Sleepwalking: dreams and reality meld.

Aravind U. Shenoy

Amateur writer generally interested in literature, philosophy, science and current affairs.

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The last thing you remember is falling asleep contently in your bed after a long day’s work. Then the dreams start, and you’re walking through dungeons and castles, bearing silent witness to myth and majesty. Kings, priests, wizards, dragons, medusa and the gorgon are only a few of the creature you may come across on your journey. Then you wake up… and find yourself standing far away from your bed, maybe in another room, maybe calmly staring at a loved one. Maybe the loved one is staring back at you in fear.

This is a typical case of sleepwalking, a tendency prominent in children between the ages of four and eight, though even adults have been found to sleepwalk. Is it dangerous? Sometimes. Most of the time the victim’s eyes are open, unconsciously taking in your surroundings and fitting a dream around them, in which case hazards like heights and fire would be detected as hazards and thus would be avoided. In general, the sleepwalker himself remains safe during the dream. Its the people around him that need to be careful, since they may end up taking unpleasant roles in his or her dream.. Cases of rape, murder, abuse, and stranger things like cooking or eating things, edible and inedible have surfaced over the years. This does not mean the victim is completely safe from his state. Moderate dangers like snowstorms, or glass may not be noticed until too late.

Sleepwalking is caused by anxiety and a variety of other disorders. It may also be caused by physical ailments and by certain medicines. It has also tied in with being hereditary. It is often quite frightening for people experiencing the condition, and they may end up feeling helpless. But there are remedies, and therapy that can help reduce the magnitude of the problem.

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