I married a scary sleepwalking zombie

Zombie sleepwalker in front of moon“My name is Cathy and my husband is a sleepwalker.”  Sounds like a confession, doesn’t it?  But he’s not just a sleepwalker, he’s also a sleep eater!  I’ve discovered that sleepwalking and sleep eating are related.  {What a shame there’s not a sleep cleaning disorder.}

My first encounter with his sleepwalking was like a combined scene from the Walking Dead and Shrek.  It was a dark and stormy night, just after the midnight hour {now it’s sounding like a horror story}.  As a light sleeper I felt him get out of bed and walk out of the front door of our home.  I sat up with the realisation that he’d just gone outside.  I scurried barefooted onto the porch in my shorty-nighty … peering into the inky night {I’m setting the scene for you now}.  But I couldn’t see him anywhere.  Maybe he heard a prowler and he was going to investigate.  This scared me as he’s a lover, not a fighter!  I walked further outside, shivering, arms clasped across my stomach.  I heard a noise coming from the side of the house.  I tip-toed and peeked around the corner, heart drumming against my ribs.  There he was, standing with his nose almost touching the bricks and scratching them with his hands.  I asked him what he was doing.  Eerie silence.  I approached him and asked louder this time “Sweetie, are you okay?  What are you doing?” 

Donkey saying Dont you be lookin at me girlHe stopped scratching and turned his head slowly to look at me, Zombie-like.  With the muted glow from the streetlight illuminating his face I saw that his wide open eyes were looking straight through me.  With a monotone voice he said ever so slowly “Getting a drink, fat ass.”  I looked over my shoulder hoping there was an overweight donkey standing behind me.  No such luck.  It was just he and I.  He turned back to the bricks and began scratching again.

I had heard that you should never wake a sleepwalker, but I didn’t know why.  So I reached towards him and tugged on the collar of his pyjamas, which after a few attempts prompted him and he went inside.  I didn’t sleep at all that night because he didn’t come back to bed.  He went into the lounge room and laid on the floor, crossed his arms across his chest like a vampire nesting in his coffin, raised his feet up to rest on the coffee table and he slept soundly.

His sleepwalking continued over the next few years.  He would wander around the house, raid the fridge of any chocolate he could find, then fall asleep in a chair.  We had our two little boys now and moved into our new home at the end of a court.  I was still a very light sleeper and, for the second time in our marriage, I heard the front door open and he was off again!  As I darted to the front door I saw him on the front porch.  He was stark naked staring down the street and he began bellowing our cats name in his booming voice “WINKY!  WINKY!”  I couldn’t grab his collar this time, so I reached out and grabbed his … ear lobe, and led him back to bed.

In the morning when I was making our coffees I found his dressing gown rolled up in a tight ball sitting inside the kitchen sink.  Cat biscuits were strewn across the benches.  I went to our bedroom, looked down at him, poked him awake and said “Do you know what you did last night?”  As he roused, his lips started twisting and pulling in all directions.  “Are you having a stroke now?” I asked with sarcasm.  “Ewww, what’s that taste in my mouth?”  I couldn’t help but smile as I divulged “Oh, that would be the cat biscuits love!”

As our boys grew into their teenage years their Dad’s sleepwalking became a cause for excitement and adventure.  Some nights if one of them heard their Dad walking around the house they would wake the other and film his antics with their mobile phones.  I threatened them with violence if I found out they had ever uploaded them on YouTube.  On one such night I awoke to the boys giggling like a pair of schoolgirls standing over our bed, hands over their mouths stifling their laughter, watching their Dad balancing a big marrow on his stomach.  {A marrow is a big green vegetable that I was going to stuff with mince and cook the next day.} 

Their adventure this night was to discover their Dad lounging in his recliner and they convinced him that the marrow was our cat.  Each time they went to “pat” the marrow, their Dad would slap them and tell them to go away.  Finally fed up, he stood, cuddling the marrow securely to his chest and lovingly took “her” back to bed with us.  I awoke with the marrow snuggled down warmly between us.

The boys love that their father is a sleepwalker.  And true to their word they have not uploaded any clips onto YouTube.  They’ve fed him dog biscuits after convincing him it was chocolate, filmed him throwing the kitchen sponge around the house as if it was toxic and much more.  But those videos do make a showing and are highly entertaining at family gatherings.

How do my sons and I cope with a chronic sleepwalker?

We go on the journey with him and enjoy the adventures as a family. 

And I wouldn’t change it for the world!
©2015 CEW

Reposted from my old blog site

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