Opinion: Confessions of sleepwalking, amnesia and sticky notes


Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

Whenever I pick up the newspaper, I find medical news contrary to previously reported findings.

It’s just a matter of time before deep-fried Oreos are determined to be an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a possible preventative for heart disease. Why couldn’t someone have released that research before the State Fair began?

Now there is some perplexing medical news for me to digest: The sleeping pill I take may not help me get better rest, but may only have an amnesia effect. In other words, I may be up all night tossing and turning, but the next morning I don’t remember having trouble staying asleep. Just what I need: Something else to keep me up all night.

The more I thought about this, the crazier it made me. My pill bottle label said it can cause sleepwalking, so I could be wandering throughout the house, then in the morning not remember anything.

I experienced this in college. Up all night cramming for a test, then not recalling a thing the next morning (and I was drug-free then).

My brother was a sleepwalker. He’d get up and grab a rod and reel from the garage, then walk out the front door at 3 a.m. My mother wanted to call the doctor, but my father said we needed the fish.

I asked my wife if she’s noticed anything out of the ordinary lately. “Well, we’re always out of cat food,” she responded. That scared me, since I’ve gained a few pounds in the last month. “Also, I’ve noticed in the mornings that your bathroom is spotless. All your pill bottles are back in the cabinet. Your toothpaste tube has its cap on and all the towels are folded. Maybe you are sleepwalking.”

“Mary Ellen, do you really think I walk around the house at night and don’t remember?”

“It’s possible. You don’t remember a lot of things.”

Last night I put sticky notes around the house, so if I started sleepwalking, I could jot down what I did to jog my memory. This morning, I discovered I had gotten into the fridge and polished off the remainder of my wife’s homemade chicken cacciatore.

I’m glad I made a note of that. Sometimes I forget what a good cook she is.