Have you ever fallen asleep and woken up somewhere completely different? Maybe in another room of your house, or even on the front porch? Does your partner complain about how you talk in your sleep?
Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. While these specific sleep disorders are more common in children, adults can sleepwalk and sleeptalk, especially if they are sleep-deprived. In a new study, online mattress retailer Amerisleep surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about their sleepwalking and sleeptalking experiences. Here is what was revealed.
How Common Is Sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is linked to emotional stress and sleep deprivation and occurs during deep sleep. The affected person could begin to function while sleeping – meaning people can walk or even perform a familiar task while remaining asleep.
And it’s more common than we may think. According to the study, 11.4% of survey respondents admitted to sleepwalking. Of those people, 9.7% reported sleepwalking four or more times a week, and 21.2% confessed to sleepwalking two to three times per week. The largest percentage of people (30.1%) said they usually sleepwalked a few times a year or monthly. Two in 5 people also witnessed someone sleepwalking.
But what does this look like? The top three activities that sleepwalkers did were wandering (67.9%), rubbing eyes (29.4%), and stretching (23.4%). A frightening 15.8% of respondents left their house, and 7% of people injured themselves while sleepwalking. Additionally, those sleepwalking were twice as likely as non-sleepwalkers to have nightmares.
Respondents even went into detail about what they did while sleepwalking. A 31-year-old woman said she left her room, went into her husband’s office while he was still awake, and had a full conversation about George Washington. Another person said he got up and wandered through the house and fell over a small table, landing flat on the floor.
One of the most shocking numbers from the study was that more than half (53%) of people did nothing to try to change their sleepwalking habits. The rest of the survey participants who sleepwalked attempted to fix their problem by trying to get more quality sleep, keeping track of their sleep patterns, and learning ways to cope with stress and anxiety. People also reduced their caffeine intake.
Confessions of Sleeptalkers
Sleeptalking is a whole different story. Almost half (47%) of people said they sleeptalk or have heard someone talking in their sleep. When this happens, it can sound like mumbles, full-on conversations, and even screams.
According to the survey, 66.1% of sleeptalkers were at least slightly concerned about what they say in their sleep – and some were worried for a good reason. Sleeptalking caused 23% of respondents to say something they regretted, and more than 1 in 10 had their feelings hurt by the person they overheard. Some of the topics people in the survey discussed in their sleep were marriage, their career and finances. Some people even blurted out secrets.
Overall Sleep Satisfaction
Sleepwalkers and sleeptalkers were approximately 10 percentage points less satisfied with their sleep than those without these sleep disorders. They also felt slightly less productive at work and experienced more workplace stress.
While obtaining better sleep can sometimes be easier said than done, there are a few tips people can try, such as reducing screen time before bed, adjusting the blue light settings on smartphones, drinking less caffeine, exercising more frequently, and meditating before bed.
While getting a good night’s rest can be difficult, a few adjustments can lead to better sleep.