According to a case described in the medical journal Sleep Medicine, a 44-year-old sleepwalker logged onto her computer and emailed out party invitations to friends. Fortean Times magazine looks at this case and several other bizarre episodes of somnambulism. From Fortean Times:
The mails themselves were perhaps not up to the woman’s waking standard; each was in a random mix of upper and lower case characters, badly formatted and containing odd expressions. One read: “Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4.pm. Bring wine and caviar only.” Another said simply: “What the…”"Somnambulism in the Internet Age"
The writers of the report have dubbed this new variation of sleepwalking ‘zzz-mailing’. They say: “We believe writing an email after turning the computer on, connecting to the Internet and remembering the password displayed by our patient is novel. To our knowledge this type of complex behaviour requiring coordinated movements has not been reported before in sleepwalking. She was shocked when she saw these emails, as she did not recall writing them. She did not have any history of night terrÂors or sleepwalking as a child.”
Unlike simple sleepwalking, they argue, the activities the woman engaged in required complex behaviour and coordinated movement, as well being able to remember her login details. She had no memory of the events next day. It’s thought that the somnambulistic episode may have been triggered by prescriptÂion medication.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.