If you sleepwalk during a full moon, does that make you a werewolf?
One of our readers recently posed the question: If someone sleepwalks during the full moon, does that make them a werewolf?
Sleep walking, also called somnambulism, is exactly what it sounds like – you are sleeping, all tucked away in your bed (or couch or chair), and then you get up and start walking around – despite the fact that you are still sleeping! Sleepwalkers often have their eyes wide open (though the eyes are unfocused and glossy) and sometimes even talk to people (called sleeptalking) – though they are still asleep. Sleepwalkers will also sometimes “do things” in addition to just walking (for example, they might eat, go to the bathroom (typically in an unusual place), drive somewhere, or even prepare a meal.) Studies indicate that 1 in 25 people sleepwalk.
So what causes sleepwalking?
There are a number of things that can cause sleepwalking. Commonly, it can be due to genetics (in other words, it can run in families) or it can be brought on by stress, sleep deprivation, a fever, or it can be caused by an underlying medical condition. More interestingly however, research indicates that sleep walking can be triggered by a disruption to sleep. For example, sleep apnea (where you stop breathing during sleep) can trigger sleep walking in some people, as can something like restless legs syndrome (where people have uncomfortable sensations in their legs). Basically – anything that disrupts your sleep can increase the likelihood of sleepwalking.
Does the full moon play a role with sleep?
There have been a variety of studies over time into whether or not the full moon affects sleep. One of the most recent studies that most researchers reference indicates that the full moon does affect sleep – it not only takes longer for individuals to fall asleep during a full moon, but they also have a poorer night’s sleep. It should be noted however, that there is no scientific proof that full moons cause people to sleepwalk more.
So, what is the bottom line, does sleepwalking during a full moon make you a werewolf?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not necessarily black and white – in other words, the answer is maybe.
The facts are that while full moons do not necessarily cause one to sleepwalk, a disruption to one’s sleep can bring on sleepwalking. For humans, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, etc might be the worst sleep disruption that is experienced. If one is a werewolf however, and is sleeping during a full moon, the full moon can cause disruptions as it exerts its influence over the werewolf. Is this a disruption in sleep? Yes, it most certainly can be. Can this cause sleepwalking? Yes, it can. Does that mean that all werewolves sleepwalk during a full moon? No, but they might be more susceptible to it if in human form.