Sleep Walking and Urinating – What’s next during my Clonazepam drought?

My often fractured yet constant need for sleep has produced all kinds of interesting experiences. One time, after drinking too much, I woke up and vomited all over the floor for about 3-4 minutes. I immediately fell back to sleep and had a big mess to clean up the next day. Some nights I go to bed at 1:00 AM but don’t actually fall asleep until 5 or 6 AM. I frequently get up to use the bathroom and roll around in bed until my brain finally permits me to rest. Also, as recently as two months ago, I had a “Sleep Terror”. I was having a nightmare and suddenly sat up and screamed louder than I have ever screamed before; so loud in fact that my voice went hoarse for the rest of the day and I tasted blood in my mouth. My cat wouldn’t come near me for 2 hours because of what she heard.

Friday night’s event, however, was something quite surprising and new. I awoke stirring in bed reacting to an odd dream that was proving difficult to remember. The bits and pieces I did recall involved me getting out of bed, peeing on the window, leaving it there, and then returning to bed with my foot soaked in my own urine. Slowly, as my head began to clear, my worst fears were realized: indeed, my foot was slightly wet, there was a puddle next to the window and splash marks on the wall. This wasn’t a bad dream at all, it was pure reality!

How on earth did I manage to get out of bed, walk to my window and urinate on it? Was I in a trance? Do I belong in the looney bin now? Was this the start of new BPD problems involving bad thoughts and pee? 🙂

After mopping up my mess, disinfecting the area, throwing my pajamas in the wash, and briefly consoling myself, I sat down at my computer and did some desperate Googling regarding sleep walking.

I was happy – in a relieved way – to discover that this phenomena was not something rare or cause for alarm. In fact, after reading a few medical web pages I learned that adult males experience sleep walking in roughly 2-4% of the population. The urinating part wasn’t as common, but it was mentioned on several of the pages as an additional disorder/symptom. In extreme sleep walking cases some men have engaged in physically violent behavior, gone outside to mow the law, or attempted to have sex with their sleeping spouses.

Sleep walking in general is most prevalent among children under the age of 12, particularly boys but also girls in smaller numbers. Multiple forum sites had threads written by worrying parents regarding their son or daughter getting out of bed and urinating somewhere other than the toilet and then having no memory of what they did. Obviously the first few times this happened, the parents were cross with their children for the “I can’t remember it” excuse. After 5 or 6 instances, however, these parents realized there was something else going on. Fortunately, they were reassured by fellow forum posters answering the thread that almost all children outgrow sleep walking once in their teenage years.

Still, this whole “foggy dream becomes reality” experience I had was upsetting. I’m not 12, I’m 32! I continued researching sleep walking in adult males and specifically sought out mental health websites. These sites were more informative about the causes and treatment for this condition.

Most of the time, sleep walking is the result of bad sleep habits. If you find yourself going to bed at varying hours throughout the course of a week, you’re more likely to experience parasomnias (abnormal sleep behaviors with physical movement) and/or somnambulism (sleep walking). Less common causes included stress, alcoholism, use of anti-anxiety medication, and personality disorders.

In my case I was neither drunk nor sleeping at an odd hour. I wasn’t overly stressed either. So that left personality disorder, ie. my BPD and anti-anxiety medication, ie. my Clonazepam, as the likely culprits. Well, that pretty much explains why I peed on the floor.

Thinking over the events of the days prior to my “sleep-pee” disaster, I noted that my BPD was generally “normal”. I didn’t have any rages or abnormal depressive episodes. My Clonazepam regimen, however, WAS out of whack. I’m desperately waiting for my medication from the USA to arrive in the mail, and have had to ration out my Clonazepam as a result. I was down to half my usual doses and was experiencing withdrawal symptoms during waking hours. I also found it difficult to get to bed, which meant the dwindling supply of medication in my system was affecting my sleep.

Given all the evidence at hand, I’ve concluded lack of Clonazepam is the problem, plus just a bit of my BPD. 🙂 I would hate for my Friday night experience to become a regular occurrence, so I’ll be checking my medication package’s tracking number on the hour to see when it arrives. Once I’m back on my usual dosage, I think I won’t be urinating inappropriately any further. If it does continue, however, I’ll be writing a very depressing blog entry and putting my psychiatrist on speed dial for a desperate pep talk.

Util then, take care of yourself and ALWAYS keep track of your medication supply. Why make life any more difficult than it has to be? Treat your BPD and yourself responsibly! (…and pee in the toilet, that’s what it’s for…).