- West Country
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65-year-old Barry Coleman from Shepton Mallet has been sleepwalking for 40 years. His wife has been forced to install a child safety gate at the top of their stairs to try and prevent an accident that could so easily become a tragedy.
David Woodland reports:
- A person is more likely to sleepwalk if a close relative of theirs also sleepwalks
- Some people who sleepwalk may just sit up in bed, while others may wander around the home, open cupboards and even get dressed or eat.
- The sleepwalker will often have their eyes open, but their eyes will appear glassy and unfocused.
- Most sleepwalking episodes last no longer than ten minutes.
- You may need to consider locking windows and doors if you live with a sleepwalker.
The following factors can trigger sleepwalking or make it worse:
- sleep deprivation
- drinking too much alcohol
- certain drugs such as tranquillisers or antihistamines
For more information about the condition, visit the NHS website here.
Sleepwalkers have been known to write emails, cook food or even drive cars long distances.
Needless to say they can be an extreme risk to others and indeed themselves.
That is the case for 65 year old Barry Coleman, who has lived with the condition for 40 years.
His wife has been forced to install a child safety gate at the top of their stairs in their home in Somerset to try to prevent a tragedy.
Our Reporter David Woodland has been to meet them: