazy, so my actions caused the dog to think something was happening. This is the first time this ever happened. I only watched ESPN last night. What happened to me?

Apr 08, 2016
20 years of this NEW
by: Anonymous

When I was about six I would scream that there was somebody at the end of my bed touching my feet, a woman. Since then I've seen a shadow standing over me or running at me, or sometimes just watching from the corner, for twenty years of my life. It's usually male and black but very rarely it's female and white (in colour, not skin, both are just a shining outline but I can sense from the stature and size). It has taken me ten years to realise this. It has happened in so many different houses, hotels, even tents, but after I run it disappears and I feel as though it has left rather than I have woke up. Once I believed it grabbed my foot and felt it pull me and I dug my nails into my partner and clung onto him screaming and begging for help. It is terrifying and exhausting, like everybody says, but it's not quite a dream because I am already awake, I can see every detail of the room. Now I find myself having the thought "it's you again, you won't be able to hurt me, you never do, you're not real" when I see the shadow, but I still get up and run if it moves towards me. I eventually calm down and can remember the next day. However, apparently I scream and point in the corner quite often in my sleep without any recollection of it too. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I didn't run but as somebody else said, it feels like you naturally fear it because it will hurt you or it is "death" and that is why you run

Jun 12, 2016
Sleeping issues NEW
by: Anonymous

I have been experiencing this for quite a few years. It happens mostly when I'm under stress. It scares me in the fact that I don't know what's happening. I wake up mid-run and feel absolutely terrified of whatever it is I'm running from. The worst part is seeing the horror in my family's faces. They don't know what is wrong with me or what to do. I also do this thing where if someone startles me while I'm asleep, I jump up and go into fight or flight mode. I've had night terrors as long as I can remember but the other things started when I got home from Iraq. I'm still fairly young so it scares me to know that I am so screwed up mentally. I have to take sleeping pills to put myself out or these things happen.

Jul 17, 2016
Married to the sleep running master NEW
by: Anonymous

My 42 year old husband sleep runs 4-6 times a week (and I once saw him sleep army-crawl). It usually occurs in the first 3 hours of sleep and may be set off my a loud noise on television or my movement in bed, but has also happened with no visible stimulus. His dream is of being chased by a predator and it's the same dream every time. I'm always worried about him hurting our children during his nighttime runs, so I'm envious of those of you with partners who only deal with this on occasion. As I type this he is in the other room sleeping and I'm waiting for his nightly appearance.

Jul 19, 2016
Hey everyone NEW
by: K1

I have the same problem as you all have, 2 weeks ago I have just woke up in the middle of the night on my bed and I was standing right on the bed watching my partner sleeping, and I was unaware of the fan above me while it was working, I believe it was only few ings away from my head, but luckily I did not jump, otherwise I probably get injure very bad,after that my partner woke me up and then I realised what I was doing,,, another night when she wakes me up while I was holding my pillow and watching my partner,,, just last night, which was the worst above all, we decided to sleep in the living room and we have a coffee table about 2 meters long in the living room so when I woke up my partner was screaming in my hands saying no no please, why she was like that? Because she told me u got up very fast and running around the coffee table very fast so fast that I couldn't imagine like a mik mik in the filmkarton..and she said ur face was like a full of madness,,, and after when I came back to the reality my body was full of pain.. It's my story and I was wondering if it has anything to do with spiritual things,,,I appreciate it if anyone give some answer, thanks.

Jul 31, 2016
im happy that im not the only one :D NEW
by: Said

Hello everyone thank you for sharing your stories, i have this sleep running fact since i was a child and still have it, and now im 25 years old, my mum was my life saver when i was a kid, she was sleeping next me and everytime i start running she catches me, the thing for me is when i start running the only thing that i think about during that is to light the room to get back my consciousness, and i fall asleep right away when i get back to bed, yesterday i had one of my most embarrassing moments ever, i was with mum and cousin at home but my cousin don't know about my behavior, at night i ran from my room to their room and i screamed that someone is chasing me in the other room, my mum asked her to light the room but she thought that it's true that someone is chasing me and she scared very much and start trembling, me in that time i went back to bed like nothing happened, my mum told me in the next morning that my cousin didn't sleep that night and she was really panicked, i apologized to her and i really want to get rid of this situation because im afraid to do something more dangerous next time :(

Aug 14, 2016
So it never goes away?!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 18 and for the past year I have had 3 episodes of night running and screaming, I don't remember doing any of it. All I can remember is the lights turning on which usually snap me out of it and the frightened look on my parents faces. They tell me that I run through the house towards front while shouting as loud as I can. The only thing that I can think of that might be a trigger is my bed being too warm because all 3 times my clothes were literally soaked in sweat and my hair felt like I just walked out of a shower. I have slept on chouches and in awkward positions but it has never caused it, not yet anyways. Also I'm in my last year of high school which mean I am a bit stressed but thats over now and I still had an episode last night! It is actually stressing me more seeing people say they still have it when they are in 30s and 40s, might have another episode tonight!

