Mama Mayhem

She’s no sleeping beauty

By Ivy Jensen

HAVE you ever woken up to find yourself in a strange place?

Now, I'm not talking about having a big night on the G&T and waking up in some stranger's bed. We've all done that, right?

No, I'm talking about sleepwalking.

Over the past few weeks, my youngest has taken to sleepwalking almost every night.

It all starts with a bit of grumbling and nonsensical words and 'nek minnit' she's off wandering the house dazed and confused.

Forcing me out of my peaceful slumber to gently cajole her back to bed without waking her.

Because you know what they say: Never wake a sleepwalker because they could literally die of shock.

Now I don't know if that's true but it was me who almost had a heart attack when I was awoken to find Ayla gawking down at me in bed several years ago.

I am already a jumpy person, so having a silhouette resembling a creepy looking doll from a horror movie glaring at me in the middle of the night took at least a few years off my life.

Studies have shown about a third of children will sleepwalk at some stage.

I was just lucky enough to get two of them.

While Ayla hasn't done it in years, Maya using the wardrobe or pantry as a bed seem to be happening more often than not these days.

Thankfully the statistics are in her favour and it's unlikely this night wandering will continue into adulthood.

According to the Australian Sleep Foundation, less than a quarter of people who sleepwalked as a child will continue to do so as adults.

Unfortunately what she doesn't have going for her is the fact it runs in the family.

My uncle was not only the worst sleepwalker but sleeptalker.

My Dutch relative came to visit us in Mount Isa when I was about 12 and after discovering our affinity for board and card games, we played Snap incessantly.

Until my hand became too sore and swollen to play. You see, he was so competitive (yes, it's in the genes), he would slam down his palm so hard whenever a pair would appear that you would end up with a red hand for hours if you managed to get in first.

His aggression all came to a head one night when he began screaming 'Snap!' in his sleep and decided the bedroom window was the perfect place to land his fist.

Needless to say, the window shattered into a million pieces, his hand needed stitches and Mum forbade us from playing Snap for the rest of his trip.

So sleepwalking, or rather sleep-snapping, can have its risks. And in that case, I wouldn't be taking the chance to wake him and end up with a black eye instead of a $200 repair bill.