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Sleepwalking on the Camino

TravelingVegan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2023
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night (maybe once every two weeks, but sometimes only once a month) I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?
Thank you for your time and thoughts.
I think my concern would be for your safety, expecially if you are assigned a top bunk? Could you get a doctor's note so you could get a bottom bunk?
 
I think my concern would be for your safety, expecially if you are assigned a top bunk? Could you get a doctor's note so you could get a bottom bunk?
I was planning on always requesting a bottom bunk because I've fallen sleepwalking before. My husband was going to take the top and me the bottom. Are they usually accommodating if you tell them why? My husband is a doctor so maybe he could tell them in person...If all the bottom bunks are taken and I come in with a note, do you think they would go take one for someone who was already given it? In all honesty, we plan to be at the albergues before they open so this hopefully won't be an issue. Thank you for your response!
 
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Well frankly: You have a very particular a personal indisposition that could potentially be bothersome in a crowded dormitory, you are a couple, you can afford to fly in from overseas.
Why bother to sleep in dormitories, then? Book rooms through booking.com with the aid of gronze.com.
As along the Camino, you are charged by the room and not by the bed, (unlike in Albergues, where you are charged by the beds), it comes to about the same or only slightly more in terms of cost, you'll have (mostly) a private shower, and a higher comfort level.
 
Well frankly: You have a very particular a personal indisposition that could potentially be bothersome in a crowded dormitory, you are a couple, you can afford to fly in from overseas.
Why bother to sleep in dormitories, then? Book rooms through booking.com with the aid of gronze.com.
As along the Camino, you are charged by the room and not by the bed, (unlike in Albergues, where you are charged by the beds), it comes to about the same or only slightly more in terms of cost, you have (mostly) a private shower, and a higher comfort level.
We saved up for this trip to celebrate a milestone for my husband. We really only budgeted for albergues because it is very expensive to fly from California and we wanted to experience this trip in the dorms. But I will suggest this to my husband so we can look into that as well. Thank you for your response!
 
TV, I'd be a bit concerned about the safety aspect as well. Summer on the Portugues is going to be busy and albergues will be crowded. Many albergues don't have storage lockers, or if they do, people don't use them much. At night there's often all kinds of stuff strewn over the floors - in environments you won't be familar with. And do you always find your way back to the right bed??? :eek:
You say you plan to be at albergues at opening time, but that won't always guarantee you a place - unless you walk very short distances, which means more days. So you might as well research booking double rooms, which often don't work out a whole lot more.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
TV, I'd be a bit concerned about the safety aspect as well. Summer on the Portugues is going to be busy and albergues will be crowded. Many albergues don't have storage lockers, or if they do, people don't use them much. At night there's often all kinds of stuff strewn over the floors - in environments you won't be familar with. And do you always find your way back to the right bed??? :eek:
You say you plan to be at albergues at opening time, but that won't always guarantee you a place - unless you walk very short distances, which means more days. So you might as well research booking double rooms, which often don't work out a whole lot more.
All good points. I have found that usually by the time I'm starting to walk away, I am waking up so I hope if I do, I'm only a few steps away from my bed. We are flexible with getting a private room, if nothing is available because I CANNOT sleep on the top bunk.
 
Normally if you arrive early, you will be able to get a bottom bunk, however, this is not always guaranteed.
A doctor's note or card in Spanish or Portugues that explains the situation (if you don't speak Spanish or Portuguese) is often a good backup. My husband uses one to explain his CPAP machine and the need to be near an outlet. As hospitaleros we reserve certain lower bunks for people with disability or infirmity and we don't assign those until the very end of our capacity.

It is good you are thinking about this, but normally the hospitalero/a will be as accommodating as they are able. I wish you well, but I hope you won't stress about it too much or let it keep you from your Camino.
 
Normally if you arrive early, you will be able to get a bottom bunk, however, this is not always guaranteed.
A doctor's note or card in Spanish or Portugues that explains the situation (if you don't speak Spanish or Portuguese) is often a good backup. My husband uses one to explain his CPAP machine and the need to be near an outlet. As hospitaleros we reserve certain lower bunks for people with disability or infirmity and we don't assign those until the very end of our capacity.

It is good you are thinking about this, but normally the hospitalero/a will be as accommodating as they are able. I wish you well, but I hope you won't stress about it too much or let it keep you from your Camino.
Thank you! I think I'll have a card in Spanish and Portuguese stating my issue. I'm also flexible with getting a room with my husband if they don't have anything left, in terms of bottom bunks. We will definitely be doing the Camino, I can't let my sleepwalking stop me from living my life. The good thing is I don't sleep walk every night, I'm just trying to be proactive, just in case. I might be so tired that I don't, but I want to be prepared in case I do.
 
