Welcome to Sleepwalking Safety Products, LLC, the only website in the world dedicated to Sleepwalking Safety, Knowledge and Injury Prevention! Safeguard the environment of your sleepwalker through knowledge, sleepwalking alarms, floor mat alarms, and related sleepwalking safety devices.
My three children and I are all sleepwalkers. Over the years we thought sleepwalking was harmless and actually funny at times until my 19 year old son was seriously injured while sleepwalking. The details of his incident and others are detailed below (See Examples of Serious Sleepwalking Incidents).
Inspired by my son’s serious sleepwalking injury, Sleepwalker Safety Products, LLC was formed to:
- raise public awareness of the potential for injury associated with sleepwalking;
- provide knowledge and research relating to sleepwalking;
- provide a forum for the public to share their sleepwalking experiences; and
- provide a convenient and centralized platform from which to research and buy affordable safety products designed to safeguard the environment of a sleepwalker including:
Sleepwalking alarms for doors and windows
Sleepwalking motion detectors
Sleepwalking floor mat alarms
Children and adult tracking devices
Bedroom safety products
Other sleepwalking safety products
Books relating to parasomnias and other sleeping disorders
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for improving our website or if you can recommend additional resources or sleepwalking safety products that we should add to our website. Please share your sleepwalking experiences with everyone at Sleepwalking Forum.
What is Sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder known to specialists as somnambulism and is part of a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias (disruptive abnormal behaviors during sleep). Sleepwalking occurs in both children and adults. Although sleepwalking is much more common in young children, who often grow out of it as they get older, for a significant minority it may persist into adulthood. The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain and clinical neuroscience research, provides an excellent article “Are We In the Dark About Sleepwalking’s Dangers?” written by Shelly R. Gunn, M.D., Ph.D. and her son W. Stewart Gunn. Dr. Gunn’s son, a college student, was severely injured while sleepwalking when he fell out of his dormitory window. Stewart and his mother subsequently published this very informative article which discusses in detail the importance of sleepwalking knowledge and sleepwalking safety. Refer to the Sleepwalking Resources page for additional information on this mysterious and misunderstood sleep disorder.
Any child or adult with a tendency to sleepwalk has the potential to experience an accident or is at risk of injuring themselves or unsuspecting people in their path. If your child or loved one has gone on a sleepwalking adventure even only one time, then it’s time to act. Don’t wait until they’ve wandered out of the house, fallen down the stairs, picked up a kitchen knife or injured themselves while sleepwalking – be proactive!
Hidden Dangers of Sleepwalking
Published reports of injuries caused by sleepwalking are rare as evidenced by my son’s incident. My son showed up at the emergency room in the middle of the night and received over 40 stitches resulting from plunging through his bedroom window while sleepwalking. Did the hospital communicate his case to the sleep disorder community for further study or evaluation? No – end of story. Sleepwalking is also under-reported since forgetting the event is characteristic of the disorder.
Many sleepwalkers and their families are simply unaware that sleepwalking can be dangerous. While most sleepwalking instances in children are harmless, they become more serious as an adult. Common injuries result from tripping and falling over objects or falling downstairs. More serious injuries on record include cuts or burns received while cooking, automobile accidents (driving while sleepingwalking), falling out of or leaping through windows, walking off roofs and in very rare cases assault and battery and murder. Several deaths initially ruled by investigators as suicide have been subsequently changed to suicide or accident while sleepwalking.
People, including many physicians, often are uninformed about somnambulism and its hidden dangers and mistakenly view sleepwalking as harmless and funny. Ensuring the safety of the sleepwalker, their family and others is required even in cases where the sleepwalker has been diagnosed by a physician and undergoing treatment.
Please seek professional medical help if you sleepwalk frequently.
Although sleepwalking episodes may be sporadic or far and few between, it only takes one event for a significant injury – be prepared! Installing sleepwalking alarms and related safety products is inexpensive plus it provides your household with additional security.
Examples of Serious Sleepwalking Incidents
The following cases are just a few examples of serious sleepwalking cases.
Case #1 - My Son Plunged Through His Bedroom Window
My son, Ryan, like many other children, had experienced a handful of harmless sleepwalking incidents during his early childhood, except for one where he fell off the top of his bunk bed and cut his forehead on the corner edge of his dresser. Shortly after completing his first year of college and staying up late to study for finals, he immediately started working at his summer job which required him to wake up every morning at 5:00 am. Four days later on a Wednesday night, he told us he was exhausted and was going to bed early (10:00 pm). At about midnight, my wife and I heard a loud thump and we both jumped out of bed to see what was going on. At the same time, my other son, who was still in the family room downstairs watching TV, ran over to the bottom of the stairs to see what had caused that loud thump. Just when we started to ask him what the heck he was doing to make that loud noise, we all heard another loud crash coming from Ryan’s bedroom. When we opened the door, his entire head and torso was leaning out of the second floor window. At first we thought the loud noise was from Ryan opening the window which has always been difficult to slide upward. But as we got closer we saw broken glass all over the carpet and the broken wooden window inserts. Ryan wasn’t moving at all, he was just standing there with half his body hanging out of the window. He didn’t respond to his name for a few minutes and then he slowly woke up while still out the window. At this point, we couldn’t see his face and didn’t know if he had been cut by the broken glass. We slowly pulled him out of the window careful not to cut him from the jagged shards remaining in the window pain. As soon as we turned him around we saw the deep gashes beginning from his shoulder all the way down to his hand, and then the blood came. We quickly wrapped his arm in towels and drove him to the emergency room. He received over 40 stitches and now bears some pretty hefty battle scars. We thanked God that he didn’t cut an artery, slice his face, fall completely out of the window or severely injure a tendon.
