This series of experiments has been performed by my friend, whose identity I am not at liberty to disclose. It had been performed at my suggestion in order to satisfy my as well as his curiosity about alleged changes in weight of sleepwalkers. I have edited his letter to me to that degree that his identity and especially the identity of his child will remain private, I took out what was not exactly relevant and I have edited his second language English grammar to my best ability (as poor as it may be). The names I used are not the real names.
I can't guarantie 100% works of other people nevertheless, my experience with this fellow traveler has been excellent so far and I have no reason to doubt his integrity.
I also have to warn any reader that interpreting the following observations as a loss of weight is not necessarily correct. I have further discussed this with my friend and I asked him to do me a favor and try to lift his girl just after one of the low readings. He has replied that it had occured to him to feel her weight and that he could not tell the difference between how heavy his girl feels while awake and how heavy she feels while sleepwalking.
OK, here's how I have arranged this whole thing about my daughter's sleepwalking eight readings;
First you will find (below) a table with the date and the time at which I have taken the readings, the reading I got, her normal weight, the type of scale that I used and the number of the report for that reading.
I started with using an electronic scale, but changed to a mechanical one, because the fluctuations in the electronic were rather large and I didn't trust the readings at all. It has the function to automatically record the highest value measured and that is the value I recorded. When I changed to the mechanical scale, the fluctuations were just in the order of about 500 grams up or down (actually I managed to get readings fairly constant in most of the readings with an error margin in the order of 100 or less grams.
To give you an idea how I got the readings, here's what I have done:
Once she goes to bed I place the scale on the threshold of her bedroom door, so that she has to step on it forcefully when going out or in. Usually, I got the reading when she goes back into the bedroom, though sometimes I got the chance to get two readings (when going out and when going back). Since these are usually quite close (a difference of less than 500grams), I have decided to record the higher of the two readings.
The logic I followed to number the reports is as follows:
x-y-z where x is the report number, y is the month to which the report belongs and z the year. Thus, you have for example report 1-10-00, 2-10-00, 1-11-00, etc.
The reports may obviously be well out of any scientifically desirable format, but take into consideration that I'm neither a scientist nor interested in convincing anybody of anything. I took these readings and wrote these reports exclusively out of curiosity after one of our chats about this matter and to appease our curiosity about it - mine and yours. I'm more happy with the results than I expected. My curiosity about the relationship between sleepwalking and weight has been satisfied to a great degree and that's enough for me. As for you, what can I say? What I got is what I'm sending to you. If nothing else, I hope that I can at least give you some ideas about how to set up some other similar experiment that may suite you better and about what kind of info you feel that it would be desirable to obtain in addition to the info that I'm sending you. I think that was its main objective in the first place, wasn't it?
OK, turn to the reports now.
Report # 1-8-00 - Thursday, 03/08/00 23h 40m
My daughter Anna started to talk aloud mumbling almost incomprehensible words. I went to her bedroom to calm her down. By the time I had arrived there, she got out of her bed and she was walking around her bedroom with her eyes wide open. She gesticulated with her arms as if she was talking to somebody. I got my electronic scale set and while talking softly to her, I lead her by her arm toward the scale until she stepped on it. I held her standing on it and looked at the reading. Then I lead her back to her bed. I couldn't understand what she was talking about. The reading was 43.248Kg. Annas normal weight is 41.600Kg.
Report # 1-9-00 - Tuesday, 12/9/00 02h 20m
Since it proved difficult to lead Anna and to make her step on the scale, I resorted to setting the scale on the threshold of her bedroom door every night after she went to bed, leaving the door half open. My wife Tina is usually the first one up in the morning and she removes the scale so that our child wouldnt realize what I'm up to. I don't want Anna to know about this in order to avoid her imagination or subconscious or whatever to influence her in anyway. This trick has proven to be useful tonight. I heard her talking at about 02h 20m and I went straight into her bedroom, just in time to see her coming towards the door. As soon as she walked onto the scale, I stepped in front of her to stop her. But it proved difficult to get sensible readings in this manner and with electronic scale, because Anna kept mumbling and agitating her body and the darned reading fluctuated enormously. In the end, I got the highest reading at 43.876Kg. Annas normal weight is 41.600Kg.
While I had her standing on the scale, I started to talk to her. She was asking questions and she was getting annoyed because nobody seemed to answer her. I couldn't figure out what the questions were, but I started talking softly to her, as if I were answering her. Then I asked her where she was and what was she doing. She said: "Oh, stop playing silly with me. Can't you see by the bag on my back that I'm going to school?" I said: "Oh, of course, darling, silly me. But I'm a bit at a lost, darling... where are you?" She replied: "Dad, are you trying to annoy me or what? Can't you see that we are at the buss stop? As if I would be standing here for any other reason than wait to be squeezed by that awful lot on the buss...?". She become agitated and I calmed her down and took her to bed.
Report # 2-9-00 - Monday, 18/09/00 00h 25m
I keep using the trick of setting up the scale at Annas bedroom door, but I have switched to a mechanical one. It is one of these scales with a small square display with a mark on top of it where the readout is. It has this internal disk, which spins around while weight is applied on top of the scale. It is a typical domestic scale, which we usually keep in the bathroom.
I have also decided to change my approach and not to interfere with my daughter while she's active, in order to avoid my possible influence on the reading. When she popped up in our living room at about 00h 25m while I was sorting out a few files on my computer, (I had actually just finished sending you a message) I stood up and I went to her bedroom door to look at the scale on her return, keeping an eye on her I didn't wait more than 1 or 2 minutes. She walked a bit like a drunk person, looking at the ceiling and smiling and pointing with her finger at something, somewhere on the ceiling. She got back to her bed on her own. She stepped onto the scale with her right foot and kept going as if there was nothing there. I was afraid for a moment that she would stumble on the scale and loose her balance but no, she just stepped on it and went to bed with no incidents of any kind. I looked at the scale while she stepped on it and it went up to just 5Kg. After she was in bed, I walked over the scale a few times in the same manner Anna did and I had Tina to read it. I was making sure that the scale wasn't faulty. It went to nearly my normal weight every time, even when I stepped on it while walking a bit faster than my daughter did. ???
Report # 3-9-00 - Thursday, 21/09/00 00h 50m
Anna showed up in the living room again while I was still up and working there and I went to her bedroom door to get ready to read the scale. She was mumbling something that I couldn't understand but it was obviously something funny or pleasant, because she had a broad smile all over her face. I told her to get back to bed and she did. She stepped on the scale with her left foot as if the scale wasn't there at all and I read 7.200Kg. Tina was there too by that time and she took the reading with me. We were making sure that I did not read the scale wrong for some reason, so each one of us read it on our own and wrote the value on a separate bit of paper. I wrote 7.100Kg, my wife wrote 7.200Kg. I consider the readings to be the same, because the difference is so small and it is becoming obvious that the accuracy isn't going to be at "grams" level. First, because the accuracy of this scale isn't to grams and second because the very nature of the method of weighing doesn't allow for any meticulous accuracy. I think I can neglect a few grams without loosing any important evidence of the existence of weight alterations while sleepwalking, with so many kilograms of difference between the scale readings and my daughter's normal weight.
Report # 4-9-00 - Friday, 22/09/00 04h 10m
Annas shouts woke me up and I jumped out of my bed rushing into her bedroom. She stood up and started walking, while harshly reprimanding a schoolmate for having done something that displeased her. She seemed annoyed, rather than angry. I tried to ask her what had the other girl done, but I didn't manage to get an answer from her. She would not hear me at all, nor was she aware to any degree that I was there with her. She passed me hitting me with her left hand making gestures in the air and didn't seem to have noticed that she hit me. Ive read the scale at about 4.700Kg while she walked out of the bedroom and Ive read it at about 4.300Kg when she returned. I have recorded the highest value and should I get more than one reading like this, I'll always record the highest value as the final reading. She stepped onto the scale with her right foot in both instances, going out and coming back into her bedroom. I would like to make her standing still on the scale for just 2 or 3 seconds, but without physically touching her.
Report # 5-9-00 - Wednesday, 27/9/00 00h 20m
Anna showed up in the living room and I called my wife and sent her to Annas bedroom door to keep an eye on the scale. I talked to my daughter and when she stepped on the scale I got her to stop and to answer my question. She answered it and I directed her back to her bed. My wife took the reading and said that Anna stood on the scale for more than 10 minutes. She took reading of 5.300Kg. Her normal weight is still about 41.600Kg.
Report # 6-9-00 - Thursday, 28/9/00 01h 35m
Wow, this one came as a shaking surprise to me. Anna started to shout and cry around 01.30 am in her bedroom, visibly scared of something. I rushed to her bedroom, turned on the ceiling light and found her sitting on her bed with her back against the wall. She held her arms fully stretched in front of her, her eyes wide open and looking "through" me. She repeatedly shouted: "No, no, go away, go away, leave me alone. Dad, dad, dad..."
Both of us, Tina and I, sat down by her and tried to calm her down, talking to her softly and reassuring her that all was well, that we were there already, but to no avail. Anna kept pushing us and shouting the same thing over and over, until I realized that her fear was shifting to anger and that she was about to loose her temper and jump forward straight into whatever was scaring her so much. I started calling my daughter to find out "where" she could possibly be. She had already jumped out of her bed and went straight into the kitchen, looking back once or twice while repeatedly screaming: "Go away" (it is curious that most of the time she talks in English while sleeping although at home, between ourselves, we talk mostly in our tongue). Tina took the reading at 5.600kg, when Anna stepped on the scale with her left foot leaving the bedroom.
Anna eventually perceived my call for her and started shouting: "Dad, I'm here, I'm here". I asked her what seemed to be the problem, while assuring her that she had no more reason to be in fear, as I was there. Tina says that while Anna came out of the kitchen, she was leaning to her right side, like if she was leaning against a person with her right arm bracing someones invisible waist. When she stepped onto the scale again, I asked her a question to make her look at me and stop.
"Listen, darling, what's the problem, after all?"
"This dog was trying to take Greenly (that's the name of a dragon toy she has) out of my hands to rip it apart and as I lifted my arms to put it out of reach, it was trying to make me fall, because it's so heavy... look, dad, dad, there it comes again..."
I decided that I should give her a boost of self-confidence and so I told her: "Listen darling, you know that here you don't need to fear anything, don't you? Just think that the silly dog isn't able to make you fall and you'll see that it can't make you fall at all".
I was curious to see what kind of measure was she going to take and I certainly got more than what I expected. She stared and shouted angrily: "All right, you bad dog, I had enough of you. See if you can turn me down now, come on..."
She wiped tears out of her eyes, grinned and said; "There; that's for you to learn to leave me alone next time I tell you". She looked at me, thanked me and asked me if we could go now because she was tired and felt that she could fall asleep at any instant. I took her back to bed and got myself a big glass of water after making sure that she was calm and comfortable.
What struck me however was what Tina recorded reading the second time Anna stepped on the scale. While Anna stood on the scale with her stare fixed somewhere ahead of her the scale read about 5.800kg. Then the scale started to go up slowly till it hit more or less 23Kg. Then it just shot up very quickly and it stopped on 78.800kg. She said that it remained on that reading for about 3 or 4 minutes and then the scale begun to go quickly down again, but she didn't have a chance to see to which value, because Anna walked off the scale.
Report # 1-10-00 - Wednesday, 11/10/00 22h 40m
Anna came into the living room, mumbled something, laughing and went back to bed. I got the reading when she stepped onto the scale on her way back with her right foot and it read 41.500Kg. When I asked her in the morning what was so funny to make her laugh like that, she said that all she remembered was that she had come to the living room and played a trick on me, by setting up something on the sofa where I usually sit, but she didn't remember what it was. Her normal weight has increased a bit lately to about 41.850Kg. I'll start recording it as 42Kg from now on, until it gets near 42.500Kg.
Report # 2-10-00 - Sunday, 15/10/00 02h 20m
Nothing new, just the usual mumbling of half-understandable words about something that she may be doing. She walked around the living room where we (me and Tina) were and went back to bed. We got the reading when she stepped on the scale with her right foot on her way back to the bedroom. The scale showed 6.100Kg.
Report 3-10-00 - Monday, 16/10/00 03h 10m
I woke up with my daughter's angry shouts and rushed into her bedroom just in time to watch her coming out of the room. She stepped onto the scale with her left foot and it read 4.900Kg. She was reprimanding a classmate who had used her color pencils and didn't return them back on to her desk. When she stepped on the scale again coming back, it read 5.200Kg. I will record this reading because it is the higher of the two. I stopped interfering with her, unless Id feel that she's in distress or in fear for some reason. She usually walks around a bit, mumbles incomprehensible words and goes back to bed, so I better leave it this way.
