Help: Boyfriend sleepwalks awake...scared me really bad last night...really long post. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-22-2011, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I was debating on putting this up...I made a promise to my guy that I wouldn't tell anyone we knew. This issue is stressing me out so I definitely need to ask advice about this anonymously and let it out. My boyfriend works graveyard shift. He works from 7pm to 3:30am...comes home, takes a shower, and then goes to bed around 5am. Yesterday I had an MRI appointment that is 2 hours away from our home. He actually took the whole day off for this. However, we had to leave our home around 10am to be there a little before 12pm. He had to wake up around 9:15am to get ready...which was only 4 hours of sleep for him. We ended up visiting my sister and brother-in-law after my appointment and stayed until 10:30pm. My guy did not sleep at all during this when we were leaving I asked if he wanted me to drive since he hadn't gotten any sleep. He said no, and he drove the 2 hours...during the drive we got a little lost and started fighting. I could tell he was acting very off...not how he usually is. I shrugged it off because I knew he was tired.


When we got home he went straight to the front door before I even had a chance to get out our vehicle. From a distance I could hear him yelling, and I heard a loud crash and a slam of the door. He had slammed the truck keys down, and kicked in the door because it "wouldn't open." As soon as I got inside he was already undressed and laying in bed. So I took a little time getting ready for bed. As soon as I laid down he got up and tried laying on the floor....claiming that the bed was not comfortable. I asked if he wanted to take some of my pain pills so he could knockout...I knew he was overly tired that he couldn't go to sleep. He just got up stomping and acting soooo not like him...he said he was going to stay up and play videogames. I got up and asked if he wanted a massage, or for me to get him anything to help him sleep....we ended up fighting again, and he was yelling at me...he NEVER yells. I went and laid down, and he came into the room like nothing happened and was trying to get me to watch tv with him. I got up for 10 minutes with him, but went back to our bedroom as soon as he started acting like a jerk.


I could hear him yelling in the living room that he was never going to stay up with me, never to ask him, and he started to repeat "it's just not fair" over and over. Then I heard him get up and walked to his jeans that he had thrown on the floor, and starting putting them on. I got up super quick because I wasn't going to let him leave at that time of the night, plus I knew he was tired. 


Here's the scary part....when I went into the living room and said his name...he looked over at me, made this scared face, and started to SCREAM...not a high pitched horror flick scream....but a long, terrified, lower male "AHHH" yell. Of course this scared me really bad...I was asking him whats wrong, and I ran to get my phone to call 911. When I came back...him still screaming...he ran over to a part of the floor dropped down and started to shake. I went over...slowly...and asked if i could hold his hand. He said yes, and I had to spend 2 1/2 hours trying to calm him down.


Turns out he said....after he finally went to sleep...he thinks he was sleep walking awake...because he said he remembers everything...the fights and the emotions. When I went into the living room to stop him from leaving he said he felt as if he was alone, and when he saw me it "woke him up" and it scared him.  He couldn't control his words or actions. He was soooo scared he said he didn't want me to turn off the lights when I got him to lay in our bed.


I was soooo scared...I was afraid to go to sleep until I knew he was. His face, that yell truly terrified me...and I want him to go see a doctor. He will not. Is this a mental issue? Could it be he was just ver sleep deprived? Is sleepwalking awake real? How do I handle this situation. Anything will help, I cannot talk to my family about this because I don't want our business know...and I know some of you is like "Why put it online?" I'm doing it here because I can remain anonymous, and receive anonymous advice. People we know will not find out about this situation. I know it's a lot to read, but if you have input please reply. Thanks in advance :).

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#2 of 3 Old 06-25-2011, 06:38 PM
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Hi IamNoonie.  First, *hugs*.  I know it's hard to share such personal stories. 


My husband is also prone to strange sleepwalking episodes, especially when over-tired (or over-worked when he has too much on his mind).  While he hasn't had an episode exactly like your man's, I know it can be very scary.  I often (once a month or so) find him asleep in other parts of the house after we went to bed together at the same time.  Usually, he gets up thinking there's something he needs to keep an eye on or something he left undone at work and then falls asleep on the couch or the dining room floor.  I've also found him in the bathroom.  He's also started out the door like he is going to take the dogs for a walk, etc.  I ask him questions, and he answers like he knows exactly what is going on.  If this happens again, I would suggest saying his name and asking if he's awake sooner than later.  I found the sooner I do those things, the sooner he'll snap out of it.


I'm sure that he's also quite shaken by the experience and will want to avoid that in the future.  First, if he's that sleep deprived, don't ask, you drive :)  Is this the first time anything like this has happened?  Does he have problems sleeping after his work shifts?  Oftentimes, people that work night shifts become depleted in melatonin, an important compound that regulates our day/night rhythms.  Melatonin supplements are widely available, and that may help get his sleep back on track.  Most people do well with a sub-lingual type, 2 mg.  He could take 2 if the 2 mg doesn't seems to do anything.  Start low though.  Melatonin isn't one of those "more is better" type things. 

Does he take any prescription sleeping pills?  I have also read accounts of people having odd (sometimes extremely dangerous) sleep episodes, like sleep driving.


Hopefully, this was a one-time, freak episode.  If this becomes a regular happening, I would suggest seeing a doctor or a sleep specialist.  I don't think it means that he's got a mental problem.  Lack of sleep can do profoundly strange things to completely rational people.  And talk with him about it.  If it becomes something "unmentionable" between you, the more likely it is to become a problem.  Those are my two cents.  *Hugs* again.  :)

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#3 of 3 Old 06-26-2011, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advice! :) He has never done that before, but he has gotten a little weird when he doesn't sleep. I have talked to him about it a few days ago, and we made an agreement if it ever happens again he will go to the doctor. I now find myself making sure he is taking a nap before work, and keeping our bedroom dark so he can sleep as long as possible when he comes home. We've only talked about it once...he's very embarrassed of this situation. Oh, and he is not on any medication. He doesn't even like taking tylenol, so getting him to take Melatonin will be a challenge. I think he'll be fine without it, plus he'll be getting off a graveyard shift in September :). Again, thank you so much for the advice. I'm feel more at ease that there are people who share a little bit of my situation, so that I can get advice :).

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