Nightmare of a nuisance

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

Sleepwalking causes rash of ruinous roommates, lack of public sympathy

By Natalie Serafini, Editor-in-Chief

Following the viral story about a girl whose sleepwalking led to consuming all her roommates’ food, an increasing number of roommates have been self-diagnosed with sleepwalking. Their destructive behaviour has varied widely, from eating everything, to borrowing without asking, stealing without asking, and using up the toilet paper and then forgetting to buy more.

“It’s really hard, because I don’t want to borrow my roommate’s new shirt and then spill red wine on it, but the sleepwalking made me,” lamented sleepwalking victim, Sarah Slumbers.

Slumbers added that it has seriously affected her relationship with her housemate. “She just isn’t very sympathetic to my sleepwalking problem, even though I explained it to her several times. I have a condition, and I looked better in the shirt than she did, anyways. Ugh, she’s so selfish!”

Other roommate relationships have suffered the affects of this nocturnal condition, causing some to contemplate moving out on their own in the pricy Lower Mainland. Tom Tired told a harrowing story of his sleepwalking problem.

“I was sleepwalking, and I guess I set fire to my roommate’s bed while I was smoking—I don’t even remember, but I guess I didn’t want to get smoke in my own room because my girlfriend doesn’t like the smell. Anyways, my roommate was super pissed. I tried to tell him it was my sleepwalking, but he wouldn’t listen! Now not only does he want me to buy him a new bed, he’s started talking about moving out.”

An organization of sleepwalking activists, Sleepwalkers Helping to Inform and Teach (SHIT), is trying to increase awareness of and support for sleepwalkers. Founder Danielle Dormer has gone through enough tough roommate situations that she’s familiar with the sleepers’ struggle.

“I was living with my best friend, and she came home to find that I had left the door open while sleepwalking to get ice cream, and her cat ran away. When I sleepwalked back home, I tried to explain to her that I wasn’t conscious, but she just didn’t understand—I guess I wasn’t totally coherent, between the sleeping and the mouthful of ice cream. I knew right then that something had to change, and I formed SHIT the very next day,” Dormer said.

Until roommates everywhere open their hearts, doors, and refrigerators to sleepwalkers and their problems, Dormer and her band of nappers will continue to fight for understanding and funding.