Can you commit suicide while sleeping?
2010-07-09 0:00

By Melissa Dahl | MSNBC.msn.com



Suicide while sleepwalking is a real nightmare!

A man jumps out a fifth-story window. A woman marches into oncoming traffic. Another woman loads a gun and shoots herself. All appear to be open-and-shut cases of suicide, but, then again, maybe not. In rare cases, such deaths could be caused by something called parasomnia pseudo-suicide, experts say.

In other words: Its possible to kill yourself in your sleep.

Recently, the New York Times reported on such a case. On the morning of May 30, a young, promising designer named Tobias Wong was found dead in his New York City home; hed apparently hanged himself in the night. But Wong had a known history of insomnia and extreme sleepwalking episodes, among them billing clients, cooking a steak dinner or even creating silly outfits for his cats, the paper reported. His sleepwalking condition had apparently worsened with the stress of growing his design business.

Could his death be a tragic result of his sleepwalking?

There are documented cases of suicide while sleepwalking, says Michel Cramer Bornemann, the lead investigator of sleep forensics at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Bornemann spends his days working on the legal implications of sleepwalking. Hell help build a case to defend a sleepwalker who wanders into a strangers home, or, on the other hand, prosecute a woman who claims she was sleepwalking when she loaded a gun, shot and killed someone.

If you think about sleep, the part of the brain that makes us human is essentially offline, Bornemann says. Hes talking about the prefrontal cortex, which controls our personalities and our decision making processes. In sleepwalking, the behaviors are either very primal, reflexive behaviors, or theyre overlearned behaviors that are kind of built into our neural networks that have become habitual.

On NPRs This American Life,comedian Mike Birbiglia relates experience with the sleepwalking disorder and an episode that nearly killed him. While staying at a motel in Walla Walla, Wash., he had a nightmare that a missile was headed for his hotel room. While still asleep, he got out of bed and jumped out the second story window. To cope with the disorder, he now sleeps in a sleeping bag.

Sleepwalking is more common among kids, affecting about 12 percent of American children, Bonneman says. But as the brain matures, most people grow out of it its much rarer for adults to sleepwalk, and only about 4 percent of Americans adults do.

But technically, it can happen in a lot of us, Bonneman says. This is something that all of us are potentially capable of.

Article from: msnbc.msn.com



Related Articles
Sleep-kill hubby: Wifes forgiven me in a dream
Sleep Problems Are Common in US Soldiers Returning from Wartime Deployment (No, really?)
Sleep Paralysis Visions: Demons, Succubi, and the Archetypal Mind
Wish Fulfillment? No. But Dreams (and Sleep) Have Meaning
Lucid Dreaming: Awake in Your Sleep?


Latest News from our Front Page

Star Wars: DARPA's Death Ray Begins Testing
2015-05-27 20:29
The folly of science fiction is quickly becoming science fact. Watch a video of this report here: The U.S. government has given permission to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA for short, to begin field testing its High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS). Program manager Rich Bagnell said the solid-state laser has ‘unprecedented power and beam quality for its size‘. ...
Europe 2020
2015-05-27 4:13
YouTube Description: Europe is changing and not for the better. We can change this if we act now. Source: The European Guardian
Rome's Arch of Titus Now Represents a Jewish Triumph
2015-05-27 2:48
Though not on a par with the universally recognizable Colosseum, the Arch of Titus remains one of the most iconic relics from Rome's ancient imperial glory days. The grand arch is located just south-east of the Roman Forum (main center of ancient Rome). It was opened in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian, shortly after the death of ...
IQ, Psy Ops and the "Civilization" of the Scam
2015-05-27 2:27
Cognitive dissonance is the firewall that exists in most minds when confronted with a challenge to their basic beliefs about the world. As it is human nature to avoid admitting being in error or having been duped, for most humans the ego zealously flees the admission to oneself of significant error.Challenges to our worldviews or paradigms of belief are also ...
"Europe Could be Overrun with White South Africans"
2015-05-26 23:05
Edited by Red Ice Dear Madam Merkel: We want our brothers and sisters to come home! Hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are pouring into Europe, stressing the economy and social services, causing insane rates of crime and threatening to crush society in its entirety. Arab Moslems also continue to pour in under the guise of "asylum” and are continuing to threaten ...
More News »