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The myths about sleep walking and lunacy

Life & Style

The myths about sleep walking and lunacy



A sleepwalker might not be aware of what is happening

A sleepwalker might not be aware of what is happening


There is a woman in our village who gets her clothes off, picks stones and chases people. This behavior is seasonal and she usually gets back to her normal ways after sometime.

This has been happening for the last ten years and village dwellers have attached numerous superstitions to the woman’s problem. Some claim that she was bewitched by a woman when she tried to encroach on her husband, other say that her father offered her to the spirits so that he can get wealth. While some assert that it is the appearance of the moon that sparks off the woman’s lunacy.

This should not shock you. Illusory correlations result in part from our mind’s propensity to attend to and recall most events better than nonevents.

When there is a full moon and something decidedly odd happens, we usually notice it, tell others about it and remember it. We do so because such co-occurrences fit with our preconceptions. This behavior is not an ancient thing among human beings, it is still a popular thing even today.

Many people think the mystical powers of the full moon induce erratic behaviors, psychiatric hospital admissions, suicides, homicides, emergency room calls, traffic accidents, dog bites and all manner of strange events.

One survey revealed that 45 percent of people believe moonstruck humans are prone to unusual behaviors, and other surveys suggest that mental health professionals may be still more likely than laypeople to hold this conviction. In 2007 several police departments in the U.K. even added officers on full-moon nights in an effort to cope with presumed higher crime rates.

Thomas Arnold, a British doctor, went to great lengths to describe 13 different types of insanity, which he divided into two major groups: Hallucinations and delusions. However, he also noted that, all these species of Insanity may be variously combined, and frequently interchange, one with another.

He described the etilogogy of insanity to derive its origin from some accidental, and temporary, state … or to take its peculiar turn from the prevailing notions, and fashionable prejudices, of the times, or places, in which it occurs. In other words, the insane person was influenced by his environment from the outside, not some problem with brain nerves.

For a long time there have been numerous mysterious stories about sleepwalking relating it to lunacy. Every one of us has heard stories about how our relatives or we ourselves walked or spoke in our sleep.

Some are scared by sleepwalking stories, others are amused. Sleepwalking is a normal and common thing for children. 30% of children have sleepwalked at least once and up to 10% constantly sleepwalk. Usually it is a completely safe and normal condition from which children simply “grow up”.

You should only worry if the child experiences so called night horror attacks. During them the child can sit up on a bed, walk and talk. Unlike regular sleepwalking, night horror attacks are harmful to children health.



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