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Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night, I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
It’s practically impossible to give advice. I have two friends who suffered from involuntary issues at night and they had real difficulty even staying in friends houses.

IMHO I’d plan for private rooms - at least until you can make an informed decision on how tired you are. As there are two of you the cost will not be unreasonable.
 
I have no idea what happens when you sleepwalk and how you navigate unfamiliar spaces when you walk. So I can't comment on sleeping in albergues that have different configurations and sizes every night.
TV, I'd be a bit concerned about the safety aspect as well. Summer on the Portugues is going to be busy and albergues will be crowded. Many albergues don't have storage lockers, or if they do, people don't use them much. At night there's often all kinds of stuff strewn over the floors - in environments you won't be familar with. And do you always find your way back to the right bed???
Tom brings up some great points that you need to think about. I would also add that many albergues have staircases. Often times kitchen etc are on the main floor and you sleep upstairs. Sometimes the staircase is actually in the room you are sleeping in and not in the hallway. Another issue (that I and others have problems with at times) is that every night the height of the bed above you differs. I have no idea how quickly or at what angle you sit up and get out of bed. There are some albergues where the bottom bunk has plenty of clearance to sit straight up before you get out of bed. But most of the time the clearance is much lower. It can be that you have to angle your head somewhat (depending on your height of course) to clear the top bunk. There are other bunks that you have to (almost regardless of how tall or short you are) roll your body out of the bunk and carefully keep your head down to make sure you do not bang your head on the top bunk. There is very little room between top and bottom bunks to say the least. Hope it all works out for you.
There are a few albergues with single beds as well as private rooms. Maybe you can stay in those and when they are not available get a private room for your own safety.
 
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night, I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
Consider that if its two of you, a private room may be of an equivalent cost as an albergue. I have had my pillow taken by a sleepwalker and it was particularly frightening. That and your own safety for consideration. Buen Camino
 
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As mentioned before, the staircases would be my main concern. And also the doors! The outside doors of an albergue must be left open during the night in order to make it possible for pilgrims to escape in case of fire. In the albergue where I work as a hospitalero the outside doors can be opened always from inside, but not from outside so people cannot enter. So in case you find the outside door when sleepwalking, there is a possibility you shut yourself out.
And how do you find your own bed? In a dormitory the lights are switched off during the night. Is there a possibility you step into a bed that is occupied by someone else?
 
I am a retired sleep physician. Sleepwalking has a genetic background, but sleepwalking more likely if chronically sleep deprived( less than 8 hours per night).
I would start before the trip with extending nightly sleep to near 8 hours Every Night. With walking the Camino, try pushing to 9 hours per night. An early afternoon nap of 20-30 minutes could be part of that daily total. Sleep is not resting in bed watching TV or cell phone information.
The additional sleep may reduce the risk of injury during long walking.
I may seem dogmatic, but so many myths about adequate sleep in modern world.
 
Unfortunately I can't help you with your problem. And I think the previous posts already gave you some suggestions. It's a good thing to be concerned about your safety, wherever you will stay the night.

But, to lighten things up a bit, I have an additional worry for you: should you go sleepwalking on the Camino, make sure to be following the yellow arrows...
;)
 
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I am a retired sleep physician. Sleepwalking has a genetic background, but sleepwalking more likely if chronically sleep deprived( less than 8 hours per night).
I would start before the trip with extending nightly sleep to near 8 hours Every Night. With walking the Camino, try pushing to 9 hours per night. An early afternoon nap of 20-30 minutes could be part of that daily total. Sleep is not resting in bed watching TV or cell phone information.
The additional sleep may reduce the risk of injury during long walking.
I may seem dogmatic, but so many myths about adequate sleep in modern world.
As if one could actually get 8 to 9 hours of sleep in an Albergue dormitory! With the noisy latecomers and the early risers...not dogmatic but highly unlikely! 😵‍💫
 
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night, I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
If all you do is walk, it shouldn't be a problem since others are getting up to use the facilities. But if it's more than that you could end up terrifying others. Perhaps a shared dorm is not a good idea.
 
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Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night, I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.

A couple of tips.
A letter on letterhead from your GP will be more official than your husband saying he is a doctor. Municipal albergues in Galicia have a separate room/ accomodation and give priority to people with disabilities. I suggest you call or email ahead and let them know your situation and when you will be there. Before Galicia book a room in a hostel if you think you will arrive late.
Good luck and Buen Camino.
 
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I have no idea what happens when you sleepwalk and how you navigate unfamiliar spaces when you walk. So I can't comment on sleeping in albergues that have different configurations and sizes every night.

