Confessions of a Serial Sleepwalker

I have been known to do a bit of sleepwalking and sleeptalking from time to time. Not often, mostly just when I’m excited or anxious about something. It’s usually harmless, and often entertaining.

I regularly wake Matt up in the middle of the night, leaning right over him, asking ‘What?’. He wakes up, confused and says ‘What?’, and I, still sleeptalking, reply ‘What? He then realises I’m talking in my sleep and ignores me or tells me I’m sleepwalking and to go back to sleep. Sometimes I wake up, sometimes I don’t. I almost always remember it in the morning and have to apologise.

My first memorable sleepwalking moment happened when I was 9 or 10 years old. It was a few days short of Christmas and I was more than a little excited. In the middle of the night, still asleep, I went to the lounge room and started a garbled conversation with the Christmas tree. I tripped over the mini trampoline as I tried to leave the lounge room and Mum woke up to the bang and thud of my chin and arms connecting with trampoline and then floor. She came into the lounge room to find me standing there, upset and rubbing my arm. I stopped at the fridge and opened it as Mum tried to lead me back to bed, and when she asked me if I wanted anything, I cried and told her ‘no’. In the morning I woke up with black and blue chin and arms, feeling sore and confused. I’m sure Mum was thankful that school holidays had already started and she wouldn’t have to send me to school in such a state!

As a teenager, and throughout my uni days, I worked part time at Subway. It was my first job, and for the first few weeks I was excited and nervous about learning the ropes and earning real money! Three weeks into the job, I stayed the night at Matt’s house after work. In the early hours of the morning he awoke to find me rustling through the contents of his desk. A little confused (he’d not encountered my sleepwalking before) he asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was looking for the gloves so I could serve this customer. He told me to go back to bed and I told him that I couldn’t leave the customer.

It was a standing joke for some months following that Matt should lay the ingredients for a sandwich out before he went to bed each night, and in the morning, I’d have his lunch ready.

In the past few years my sleepwalking has mostly just been short trips around the house in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wake up standing at the back door, looking for imaginary burglars, and wake up to find Penny staring at me, probably wondering what on earth I was doing at this time of the morning.

My most recent sleeping adventure took place after Miss E and I had been out for lunch with friends that day, and I had spent some time holding one of a friends twins. That night, not long after going to bed, I got up to check that Miss E was still in her bassinet, and then started stressing out because I couldn’t find her twin sister. Nevermind that Miss E doesn’t have a twin sister! Wearing only my underwear, I searched our bedroom, our walk in robe, our drawers, the spare bedroom, Miss E’s room, the kitchen. No luck. I couldn’t find this other baby anywhere. It occurred to me that perhaps I had left her in the car! What a horrible mother I was to forget my baby and leave her in the car all night! I got to the front door, unlocked it, and was about to go out and check the car, when I woke up, standing at the front door, dressed only in my underwear. I’m just thankful I never got any further than that!

I’ve had many interesting sleep adventures over the years and probably have many more ahead of me. Here’s hoping I never manage to make it out the door!

Just because I can, and because they’re my favourite band –

Song for a Sleepwalker – Something For Kate.


Abby xx

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