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10 Crazy Things People (or Animals) Have Done in Their Sleep

by JC
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

At some point in your life, you may hear someone talk in their sleep, and some may even witness another individual walking in their sleep! Sleepwalking is a common affliction affecting up to 4% of adults and has contributed to many silly stories.

Many individuals on social media apps such as TikTok and X (formerly Twitter) have amassed a large following and virality due to their hilarious antics while asleep. However, some can do much more than talk and walk in their sleep. Even animals can get up to some crazy antics while asleep! So don’t close your eyes as we go over ten of the craziest things that people (or animals) have done in their sleep!

Related: 10 Creepy Sleep Paralysis Theories

10 Sending a ZZZ-Mail

With remote work gaining traction recently, productivity has been a top priority. Now more than ever, writing emails and having virtual meetings seems like second nature. For some individuals, sending emails can even be done in their sleep! A New York Times article reports on a woman’s experience where she had supposedly sent several emails during an eight-minute period in the middle of the night—when she was sleeping.

It also noted that all the messages had “unusual capitalization, punctuation, and language.” “!HELP ME P-LEEEEESE” was the subject of one message, followed by an invitation for “dinner & drinks” in another. The patients’ friends were confused by these emails, and the patient had no recollection of sending them!

So it’s important to set those work-life boundaries and close your laptop once it hits 5:00 pm—especially if you have a past habit of sleepwalking. Otherwise, you might see a few confused emails in your inbox the next morning![1]

9 Unknowingly Walking Nine Miles While Asleep

Arvada teen speaks after sleep walking 9 miles

Walking a mile is tough enough, but a woman in Colorado was able to walk nine times that amount in her sleep! According to an ABC News article, 19-year-old Taylor Gammel went “missing for hours on Tuesday morning before she… woke up… miles from her home.” However, she later told the police that she had no memory of her sleepwalking adventure, even though she had strayed about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) from her Denver home. She was also found still wearing her pajamas and wearing no shoes. Yikes!

Since she was found without an ID, wallet, or money, the article states that the likelihood of her taking a bus or car is doubtful. Fortunately, Gammel was able to return to her home unscathed. Her ability to walk nine miles while asleep is as impressive as it is scary![2]

8 Midnight Snacks Aren’t Just for Those Who Are Awake

Sleep Eaters: Cat Food Sandwich?

Sleep eating is a common affliction, and as humorous as the condition may sound, it’s a disorienting thing to experience. According to an ABC News article, more than one million people have experienced this unusual eating pattern, most of whom are women. However, the reasons for sleep eating are still not fully known.

The article then interviews a woman named Amy Koechler, a person who suffers from this condition. The article recounts that “After falling asleep, Koechler would get up and toddle to the kitchen almost every night, find a snack, and eat it—without ever waking up.” So, if you wake up next to delicious snacks frequently, it might be wise to get yourself checked out![3]

7 Another Species That Sleep Eats: Reindeer!

Reindeer’s Amazing Adaptations to Living in Snow | Snow Animals | BBC Earth

That’s right—sleep eating isn’t just for humans! Reindeer, not to be mistaken for the ones that help Santa deliver presents, prepare for the strenuous Arctic winter by training their bodies to replenish themselves in their sleep. Smithsonian Magazine references a study that noticed the more time reindeer chewed their food, the better rested they seemed.

After analyzing the brain recordings of the reindeer, the researchers found that when the reindeer chewed their food, “their brain waves resemble those during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Because they seem to enjoy the benefits of such sleep while serenely chewing their cud, the animals are rested after ruminating.” This allows the animals to fatten up while battling the harsh Arctic climate![4]

6 Unintentional Cliff Diving

Man survives 70 foot fall off cliff

A man camping with his friends unsuspectingly fell asleep in a hammock, only to wake up at the bottom of a cliff. Shortly after falling asleep in the hammock, Ryan Campbell was soon overtaken by a case of sleepwalking. His friends watched in surprise as Campbell walked over a nearby cliff and plunged 70 feet (21 kilometers) to the ground below.

An ABC News article reported on the situation that he had a stroke of luck in his sleep, and the officers found him with few injuries. The rescuers noted that Campbell’s safe landing occurred because he landed in a rhododendron bush rather than on the rocks and boulders that littered the area.

