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Talking In My Sleep and Sleepwalking

by Marijane
(New York)

When I sleepwalk I do not remember a thing. However, I remember talking in my sleep, but not being able to make any sense. Shouldn't my experiences be equivalent?

The first time someone woke me up while sleepwalking was in 4th grade. My family took a vacation to Death Valley (leave it to my dad to think up this vacation) and it was over 100 degrees that night. Apparently, I got up in the middle of the night and went to the fridge, and just stood there. I came to with my mom pushing me. "What are you doing?" I looked around and felt very disoriented, but somehow it made sense that I was in front of the fridge. This was an odd sensation - simultaneously being able to make sense of the situation, but yet feeling unfamiliar. My mom questioned me further and decided that I had been sleepwalking. I was surprised, but on the whole, I was sleepy, tired and didn't really care. I went back to bed.

I have no idea how often I sleepwalk. It's only when someone brings up an interaction that I did, but don't remember, that I realize I was sleepwalking. One afternoon while in graduate school, my roommate came home from work and acted stand offish. I thought she had had a bad day at work and needed to be left alone. After a while I asked her what was wrong. She seemed surprised and said, "I thought you were mad at me. You didn't talk to me last night."

The thing was, I had come home exhausted from final exams and went right to sleep. So there was no way she could have seen me. Apparently, she had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and I was just standing in the kitchen (not sure what my thing is with kitchens). She started talking with me casually, but I didn't answer. Instead, I turned my back to her and started acting like I was doing the dishes, when in fact there was nothing in the sink. She took this as an insult, like I was making it obvious that I was ignoring her, and went back to her room.

I sleep talk, it is usually when I'm sleeping and someone is awake watching T.V., or doing something else in the room. I experienced this a lot because I grew up sharing a room with my sister. I usually remember what transpired, although I suppose if I don't remember a sleep talking incident there would be no way for me to know.

If someone is talking, I will respond, but without making sense. Sometimes I remember vaguely what I was trying to say, but it is like my brain is making my mouth speak real words, just all out of order.

For example, my boyfriend was watching a movie and I remember that I wanted him to turn off the light. But I said something like, "The girl...ship metal. Underneath!" When I really wanted to say, "Turn off the!" The inflection was the only thing that was correct. And it is not gibberish like other people have written here, but real words without grammar. It was like I was dreaming that he was watching a movie and I wanted him to turn off the light - except it was real. I remember feeling frustrated that he didn't understand. I tried multiple times to say, "Turn off the light" but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and tried to talk about something else, but again only said things that didn't make sense. My boyfriend said I went back to sleep after that. But from my perspective, I started actually dreaming a whole different storyline, which I assume is when I actually went back to sleep.

I'm not sure why I remember sleep talking but not sleep walking. A piece of the puzzle may be that I am sometimes a lucid dreamer. This means that at least once a week I have a vivid dream, and I am AWARE that it is a dream and this awareness allows me to have some control over it. This is different from usual dreams where I am a passive participant or observer - e.g. things happen to me and I do things that I cannot control.

This argument fails in its logic though. If I remember sleep talking because I am lucid dreaming, why do I never remember sleep walking?

Comments for Talking In My Sleep and Sleepwalking

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Mar 19, 2015
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