Report # 4-10-00 - Tuesday, 17/10/00 00h 25m
About 10 minutes after I have sent you a message, Anna popped up in the living room, turned to me, smiled and said "Dad, you're doing it the hard way. Just put that line over there and you don't have to worry about the letters anymore. Bye." She kissed me and off she went back to bed. I got so caught by surprise that I totally forgot to go to the scale and take the reading. Fortunately, my wife was in the kitchen and when she heard her talking to me, she came around to see what was going on and since she realized that Anna was asleep, she went there and took the reading. It was at 5.900Kg.
I design my electrical diagrams with TurboCad and I was at pains to put a legend into a drawing without interfering with the diagram or without getting it out of the printable area. It turned out that one of the arrow's arm from another legend could be changed to another position, giving me more space for that particular legend. I was staring at it the day before and again for the last 5 minutes or so and yet didn't see it, he, he.
Report # 5-10-00 - Wednesday, 18/10/00 05h 10m
The alarm clock rang and we were in bed just "waking up" slowly, when I heard noises outside our bedroom. I walked out only to find my Anna "chatting" amicably with somebody. She has eventually decided to go back in some 5 minutes, but instead of going into her bedroom, she went to the sofa in the living room and was just about to lay down on it when I grasped her gently by her arm and asked her to go back to bed. She smiled and mumbled something and off she went. She stepped on the scale with her left foot and it read 3.800Kg. She walked particularly slowly and when I asked her why, she mumbled something about "a bridge" (?!?) in our language. I laid her in her bed again and let her to enjoy another hour of sleep.
Report # 6-10-00 - Monday, 23/10/00 04h 45m
It is becoming an annoying habit lately to be woken up late in the night by my daughter's screams, just to go there and find her asleep. This time however, I almost bumped into her going to her bedroom. I couldn't read the scale when she stepped on it on her way out, nor did I notice with what foot she stepped on it. But I got her standing still on the scale for more than half a minute when she went back. I didn't do anything. She just stepped on it, stopped and looked around with eyes wide open, then shrugged her shoulders and off she went back to her bed. The scale stood steady at 3.570Kg. I will register 3.600Kg. I tried to ask her a question or two, but she didn't answer. I asked her in the morning if she had any recollection of her dreams, but she replied that the only thing she remembered was to be somewhere, looking for something, but she couldn't remember either the place or what was she looking for.
Report # 7-10-00 - Friday, 27/10/00 01h 40m
I got a "visit" from Anna in the living room, while I was at the PC with the headphones on my ears. She just walked around, went to the TV, rubbed the screen as if she was trying to clean something off it, pushed the on/off button (now you know why I always unplug everything from the sockets before going to bed), mumbled some sort of annoyed complaint and went back to her bed. She stepped on the scale with her left foot and it read 4.300Kg. I didn't get any answers from her when I tried to ask her a question or two. I didn't have a chance to talk to her in the morning before she left home with Tina, because I went to bed late and I was still fast asleep when they left.
Report # 8-10-00 - Saturday, 28/10/00 02h 50m
Anna came to our bedroom and actually lied down in our bed and slept there for nearly half embracing Tina. Tina then called me from our bedroom to tell me that Anna had gone out again. I found her in the bathroom talking gibberish to something or somebody and when I asked her who was she talking to, she just said: "All right, don't need to shout, I get the pencils for you..." and off she went straight to bed. She stepped onto the scale with her left foot and it read 5.300Kg. I expected it to read a lot more this time, because she was walking really fast, as she appeared to be annoyed. But that was what I could get.
Report # 1-11-00 - Thursday, 09/11/00 01h 40m
My wife showed up in the living room to tell me that Anna had just "paid her a visit" in our bedroom, mumbled something to her and went back to bed. She said she called me, but I didn't hear her, maybe because I had the headphones on. Anyway, Tina says she didn't ask Anna anything, but she has read the scale and it showed about 3.200Kg. She said that Anna stepped on it with her right foot while walking over it.
Report # 2-11-00 - Friday, 10/11/00 03h 10m
My daughter appeared in the living room so quietly that I couldn't hear her walking. She was smiling with her eyes barely open, as if she was trying to focus her vision on something very small on the floor. She walked very carefully, almost as if she didn't know what she was walking on. I asked her what was she looking for and she giggled and mumbled something I didn't understand. She held her hair out of her eyes with her left hand and walked with her right arm slightly bent and her hand open, palm facing outwards, as if she was holding onto some wall. As she returned to her bedroom, I asked her again what was she looking for, but meanwhile she stepped onto the scale with both her feet and walked off it slowly in a rather careful manner. The scale read nothing. It didn't even tremble. Nothing, zip, nil.