As he made a full recovery, he promised the interviewers that from then on, he was not planning to put himself in a position where that happened again. So sleepwalkers, take Campbell’s experience as a warning not to fall asleep near a cliff![5]

5 His Artistic Ability Only Appears When He’s Asleep

The man who makes art in his sleep – BBC REEL

Lee Hadwin is an interesting case, as his artistic ability can only be harnessed when he’s asleep! BBC News reported on his fascinating origin story, stating that when Lee Hadwin was four, he would “scribble on the walls.” While this is not surprising behavior for a child, there was one thing that made it different: He was asleep when he did it. In his interview with BBC, Hadwin stated, “At the age of fifteen, that’s when the art started to become really intricate, and I drew three small Marilyn Monroes. What was strange is that I’ve got no artistic talent in my waking life.”

It’s difficult for people to wrap their heads around how Hadwin can accomplish such a feat—which is why many are willing to pay for the chance to own his artwork. It seems that he’s sold several of his pieces for thousands of dollars, some for even hundreds of thousands! And he’s able to give back in the process. He donates a portion of each sale to charities like Amnesty International.[6]

4 Ex-Chef Continues His Cooking Career in His Sleep

Gibberish, urine, and utter chaos: What happens when you sleepwalk – Emmanuel During

An ex-chef has found that his habit of sleepwalking has turned into sleep-cooking. As difficult as it sounds, 55-year-old Robert Wood was reported on by Daily Mail, stating that he “gets up four or five times a week while asleep and heads to the kitchen where he has previously made omelettes, stir-frys, and chips.”

However, as cool as it sounds to be able to cook recipes skillfully in your sleep, this has been a scary experience for Wood and his wife. Wood has been seeking out medical help amid fears he could burn down his house. So, as cool as the concept of becoming a chef in your sleep sounds, it’s important to remember the hazards of doing certain things while sleepwalking![7]

3 Sleepwalking out of a Window


For most, it’s customary to open your window in the morning to let the sunshine wake you up before you start your day. However, teenager Rachel Ward took a more unconventional approach while sleepwalking. According to a Daily Mail article, Rachel Ward got out of bed, dressed, and then walked to the window “before making her dramatic, unconscious exit.” She plunged 25 feet (7.6 meters) to the ground.

As scary as this was for Rachel and her parents, who hurriedly took her to the hospital, the outcome was a relief. After having a series of tests, including X-rays and CT scans, the doctors kept her overnight but couldn’t find anything wrong. “They were amazed and couldn’t understand it. She must have collapsed like a rag doll because she was still asleep.” Rachel stated that she was completely fine and only had a minor backache to show from this shocking experience![8]

2 Dolphins Speak Whale in Their Sleep?!

The Secret World of Animal Sleep: Dozing Dolphins

Sleep talking is one of the most common activities for those who struggle with sleep, and studies have shown that even dolphins sleep talk! However, dolphins may do the equivalent of an English speaker sleep-talking in French. According to an article from Live Science, a group of dolphins were observed “making whale-like noises late at night—despite the fact that they have only heard whale sounds as recordings during their daytime dolphin shows.”

Dolphins have always been one of the more intelligent animal species observed, and this study may show that the animals may be recounting their daily shows in their heads, including the pre-recorded whale sounds they hear! The article states that “it’s possible the dolphins are even asleep as they make the whale-like noises, meaning they are essentially sleep-talking in ‘whale.’” With these findings, researchers have paved a new direction for more investigation on dolphin intelligence and learning processes. So, if you weren’t already convinced of how intelligent dolphins are, maybe this excerpt changed your mind![9]

1 If You Sleep Walk, It’s Important to Be Safe!

Why You Could Be Sleepwalking And Not Even Know It

While these stories have recounted entertaining or non-life-threatening situations, it’s important to remember the dangers of untreated sleepwalking and other sleep conditions. As stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleepwalking is an underdiagnosed condition that may be clearly associated with daytime consequences and mood disturbances leading to a major impact on quality of life.

While it’s commonly known not to wake a sleepwalker, there are other solutions that people should be aware of as well. The Cleveland Clinic provides several nonmedication approaches, such as relaxation and stress management techniques, mental health therapy, or scheduled waking, to reduce the prevalence and harm of sleepwalking. So, while sleepwalking isn’t usually serious, it’s important to know the risks and how to mitigate them![10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen