Medical Mysteries: Sleepwalking while Awake

Sleepwalking is known to be a dangerous malady, with nearly 3 deaths per year in the United States due to improper use of kitchen appliances while sleepwalking. But until recently, it was thought to be limited to actual sleeping hours, which limits the potential for injury by 66% (assuming the average 8 hours of sleep per night). However, the noted psychiatrist Dr. Linus Toadbottom of Yorkshire, England has recently documented dozens of cases of patients sleepwalking while not actually sleeping.

According to Dr. Toadbottom, “This appears to be a genuine epidemic in Yorkshire. We cannot be sure yet whether it is contagious, but we are trying to understand it so we can contain it and it doesn’t spread geographically.” The patients exhibit the classic signs of being awake and alert, and answer correctly when queried as to the date, location, their name, and the latest article from The Flying News, and yet they walk from place to place with no apparent concern. In fact, the patients in a large majority of these cases do not sleepwalk at night, suggesting this might be a distinct, but no less dangerous, malady than ordinary sleepwalking.

The authorities in Yorkshire are attempting to bring the situation under some kind of control. When reached for comment, Liberal Democrat mayor Arnie Greencastle said, “This kind of epidemic has no precedent, so we are taking every precaution we can.” But local conservative spokesman Bruit Bisgouty has been pointing out to anyone who will listen that “sleepwalking while awake is, in fact, just walking, and nothing to be concerned about.” Whichever the case may be, it may be prudent to postpone any planned travel to Yorkshire in the immediate future.


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  1. James the Lessor says:

    I feel like I’m sleepwalking while awake all the time… maybe i’m coming down with it too. “must be all that sleep i missed…”

    1. John the Lessee says:

      I thought that sleep was a four letter word, until I found out that it ate too many fish.

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