I thought the scale had broken and I touched it with my hand once she was off it. The scale spun immediately to nearly 2Kg under my hand pressure.
I asked my daughter again in a bit louder and giggling voice why was she walking so slowly and giggling so nervously and she said: "It's weird to look down and see the river so far below through this glass bridge...(giggled and shivered) the glass seems so thin... we are always waiting for it to crack and drop us all down..."
I tried to ask her who else was there with her, but she sat down on her bed, scratched her head, laid down and kept sleeping as if nothing had happen. I asked her in the morning to tell me what had she dreamt about, but she looked surprised and said that she didn't remember having any dreams that night. ????
Report # 3-11-00 - Saturday, 18/11/00 00h 35m
Anna came into the living room very agitated and moving her feet high up and fast, as if she had hot charcoals under them. She had her eyes wide open looking nervously down and from time to time having vomiting convulsions. I got hold of her and she felt as normal to touch to me as she always did. As I didn't feel any difference on her weight, I just decided to forget the scale for tonight and check out what was wrong with her, as she seemed sick. She shook my hands off her and rushed back into her bedroom almost jumping, instead of walking. Tina came by now to Annas bedroom door and I asked her to keep an eye on the scale, although I thought she would probably jump over it. It happened that she just landed with her right foot on the edge of the scale and I rushed behind her, thinking that she would probably loose her balance and trip. Nope. The scale didn't move, my wife says it didn't even shake the readout disk. It read nothing and my girl jumped into her bedroom.
She was back in her bed before I knew it, breathing fast but more relaxed, as if she got rid of whatever was disturbing her. I asked her gently: "What was it, darling, what was making you sick?" She said: "Oh, they're gone now, all those disgusting slugs have gone now... haargh.." And she lied down with a shiver, and went back to sleep normally.
She would not remember any details in the morning, except that she felt that she had been in some kind of trouble with "bugs".
Report # 4-11-00 - Thursday, 23/11/00 04h 40m
I got woken up by the noise of closing door around 04h 40m. I found Anna coming out of the kitchen, giggling and mumbling something, with her chin dripping water. I couldn't get out of her what she was up to, except that she was still thirsty and wanted another glass of water. But instead of going back to the kitchen, she kept going towards her bedroom, where she keeps a bottle of water by her bedside. When she stepped on the scale with her left foot, I took the reading at 4.300Kg. I gave her the bottle when she sat down on her bed and she drank it almost all. Then she stretched herself, lay down and went back to sleep quietly.
Report # 5-11-00 - Monday, 27/11/00 00h 10m
I didn't understand what Anna saw or did as I found her wandering around her bedroom, talking about pencils, books and naming classmates among a lot of incomprehensible words. I grabbed the scale after nearly ten minutes of this "rush-rush" and when she walked into a corner of her bedroom where she keeps some of her toys, I placed the scale on the floor behind her and got ready to catch her in case she tripped on it. Tina got an eye on the reading, but I didn't need to do anything about my girl. Anna stepped backwards onto the scale and turned around while still on it. She mumbled a few more words and went back to her wandering for a few more minutes, before going back to bed. Tina says that it was a bit difficult to read the scale, because it oscillated between 4.300Kg and 4.900Kg. Well, I'm not sure if this reading was a valid one, but I'm going to keep it with this note attached anyway. I'll register the highest value as usual, i.e., the 4.900Kg.
Report # 6-11-00 - Tuesday, 28/11/00 01h 40m
I caught my daughter moaning out loud about something related to her schoolmates. When I tried to ask her what was upsetting her, she stood up and walked out of the bedroom before I had a chance to read the scale. She kept moaning and flailing her arms in the air, but she eventually quieted down and went straight back to her bed. When she stepped on the scale (she was walking very fast) I read 4.200Kg. I tried to ask her again what upset her, but she pulled the blankets over her and turned to sleep with a visible expression of annoyance on her face. Morning didn't bring any answer either. She just laughed when I told her what she did and said that she didn't remember a thing. Sometimes I wonder if she really doesn't remember it or if she just doesn't want to talk about it...
Hearty regards, Jim
SDK September 2001