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Sleep-driving

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Sleep-driving

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Sleepwalking can be risky when busy roads or cliffs are involved. But sleep-driving elevates the dangers to a whole new level. Consultant neurologist, Guy Leschziner describes the case of one of his patients, Jackie, who has been driving in her sleep on both two wheels and four.

Shortly after moving to the UK from Canada, Jackie was lodging with an elderly woman. One morning the woman asked Jackie, "Where did you go last night?" Jackie said she had not gone anywhere.

"Well you went out on your motorbike," the landlady replied. Jackie was shocked and she immediately asked had she been wearing her helmet.

"Oh yes, you clomped down the stairs and you had your helmet and you went out," the landlady said adding that she had been gone for about twenty minutes.

Jackie had no recollection of her moonlit ride because she was asleep at the time. And there were no other clues to indicate that she had been out, as she had returned the motorbike to exactly the same place it had been before.

It has been known for years that certain animals like dolphins, seals and birds can sleep with one half of their brain at a time, allowing them to swim or fly while sleeping. In humans this does not occur, but we do now know that sleep and wake can exist in different parts of the brain at the same time.

Studies of sleepwalkers show that the parts of the brain controlling vision, movement and emotion appear to be awake, while areas of the brain involved in memory, decision-making and rational thinking appear to remain in deep sleep, with eyes open, speaking and performing difficult tasks like riding a motorbike - but behave in an odd manner, and have no, or only limited recollection.

Yikes, alarming thought, riding a motorbike while asleep......

   Update Reply
Catkins @ 13/12/2017 00:01  

All sounds good to me quick nap between loading bays would fill my day nicely lol

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JP @ 13/12/2017 09:11  

I think a lot of drivers are asleep most of the time!

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Deleted Member @ 13/12/2017 10:12  

I fell asleep at the wheel once, many years ago. Hired mini into a telegraph pole, luckily lowish speed and just the front nearside stoved in and crumpled. Now I always stop and have 5 minutes if I'm tired. On a bike too - some of the euro trips in tremendous heat make me sleepy, so stop for a fag, walk around and leg stretch.

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Panuno @ 13/12/2017 10:41  

My dad fell asleep at the wheel in 1967 working long hours delivering in the truck, cost him his life and left my mum with 5 kids and a farm to run.

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Deleted Member @ 13/12/2017 11:21  

I'll admit to nodding off for a split second on a bike, many years ago due to sheer exhaustion (my own fault too) but, find the idea of being able to get dressed, take a 20 min bike ride AND return safely, all without any memory - almost incomprehensible.

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ducat @ 13/12/2017 13:58  

Long ago I was riding north on the A12 somewhere about Marks Tey catching up to a bloke on a Honda Cub. Just as I got up to him he veered sharp left off the road and high up the embankment. The bike bucked along a fair distance and I expected to be picking up the pieces but he held on and got back on the road. Rude awakening but he probably couldn’t do it again fully conscious.

   Update Reply
SlowlyDuzIt @ 13/12/2017 20:06  

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