Canadian author and social media influencer, Celina Myers, is leading the latest internet craze by filming herself while sleepwalking. Known as CelinaSpookyBoo on TikTok, Myers found success in December after posting her first sleepwalking video, which earned her 20.5 million views. After discovering the entertainment value, Myers has since shared many other clips from her adventures captured by the cameras installed inside and outside her home.
The first video, taken in a hotel, was a spontaneous incident that was triggered by stress. Myers can now reasonably predict her episodes by eating food that triggers her—chocolate and cheese immediately before she goes to sleep.
Myers told Yahoo Life, “I have avoided eating those things before bed, so it’s not a huge issue in my regular life unless I’m really stressed out. Because it made people so happy, and honestly I love watching the clips, we set up cameras to try and catch some more of it inside.”
With now 11.9 million followers, Myers provides entertainment through her videos, though they should also serve as a cautionary tale for how things could go wrong for people who sleepwalk and a lesson for the people who don’t.
What Is Sleepwalking?
“Sleepwalking generally occurs during the deepest stages of sleep (non-rapid-eye movement sleep) and can generally be tied to many causes. People can sleepwalk routinely as a result of underlying conditions, or sleepwalking can occur as a one-off event,” says Peter Bailey, MD.
“When sleepwalking occurs sporadically, it is generally tied to fever, alcohol or drug usage, stress, new medications, or being subjected to a new sleep environment and routine,” Dr. Bailey adds.
Sleepwalking is not quite as rare as you would think — 3.6% of the population are prone to sleepwalking. To put that into perspective, 3.6% of the population is roughly 8.4 million people. The rate is highest among children. Though most people generally outgrow it by their teens.
There is no cookie-cutter sleepwalker. It can happen to you once every five years or once a month. An episode can last a few minutes or an hour –– every person is different. Sleepwalking does run in families, but genetics won’t determine how often it happens, just the fact that it might.
Here are some of the factors that could contribute to an episode:
- Sleep deprivation and sleep schedule interruptions
- Some medications
- Underlying conditions
You Can Actually Get Hurt
It’s not the act of sleepwalking itself that is the concern; it’s what you do while you’re asleep. People have been known to try to cook, drive or injure themselves. Some people even exhibit inappropriate or violent behaviors.
“In more serious cases, some sleepwalkers will put on clothes and leave the house, completely unaware of what is going on. This poses a serious risk of injury from stumbling into traffic or being left completely vulnerable on the streets without any cognition of what is happening,” Dr. Bailey advises.
It’s hard for people who sleepwalk to nail down exactly what triggers them or what they do while sleepwalking. Which poses a risk (or at least inconvenience) for the people they live with. Always remember to take care when waking someone who is sleepwalking. Since they aren’t aware of what they are doing, walking them abruptly might result in an unpleasant response.
Tips for Sleepwalkers
Create a Safe Environment
If you’re a sleepwalker, the name of the game is safety. While Myers is inducing her sleepwalking episodes by eating trigger foods, it’s clear she’s taking precautions. Her partner is often awake in her videos, ensuring her safety.
That’s not the reality for many people who sleepwalk, however. You cannot always anticipate when it will happen, so making sure your home is safe is essential. Hide weapons, lock doors and windows and keep the floors clear. You might also want to consider installing cameras and motion sensors through your home.
Stick to Your Routine
Medication isn’t necessary for most people who sleepwalk, though if it does become an issue, you should consult a doctor to figure out what your triggers are. Once you have that information, you’ll be able to create a routine that allows you to avoid them.
“If you suffer from sleepwalking, try exercising during the day, cutting off-screen time 60 minutes before bed, and avoid drugs and alcohol wherever possible. Establishing daily routines that promote healthy habits like exercise, reading, and avoiding drugs and alcohol are the most basic, but also the most effective, treatments,” Dr. Bailey advises.
Too Long, Didn’t Read?
Myers aims to make people laugh with her videos, and she does just that. If you need a good laugh, watch the one where she feeds her lawn cans of soda. But we would be remiss not to mention the severity of sleep disorders and the potential negative outcomes if you’re not careful. The fact is you can get seriously hurt. If you’re prone to sleepwalking, you won’t regret taking the time to safeguard your home.