According to statistics it would suffer between 2 and 3% of the adult population. But fortunately the episodes of somnambulism, which the medicine inscribes to the vast category of sleep disorders (or parasomnias), do not occur every night but, approximately, once or twice a month. And it is good news, because if it is true that most sleepwalkers just wander around at home, some of them instead adopt decidedly unexpected behaviors during sleep.
DO sex. One of the most widespread (and mysterious) is sex-sleep, a condition that causes people to perform sexual acts in their sleep. Without being aware of it, sufferers can engage in sex - alone or with a partner - and not remember it when they wake up. Both men and women experience the condition, although it is more common in men.
Sex-sleeping can be a dangerous condition, both for those who suffer from it and for those around it, since in this state the aspects linked to consent are obviously not taken into consideration.
In 2007 an English jury cleared a Royal Air Force soldier for rape after finding out that he was suffering from sexsomnia. Kenneth Ecott, drunk, had abused an unconscious girl after a party. The jury considered that during that event the brain was in a state of "automatism". The reports report that in the courts, especially in the US, lawyers have tried to justify the conduct of their clients by evoking the excuse of sex sleep. But juries do not always fall for it.
Undress. Being naked in public is a common dream of anguish, but for many sleepwalkers it can become a reality, to the point that some hotel chains, like the English Travelodge, have trained their staff to deal with the sleepwalkers who wander up and down for the corridors. The problem seems to be almost exclusively male, with confused guests showing up at the reception. Stress is thought to probably increase the likelihood of such an event and that alcohol or the unfamiliar environment can exacerbate it, further accentuating the state of confusion. Sleepwalkers may be convinced that they are at home or have entered the bathroom, while in reality they are wandering in the lobby of a large hotel.
Speak. Don't worry, we all talk in our sleep. However, some people keep entire conversations with themselves. Sleeptalking, or sonniloquio, might seem completely incomprehensible to those who are awake, but it is perfectly logical for the sleepwalker.
Medicine tells us that sleeptalking can be accentuated by sleep deprivation, stress and the use of drugs and alcohol. Researchers have discovered that many nocturnal soliloquies consist of negative words, such as "no", and … swear words.
Doing creative things. Perhaps there is something in the unconscious that triggers our creativity. In 2015, a 13-year-old girl was filmed playing the piano in her sleep. Although the best known case is that of Lee Hadwin, a Welsh artist who made his fortune selling paintings he creates in his sleep. The beauty is that, according to him, he would not be able to draw when awake: he produces his works in the middle of the night, without ever remembering them in the morning. The critics are divided, for some it is true art, for others they are simply "scribbles". The fact is that Hadwin managed to sell his works to buyers from all over the world, including … Donald Trump .
Kill. In 2009 Brian Thomas a citizen of Wales was acquitted of his wife's murder during a moment of sleepwalking. Thomas had always suffered from it and for this he slept in a room separate from his wife, but in that circumstance they were on vacation and shared the bed in their camper. Thomas took antidepressant drugs, which helped him alleviate the symptoms, but he stopped taking them just in conjunction with the trip.
When the judges examined his phone calls to the police and his medical records, they realized that the atrocious act had occurred during a phase of nocturnal terror disorder that Thomas had suffered since he was a child. And absolution came from the jury. As the Guardian writes: "The jury was told that Thomas's sleep disorder caused him to be in a" automatism "state - his mind had no control over his body. It is possible that he suffered particularly serious night terrors because he had suspended his normal care ".