Aug 24, 2016
First timer.... NEW
by: Drew

Hi my name is Drew, Short for Andrew. Last night I scared the living daylights out of my roommate as I got up out of my bed in the middle of the night shouting RUN!! I made it to our door only to have my roommate shout for me to stop. As I frantically tried to reason with him to run I realized I was in our room and their was nothing to worry about and went to bed. This article really reassured me, I thought I was possessed or something. Thanks again

Oct 17, 2016
started 2-3 years ago NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 16, neither of my parents or grandparents have had what i have. I run away generally out of my room trying to leave the house, generally im spooked by something but i dont know what it is. When i see other people in this state, they appear as black sillouettes which scares me more. I scream usually and im worried about my future. I am generally a runner but if im VERY spooked or if someone touches me I can feel the instictual change from flight to flight and ive started swinging before. I have once and only once ran into the kitchen and grabbed a kitchen knife, as i picked it up my mom called my name and i turned and saw her then put it back. I am worried one day if I have a family I might hurt them. Any advice? I am not usually a very stressfull person. I usually only remember the next morning if someone tells me. It is on and off maybe a year then 3-4 months it'll happen every other week or something like that. It hasnt happened for a few months now.

Apr 10, 2017
Always believed in ghosts NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 25 now .It all started when I decided to leave home and went to study in college. I was too stressed and I think that's the only triggering factor for me. I always feel like someone is watching over me and that some one is present whole day with me . It spokes me out and never told this to anyone before I think they will think m crazy and at night I sleep run with the same response like a cycle . I wake up telling from the bed with my eyes open (I don't remember it anyway ) and see the person sleeping next to me with a ghost eyes as described by them . And ran for the door ( there is always this door) and then I ran towards the door grab it and hold still and then I wake up. It's totally weird and I don't have much friends and family thinks I need a psychiatrist .But
u I don't feel any tired or anything .I I don't know what it is . Please let me know if I am really psycho or just sensitive to ghosts.??

Jun 29, 2017
Concerned Mother NEW
by: Anonymous

My daughter sleep runs and she is 11 years old. She has been doing this since she was 3 years old. I have to chase her down before she hurts her self and gently lead her back to bed. However, last night she leaped out of her bed and took off running and she was excited about something. I tried to help her back to her bed and she was getting a little aggressive and kept pushing away from me. She could hear me talking and kept telling me "ssshhhh," but I realized she was asleep and got her back to bed. I am afraid she is going to get hurt someday.

Jul 09, 2017
Feeling Relieved NEW
by: Elly

That is crazy to read, and such a relief to hear of so many people suffering with this, some for many years.
I started this when my son was born, 6 years now, which also coincided with my mother death from cancer. I have now been to the doctor, as an episode would usually be a 6 monthly thing, but now has been happening much more regularly.
The worst one to date was when I was in hospital in my second pregnancy, on a drip, and I ran to the door, ripping the drip out of my arm.
What I find most strange, is that everyone seems to have the same dream that triggers their running. Mine is I am looking for my kids, or a kid, always. Specially happens if I am away from them.
My doctor is sending me to a psychiatrist, I think to follow the avenue of PTSD of sorts.
Hoping that will give me some answers, otherwise I will be trying the REM sleep disorder meds, as I now get anxiety sleeping anywhere away from home, afraid I will do it.

Jul 26, 2017
I Scare Myself Too NEW
by: Anonymous

Last night I jumped up running to my daughters room, because in my dream it was on fire. I woke up before I made it to her room only to find that I almost trampled over my dog. My husband told me I was dreaming and to go back to bed.

It's been a long time since this has happened but it does happen. In the past I have gone running down the hallway toward the garage door because someone was chasing me.

What causes this and how do I make it stop? It's really scary. I always wake up before I get to my destination in the house.