Tom brings up some great points that you need to think about. I would also add that many albergues have staircases. Often times kitchen etc are on the main floor and you sleep upstairs. Sometimes the staircase is actually in the room you are sleeping in and not in the hallway. Another issue (that I and others have problems with at times) is that every night the height of the bed above you differs. I have no idea how quickly or at what angle you sit up and get out of bed. There are some albergues where the bottom bunk has plenty of clearance to sit straight up before you get out of bed. But most of the time the clearance is much lower. It can be that you have to angle your head somewhat (depending on your height of course) to clear the top bunk. There are other bunks that you have to (almost regardless of how tall or short you are) roll your body out of the bunk and carefully keep your head down to make sure you do not bang your head on the top bunk. There is very little room between top and bottom bunks to say the least. Hope it all works out for you.
There are a few albergues with single beds as well as private rooms. Maybe you can stay in those and when they are not available get a private room for your own safety.
This is a good point. I really appreciate your response and letting me know common layouts. I tend to wake up after I have stood up, but I sometimes talk and I have been known to sit up in bed quick. It's a lot to consider. Since I'll be with my husband, I think a shared room might be a good idea. Thank you for your time!
 
Consider that if its two of you, a private room may be of an equivalent cost as an albergue. I have had my pillow taken by a sleepwalker and it was particularly frightening. That and your own safety for consideration. Buen Camino
We are considering it, a private room. I think my husband wants to wait and see if it even happens and if it does, go from there. I might be so tired, it might not be an issue. I only do it sometimes, but I'm always conscious about it.
That is terrifying, in a strange place and someone comes into your space AND touches you. I'm glad you're okay. Thank you for your response!
 
As mentioned before, the staircases would be my main concern. And also the doors! The outside doors of an albergue must be left open during the night in order to make it possible for pilgrims to escape in case of fire. In the albergue where I work as a hospitalero the outside doors can be opened always from inside, but not from outside so people cannot enter. So in case you find the outside door when sleepwalking, there is a possibility you shut yourself out.
And how do you find your own bed? In a dormitory the lights are switched off during the night. Is there a possibility you step into a bed that is occupied by someone else?
I've luckily never gone outside while walking, I tend to wake up after a few steps away from my bed. I think I'd need to try to stay as far away from the stairs as possible, to be safe. I've suggested a private room to my husband and he wants to see if it's even an issue first. I'll have to report back after July and let everyone know! Thank you for your response.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I am a retired sleep physician. Sleepwalking has a genetic background, but sleepwalking more likely if chronically sleep deprived( less than 8 hours per night).
I would start before the trip with extending nightly sleep to near 8 hours Every Night. With walking the Camino, try pushing to 9 hours per night. An early afternoon nap of 20-30 minutes could be part of that daily total. Sleep is not resting in bed watching TV or cell phone information.
The additional sleep may reduce the risk of injury during long walking.
I may seem dogmatic, but so many myths about adequate sleep in modern world.
I shoot for 8 hours now so I'll keep up with that and go to sleep earlier if I need it. Definitely do not look at my phone even an hour before bed so that won't be a problem, when I am going to sleep, I mean it! Thank you for your response.
 
Unfortunately I can't help you with your problem. And I think the previous posts already gave you some suggestions. It's a good thing to be concerned about your safety, wherever you will stay the night.

But, to lighten things up a bit, I have an additional worry for you: should you go sleepwalking on the Camino, make sure to be following the yellow arrows...
;)
Hey I had to have a catchy title 😎 thanks for your response
 
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If all you do is walk, it shouldn't be a problem since others are getting up to use the facilities. But if it's more than that you could end up terrifying others. Perhaps a shared dorm is not a good idea.
It's mostly walking, but sometimes I do talk (absolute nonsense about dinosaurs or how there was an octopus touching me) and I do "search through things" sometimes. I don't sleep walk every night, maybe once every two weeks, but I'm trying to be on top of it for myself and others. My husband doesn't think it will be a problem because I only do it sometimes and he's hoping I'm so tired that I will just sleep. Maybe he's right, but if I do, even once we need to explore other options. Luckily, I wake up pretty fast after standing up, like 30 seconds or less so based on that: bottom bunk always and bed away from stairs. Thank you for your response.
 
A couple of tips.
A letter on letterhead from your GP will be more official than your husband saying he is a doctor. Municipal albergues in Galicia have a separate room/ accomodation and give priority to people with disabilities. I suggest you call or email ahead and let them know your situation and when you will be there. Before Galicia book a room in a hostel if you think you will arrive late.
Good luck and Buen Camino.
All good tips, I'll do just that once we have our stops and everything planned out. Thank you for your response!
 
What an interesting and challenging dilemma.

