Saturday, April 12, 2008

IS IT REAL? Extreme Sleepwalking

National Geographic Channel - Original Air Date: 2005-7

Can you kill someone in your sleep?  This edition of Is It Real? looks at parasomnia and other sleep-related and sleepwalking disorders.  There are many causes of sleepwalking, but lack of proper sleep tops the list, according to this show. Alcohol and stress are also factors.  The show studies several people who have sleep problems, including sleep walking, sleep talking, and sleep eating (all parasomnias).  It's amazing what some of these people do while asleep -- very complex actions, like opening locked doors and preparing food.  One man drove 14 miles and killed his mother-in-law (he was acquitted), another stabbed his wife 47 times and drowned her (he was convicted).  Clearly some people do strange and amazing things in their sleep.  But, whether murder is one, or sleepwalking is just a killer's clever defense?  Even after this show's examination, the jury is still out.

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