Aug 10, 2017
Twice in one night! NEW
by: Anonymous

I used to sleep walk and talk as a kid. Now I'm 52 and so the past 7 years I have been sleep running. Last night I did it twice, in one night!!! I dodge furniture well! One night I trip at the top of the stairs and skinned my knees. But I have never run into anything.....yet! My husband thinks I'm nuts but he thinks it kind of funny. Mine happens during stress and no stress periods. Mine happened before menopause and after while being on bio identical hormones so I don't think that's the culprit.
My dreams are usually something evil is about to get me. For a long time it was a green box or green shape that I would see and run away from. That was for years but has now stopped. Mostly it's a bad guy coming to get me or spiders. I wish it would go away. I'm worried about the stairs in my house :(

Nov 05, 2017
Ran screaming and fell NEW
by: Anonymous

Two nights ago I 'woke' to feel weight on my back and as I turned to look, I saw the silhouette of a man. I screamed and jumped out of the bed, fell to my knees which ended up badly grazed and bruised. I continued to scream and scramble across the floor on my hands and knees into the direction of the room where my husband was half asleep watching TV. I was left in a crumpled heap, crying, heart pounding, as white as a sheet and feeling faint. My son who was sleeping upstairs, was woken by my terrifying, ear piercing screams, and came running down the stairs. It terrified him as well as me. I told them what I'd 'seen' and I felt quite stupid. Today my voice has gone, which proves how bad the screams were. I did a similar thing a year ago but cannot remember what scared me into the screaming and running I did whilst pointing at the window and frantically trying to get out of the locked door. I'm 57 yrs old. I have had many, many little visions of shadows of people in my room or masses of spiders crawling over the bed and none of these have had the effect these running and screaming episodes have had. I do feel scared to go to sleep at night now.

Nov 25, 2017
Anyone know what this is called? NEW
by: SN

I suffer with this, it’s awful. I can’t rememebr exactly what age this started but I know I’ve been having them for a few years now. I’m 21 and I had another last night, in my opinion the worst one.
In the past when I’ve had them I NEVER remember what I dreamed about. I would just wake up and sprint. I would come round eventually and realise I’m in no danger but I feel absolutely terrified. My legs go like jelly and my heart is pounding in my chest.
These episodes vary from severity, sometimes i’ll wake up and I will just run and turn the light on whereas other times I will actually run out the room.
Last night was the worst one for me because I actually saw someone in my room, well not really, it was all in my head obviously but it felt so real. I ended up running all the way down stairs! I eventually came round and went back to bed.
Does anyone have a clue what this is called?

Dec 13, 2017
Has anyone had this diagnosed? NEW
by: Anonymous

Is there an official name for this?
I suffer from this as well and reading through all of these made me feel a lot less alone. I am curious if this has an official term though? I've also found stress to be a trigger for me.
One time I climbed over a balcony in my sleep because I thought a venous spider was in my bed (I'm not even afraid of them while awake, I pick em up and move em outside often)
It is crazy that so many people on here also dream about spiders also some saying they are not afraid of them awake. Weird coincidence?

Apr 26, 2018
Another one NEW
by: Anonymous

Ive only had 2 sleep running was during a camp for an intense soccer tournament...where we were using traditional medicine (muti) "to beat other teams"... oh yeah Im from South Africa. So as we were asleep I just got convinced that the house we were in was going to explode- so I awoke and ran for my life. Breaking through a sliding door in the process and jumling over a fence...only the sound of the neighbour'sneighbour's barking awoke me from my sleep teammates were scared as heart seemed like it would explode. I went back to sleep believing the ancestors were mad at me for not believing in their Muti and so were trying to kill me...dont judge, I did say Im from Africa and many people believe in such so I started to believe too...a second episode happened yesterday and it was harmless, I just ran and jumped fence and awoke in the street waiting for the house to explode again...nothing, so I went back to bed.

Basically these stories here have convinced me that my ancestors aren't mad at me as I was told haha but that I have a sleeping disorder...but what is it called? It's dangerous.

Jun 29, 2018
Saaaaame NEW
by: Anonymous

These stories all sound exactly like what I've been experiencing since high school. Makes me feel less crazy!

Recently though I was on a study abroad and I was sleeping in a bunkbed when I had one of these episodes. I jumped out of the top bunk and landed on my feet on bare marble floors and broke my foot. Since I broke my foot about a week ago I have had three more episodes where I have jumped up and done the sleep running. The last episode I woke up because I couldn't unlock the front door to the apartment and my foot was in a lot of pain from the running on it. I know my episodes are usually triggered by stress, but does anyone have any suggestions for avoiding episodes, or maybe being safer when they happen?
I've scared roommates and family members pretty consistently over the years with my sleep running (sometimes it is sleep throwing because I start throwing anything I can get my hands on at whatever I dreamed was in my room or bed, and sometimes that means my roommates get pillows or other things thrown at their heads). I can forsee this getting dangerous for someone if not just myself later on.

