Living with someone who sleep talks and sleep walks can be tough. At least once a week I am woken up by my partner, Chris, either talking in his sleep or moving around. It could either be just the one occurrence in that particular night, or it could happen several times throughout the night.
Sleep talking is exactly what it says on the tin; a sleep disorder resulting in a person talking during their sleep. The person is usually very much unaware of the fact they have been talking, because they are asleep. There are many causes of sleep talking, ranging from stress and depression, to food and alcohol consumption. Sleep talking could also be hereditary.
Sleep walking, again, is exactly what it’s name suggests; a person who walks around when they are asleep. Sometimes it may be a case of the person just waking and sitting up, or they may actually get out of bed and carry out activities. Some triggers of sleep walking can include stress, illness, alcohol consumption or being woken suddenly.
Living with someone who sleep talks and sleep walks, as I have for seven years now, makes you become aware of the triggers that affect the person and how best to handle each occurrence.
I have noticed Chris talks and walks in his sleep more frequently than usual if he is stressed, if he has had any caffeine before bed, or if he has had any alcohol.
The majority of what Chris says in his sleep is incoherent; just a few muddled words or mumblings here and there. He has a tendency to thrash about the bed when in a sleep walking state, stray arms and all, before going back to sleep none the wiser. Yes, I have been on the receiving end of a stray arm a few times over the years. This is the reason co-sleeping was never an option with Molly when she was a baby. Though of late she seems to be in our bed all the blummin time. In this weather too! She moves around just as much as her daddy so if she is in the bed, I get even less sleep.
I am up a lot in the night because Molly is a bit of an insomniac. Her sleep has improved immensely over recent months but I still find myself up with her at least once a night. She often shouts out and laughs in her sleep. And she has also been known to have night terrors. It isn’t hard to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree where Chris and Molly’s sleeping habits are concerned.
I digress, but as I am up a lot in the night, I see and hear a lot of Chris’ ramblings. Sometimes, if I’ve been up with Molly he’ll be sat upright on the bed when I return. I’ll think he’s awake, because he appears to be, but then he utters some gibberish I can’t understand and goes back to sleep.
Some of his ramblings really are quite amusing though to be honest. I’ve actually laughed out loud a few times as he tells me a random story that makes absolutely no sense at all.
Chris does wake himself up sometimes with his talking, or actions. He tells me stories of his sleep walking occurrences before we met. At least twice he has found himself at work at 5am when he shouldn’t start until 8am. It is scary to think of how he managed to get there whilst asleep. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened for a few years. Luckily, I am quite a light sleeper and I always manage to get him back to bed if he is wandering.
A few of the things Chris has said while asleep that made me laugh include:
- I don’t like tomato soup
- We had fish
- It’s in the f*****g kitchen
- How is Molly? Is she settled? Shall I check her?
- Can I have a double pepperoni pizza please!
A few of the things Chris has done while asleep include:
- He randomly started massaging my arm and asking if I was okay. Erm… I was matey a few seconds ago..
- He grabbed my belly. When I asked what the hell he was doing he informed me the laptop was falling off the bed. My belly being the laptop. There wasn’t a laptop on my belly! Or even anywhere near the bedroom for that matter.
- So many times he has got up and ready for work. At 3am! Though I think quite a few people have done that.
- He is forever checking his alarm clock and turning it on and off
- A lot of the time he randomly sits bolt upright. I ask what he’s doing and have to encourage him to lie back down.
- The worst thing he does is when I wake up to find him staring at me. When I ask what he’s doing he smiles and does a weird laugh. Very creepy!
When I speak to Chris about our late night “discussions” the following morning he never remembers any of it. He thinks he’s slept all night, and that Molly has slept all night too. That can be quite frustrating to hear, especially when I’m walking around like a zombie through lack of sleep.
Have you any experience of your partner or children sleep talking or sleep walking? Or are you a sleep talker or sleepwalker yourself? I’d love to hear your stories.