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Sleepwalking Dangers: Expert Warns Of Eating, Driving And Violence That Can Occur While Sleepwalking

Dr. Gary Zammit On The Couch

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new study shows that as many as 1 in 3 adults recall sleepwalking at some point in their lives. One of those adults is Noel Schenck.

She told TV 10-55′s Chris Wragge that she began sleepwalking when she was 4 years old.

“I would go into the refrigerator and open the door,” she said.

While sleepwalking is most common in children between the ages of 4 and 8, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that it is more prevalent in adults than previously thought.

Sleep expert Dr. David Schulman described sleepwalking as somewhere between being awake and being asleep.

“Sleepwalking can be thought of as the state halfway between being fully awake and being fully asleep. The brain is doing things that it would do in wakefulness but it would never recall them in the future,” he explained.

People can perform a variety of activities while asleep, including sitting up, household chores, even driving a car, according to doctors. If woken up during this state they are often unaware of the events that have taken place.

Dr. Gary Zammit is a certified sleep specialist and executive director of the Sleep Disorders Institute in Manhattan. He visited The Couch to discuss the dangerous aspects of sleepwalking – from driving, eating and getting violent, to the cases where people have used it as a defense in court.

To see what Dr. Zammmit had to say, check out the video below.