Oct 17, 2018
Just had 2 these last couple months! NEW
by: Anonymous

Well I might as well add mine, I'm 18 and recently my night terrors have evolved from anxious moaning in my sleep, to sleep paralysis, to bolting out the door into the hallway, often making my parents wonder if I'm going to throw up. The first was trying the door shut yelling "Oh my God" because I thought there was a man with a gun behind it trying to get in, the second was a little more weird... I conjured in my head a word you can apparently utter which causes you to die, I said it accidently and immediately regretted it, ran out of the bed, into the hallway where I collapsed having a sleep panic attack about how I don't want to die. I can watch me doing this and it takes a couple minutes before I realise I'm being incredibly dumb, and my half- focused brain slowly and painfully crawls back to bed, because my muscles heavily don't agree with being woken up like this. I feel like it's related to past traumas and definitely my strong fear of death but I feel a bit stumped with how to stop it now, I feel pretty embarrassed scaring family with this and I'm a little worried about hurting myself, but hopefully they may disappear someday.

Nov 17, 2018
Sleep running since child years NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow, sitting here reading these stories after crying about what is wrong with me has made me feel a little more human. I am a 23 year old woman and have been sleep walking as a kid which eventually led to sleep running. I once sleep walked out of my house walking towards a heavy traffic road and my dad caught me. I have been sleep running more frequently and have ran up the stairs completely naked screaming (very embarrassing for my sister to wake me up like that) I sleep with my bedroom door locked and I am somehow able to unlock it in my sleep. Sometimes I go a year or 2 without doing it but this year alone I’ve done it 4 or 5 times. I have never hurt myself and can run up the stairs just fine, but last night I tripped getting out of bed and hurt my knee. This is getting out of control. I would like to know if anyone knows what this is and if you’ve gotten treated for it? Seems from the comments that no matter how old you get, they still continue to happen. I’m feeeling a bit defeated at this point.

Jan 24, 2019
28 and still sleep running NEW
by: ER2019

Just stumbled upon this after a particularly bad episode of sleep running last night. I sleep walked as a child, and as I've got older it seems to have turned into me just chucking my self out of bed and running for it.

Over the past few years it seems to have got better (although I still wake up panicking but I stay put!). However last night I had a dream that I woke up in a strange bed, and chucked myself out of it in a massive state of panic. Although I was actually doing this in the bed I was in, and ran into a ledge and cut my leg open. It's the first time I've actually injured myself doing it, so now I'm feeling quite panicked about. However reading through this thread has given me comfort that I'm not alone in this.

I definitely think it must be linked to stress, but I just wish I knew a way to stop this from happening again!

Oct 16, 2019
My sleeprunning stopped NEW
by: Anonymous

My started episodes started when I was just about 7, and I would have daily episodes of me running around the house. The only thing I remember is that I wasn't able to breath, I could hear my heart beating through my ears and the dream was always the same. Eventually now my sleep running has has gradually receded and stopped. Except for the random sleep walking episode I don't sleep run anymore!

Jun 11, 2020
Sleep Running Happened When I Was Wide Awake
by: Anonymous

I was 9 years old playing a game of tag and I tried to jump over a kid to avoid being tagged. When I tried to make the jump I blacked out. Next thing I know I'm on the other side of the gym. When I came to I realized I ran across almost half the gym without being in conscious control of my body. To this day I have no memory of what happened from the time I blacked out to the time I regained consciousness but obviously I started sleep running from an awake state. Is that a total freak show or what does this mean?

Jul 22, 2020
Me too NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks for sharing your stories. It's good to know that other go thru this as well. I just had an episode last night; and many others before. This is something I've dealt with all my life. I'm 41 years old.

Sometimes I don't remember what causes it, but when I do it varies from getting chased; to bugs being all over my bed. I've even came into consciousness at the tail end of freestyle raps. Asked my roommate "How was that?" Then walked back into my room to go to sleep.

Last night I jumped out of bed; heart racing and scared to death. I ran from my bed room to the middle of my living room. When I tried to lay back down my heart was beating so hard I had to sit back up and pull myself together. Whatever I was dreaming about had to do with darkness. It feel like it's due to stress, but who knows. We might just be special.

Aug 08, 2020
Been doing this as well NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello, I do this too! I'm 20 now, I didn't always sleep run but I started at around 17, (before then I often sleep talked and sometimes sleep walked though, always have very vivid dreams/ nightmares)
I'm lucky I haven't hurt myself badly yet nor has someone "ran into" me doing it hah, but often it could be a dream of a massive swarm of bees or my phone falling off my cupboard or a gunman trying to get in and I start sprinting down to stop it! Stress is defintely a trigger, also bring sick, I've done it with a bad cold.

I'll have to say the aching muscles and the stress and carpet burn after us pretty awful, and when I grab things and I wake up with a bunch of random stuff in my bed the next morning! Luckily it only happens every few months, hopefully it doesn't get worse...

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