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Still Sleepwalking At The Age of 19

by Crystal
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

My first recorded incident of sleepwalking happened when I was around 9 years old. I was still partially asleep and just debating getting up when my dog and cat both came over. The cat as usual just snuggled in beside me but my dog started licking me as if he was excited to see me. That's when it struck me. I slept on the top bunk of a bunk bed, how did my dog get up here? I opened my eyes and I was on the couch. I asked my mum if she had moved me but she said there was no way she could have moved me from the top bunk without waking me.

Most of the time my sleepwalking is very minor, and if it wasn't for how particular I am about sleeping conditions I probably wouldn't be able to tell if I still sleepwalk. I can only fall asleep if the lights are off, my computer/TV/video games are all powered down and my curtains are open to let in some natural light. Occasionally I would wake up with my TV turned on to a channel I usually watched. My curtains might be closed. Lights are turned on (not only in my room but all over the house). Generally that is how my mum and I both know that something happened the night prior. Due to how occasional it is (I've gone for over a year without an incident) it is sometimes a surprise to wake up and find something off about my room.

Occasionally, my sleepwalking is a little more active. My mum is naturally a late night type of person, and won't usually go to bed until after 2AM. This allows for her to almost always witness or at least hear when I've gotten up. One time (as she has told me)she was in the kitchen cleaning up a bit before heading to bed. I came out and started to pour myself a glass of water. She honestly thought I was completely awake and just said something along the lines of "Thristy?". My reply was garbled and really quiet. She then asked "What?" and that is when I turned to her. She has told me that my eyes were open but it was as if I was looking through her, as if I wasn't mentally all there. I had a really blank expression. The amusing thing about this incident is that is it one of only a few I remember (partially). I honestly don't remember getting up and pouring myself a drink of water. It was when she asked me (after realizing that I was sleepwalking) "Are you going to remember this in the morning?" that I remember rather indignantly replying "YES!" apparently I "stomped" off to bed after that, but I don't remember that either.

Last month something a bit more serious happened. I had a wonderful little Guinea Pig named Miles who I had owned for nearly 5 years. Guinea Pigs generally last anywhere from 5-7 but I've heard of some lasting longer. Miles had been showing signs of getting older (thinning, not being as active, not eating as much)and even though I knew he was old I was still upset at the prospect of losing him. I suppose this stress
triggered an event because not too long after going to bed I came back out of my room and told my mum "Miles has passed." My mum said back that he was fine an hour ago and that it was very sudden. She wasn't entirely sure at the time if I had been sleepwalking because I had been kind of odd but at the same time Miles was very old. I woke up the next morning with some recollection, and when I checked on Miles he was fine. My mum and I joked about it during the day, but now I really wish we hadn't. She had said "I thought something was off, but thinking about it now I don't believe you would have gone back to bed with a dead animal in your room." and I agreed. I couldn't sleep at all the next night (which is very strange for me). Being stubborn, I stayed in bed all night but I never did drift off. Around 5AM I decided I might as well get up. That's when I found Miles dead in his hutch. It was very upsetting but something my mum said again later that day really has sunk in. I could never sleep with a dead guinea pig/friend in my room.

Last night's incident is a little more lighthearted although if I am honest it has scared me quite a bit. I don't remember anything and my mum wasn't up at the time so I just pieced together the "evidence" from this morning. Here in Toronto it has been extremely muggy and hot for the past few days so naturally I've been enjoying all my favorite cool treats (namely ice cream). I woke up this morning and sat at my desk as usual. I turned on my laptop and waited for it to boot. I pulled out the rolling portion of my desk and found dark brown splotches all over it. I knew I had had chocolate ice cream the night before after dinner, but it's not like me to make a mess, and especially not like me to not clean it up. I shrugged it off though and went out to the living room to say good morning to my mum. She asked if I had been up in the night to which I replied "No, not that I remember". She told me that morning she found chocolate ice cream stains all over the counter in the kitchen which I always use. I then told her about the stains on my desk, to which she teasingly asked "Having a midnight snack by any chance?"

I looked in the sink and sure enough the ice cream scoop was in there. We were also missing a waffle cone from the box. For some reason this event disturbs me much more than the rest. I've been researching a lot about sleepwalking and I only recently became aware of sleep eating. It sounds harmless enough but I've read people's stories about how hard it is to control their weight while this happens. I am actually under weight right now, but my family has issues with weight usually starting when they reach around 20ish or so. I am 19 currently and I really hope this doesn't become a routine.

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