A few days later we took him to a sleep specialist to be evaluated. His sleep patterns were found to be normal and the physician attributed the sleepwalking episode to a combination of sleep deprivation and stress. Ryan distinctly remembers dreaming that the walls and ceiling were collapsing on him, and the only way to escape was to put his head and shoulder down and ram through the window to try and escape. This terrible incident was obviously a game changer for our family and how we view sleepwalking. We had no central source to turn to to research sleepwalking and sleepwalking safety products, which inspired us to help other families by forming Sleepwalking Safety Products, LLC. Ryan has continued to have sporadic sleepwalking episodes (about 4 over the past 3 years) but we have installed motion alarms and other devices to alert his roommates or his family when he is home on school break. So please educate yourselves about the hidden dangers of sleepwalking, seek out professional medical help if necessary, but most of all safeguard your sleepwalker’s environment. Even if your child or adult sleepwalker has had only one sleepwalking episode that you are aware of, don’t let the next one be a dangerous one, because they will likely sleepwalk again.
Case #2 - Wandering Toddler Hit By A Car
A 3-year old boy who had a history of sleepwalking was hit by a car after wandering out of his family’s home around 1:00 am. “His parents brought him to the doctor before for sleepwalking,” Cian’s grandfather, Roger Bain, said,…“but that’s the first time he ever left the house.” Cian sustained injuries to his head and femur… Full Story
Case #3 - Idaho Woman Sleepwalks Into River, Twice
Alyson Bair was having a nightmare that she was drowning. When she woke up, she was actually drowning. “I thought I was dreaming, but then I realized I wasn’t and I was scared,” Bair told ABCNews.com, recalling the night she woke up in the river outside her home. “It was deep and I couldn’t touch anywhere and I was getting tired. I had to keep turning around and floating on my back”… Full Story
Case #4 - Husband Violently Attacks His Wife
At 4:00 am Randi Kearns was violently punched by her husband while he was still asleep. She called 911 and her husband was arrested for felony domestic abuse… Full Story
Case #5 - College Student Falls Out of Dormitory Window
Stewart arrived in Oxford, sleep-deprived after a long trip from Texas, and checked into his second-floor dormitory at St. John’s College. The wide open windows had no screens and were surrounded by scaffolding. Even though he had been awake for more than 30 hours, he chose to postpone sleep until after dinner in order to adjust to British time. He fell asleep easily, but, when he awoke about 2:00 am, he was lying face down on a cobblestone street that he did not recognize. He had absolutely no recall of having left his dorm window, walking through several doorways, and stepping out a window onto the scaffolding from which he must have fallen into the alley. After unsuccessfully trying to lift himself off the cobblestone street, he dragged himself toward what appeared to be a road and was discovered by the British police. He had fractured his spine and right wrist in the accident. Stewart and his mother, Shelly R. Gunn, M.D., Ph.D., subsequently published an excellent article, “Are We in the Dark About Sleepwalking Dangers?”, which discusses in detail the importance of sleepwalking knowledge and sleepwalking safety… Full Story
Case #6 - Athlete Plummets to His Death After Sleepwalking
A tragic story involving a 19-year old student who fell to his death from the sixth floor of a parking garage… Full Story
Case #7 - Golfer Graeme McDowell Blames Sleepwalking for His Hand Injury
“I woke up out of this dream and I was standing next to my hotel room door with the door open, in my boxer shorts and three seconds later I had the most searing pain coming through my right hand.”… Full Story
Case #8 - 64-Year Old Man Installs Child Gates In Bid to Stop Him From Falling Down Stairs After Almost Dying Sleepwalking
A man suffered a broken back and ribs when he fell down the stairs… Full Story
Case #9 - Suspected Sleepwalker Survives 4-story Fall
A 19-year old teenager known to have sleepwalked before was in serious condition after she fell from a fourth floor flat… Full Story
Case #10 - Tennis Pro Kicks Out Window While Sleepwalking
Tennis pro survives 3-story fall into courtyard. He received over 400 stitches… Full Story
Case #11 - 7-Year Old Child Dies In A Sleepwalking Accident
A child with a habit of sleepwalking was killed while sleepwalking on a road… Full Story
Case #12 - 23-Year Old Musician Ends Promising Career While Sleepwalking
After punching a window pane which severed eight tendons, a nerve and an artery… Full Story
Please refer to Sleep Forensics Associates for examples of extreme cases of sleepwalking and other parasomnias involving legal cases relating to murder and assault and battery.
In the News
A mom’s reaction to her sleepwalking video.
Bizkit the sleewalking dog.
Coca-Cola commercial featuring a sleepwalker.