WHAT ABOUT SLEEPWALKING?
And sleeptalking? What am I dreaming? Actually, certain sleep disorders like walking or talking in your sleep or like grinding your teeth (bruxism) or bedwetting (enuresis) don’t occur during REM. They usually happen when you’re more deeply asleep. (When we’re in REM and dreaming, a mechanism at the base of the brain shuts down gross motor movement and, in effect, paralyzes us so that we don’t grab a bat and start whacking the dream monsters after us or run screaming down the street.) And sleep disorders often run in families. They also occur more frequently in children, who usually grow out of these behaviors.
Is sleepwalking dangerous? It can sometimes result in accidents like falling down stairs, but it’s not dangerous per se and doesn’t make you weird. Bruxism can damage the teeth, and habitual teeth grinders may need to sleep with a mouthguard. Check with your doctor or dentist if you have concerns.