I wonder if it's possible to consider some kind of tethering system by which you are attached to your husband (or even the bed frame)?
I'd be thinking of some kind of elastic material that would not hinder normal night time movement but would alert your husband in the event that you start to wander off?

As well as the risks of items on floors and potentially dangerous stairs there is also the risk of being on the receiving end of other Pilgrim's shock and anger. An alerted husband may be better able to calm troubled waters.

I think your husband is being quite sensible with his "wait and see" approach but I also think that you deserve kudos for not letting this stop your Camino! Bravo to you and Buen Camino.
 
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I tend to wake up after I have stood up, but I sometimes talk and I have been known to sit up in bed quick. It's a lot to consider. Since I'll be with my husband, I think a shared room might be a good idea
but I'm always conscious about it.
That is terrifying, in a strange place and someone comes into your space AND touches you.
I do "search through things"
Good you're thinking ahead, @TravelingVegan.
It sounds difficult - new places every night, frequent disturbances from others. Perhaps you will be tired enough to sleep deeply, but who knows? Aches and pains and other people can make sleep a challenge under the best of circumstances. Maybe try private rooms at first and see how it goes.

And please inform others if you do end up in a shared dorm - walking, talking, and going through things in the middle of the night could cause others to be anxious, to say the least. And for you, wanting to avoid this would be a nightly worry. So compassion for everyone (and safety for you) could well look like avoiding shared dorms altogether.
 
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Your story has me wondering if you manage to get out of a sleeping bag or a liner when sleepwalking? Do you have any experience with that situation?

Not a sleepwalker myself (afaik 🙂 ) but I can imagine that if you are used to pushing the bedcovers aside, sleeping in a bag may keep you in place. Even more so if the sleeping bag is attached to the mattress.
 
Your story has me wondering if you manage to get out of a sleeping bag or a liner when sleepwalking? Do you have any experience with that situation?

Not a sleepwalker myself (afaik 🙂 ) but I can imagine that if you are used to pushing the bedcovers aside, sleeping in a bag may keep you in place. Even more so if the sleeping bag is attached to the mattress.
That is a really good point! I have not slept walked in a sleeping bag before, maybe the "struggle" of trying to get out would be enough to wake me up. I'll be in one of those silk blanket things so that may be enough. Thanks!
 
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Do you have experience with jet lag and how that affects you? I don't sleep walk, but I like a few days of private accommodation while my sleep pattern adjusts.
This is actually my first time out of the U.S. so it's all new to me. The first night will be private as we get into Porto in the afternoon. It's all very new that's why I'm trying to plan for it, even if it doesn't happen.
 
When you discuss the sleepwalking with fellow walkers bring up waking and touching rules for either do or don't. Do they speak to you, take your hand, touch your shoulder, just standby to see you stay safe, guide you back to bed, wake your husband or ...
I really just need someone to tell me "go back to bed" as that's what my mom used to do. Someone probably would in a shared dorm. I'm not a violent sleep walker, just a very embarrassed and apologetic one. I hate disturbing others, even my husband! I think I'll let the few people around me know, there may be a chance I get out of bed, just in case.
 
Many private allergies have private twin rooms. Since there are two of you ,the cost won’t-be that much more…like abt 10 to 15 euros more a night for the two of you. You stillcould get that communal experience at meals and hanging out but would be safer at night. Error on the side of safety!! Why even consider taking such a chance? There are often obstacles while walking in a darkroom full of people who have limited space to place their bags, etc. And some people using albergues are not really pigrims. Why take the risk?
 
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That is a really good point! I have not slept walked in a sleeping bag before, maybe the "struggle" of trying to get out would be enough to wake me up. I'll be in one of those silk blanket things so that may be enough. Thanks!
If you are walking in the summer, I doubt most of the time you would be in asleeping bag? Perhaps a liner?
 
If you are walking in the summer, I doubt most of the time you would be in asleeping bag? Perhaps a liner?
Is the liner the silk blanket I mentioned? I found one on Amazon and they called it silk sleeping bag liner. I'll refer to it as silk liner as I think we are talking about the same thing. And yes, no sleeping in a sleeping bag as it'll be much too warm. Sorry, trying to stay consistent with the lingo!
 
We saved up for this trip to celebrate a milestone for my husband. We really only budgeted for albergues because it is very expensive to fly from California and we wanted to experience this trip in the dorms. But I will suggest this to my husband so we can look into that as well. Thank you for your response!

It's worth thinking about at least.
I'm not into communal sleeping generally, partly as I snore a bit, and well.........I just prefer privacy.
The very modest private rooms I use 'most of the time' are very often about the same price as two Albergue beds. And most of the private rooms have 2 beds....or a 'matrimonial' bed.

Maybe try a mix of both, communal and private ?
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
It's worth thinking about at least.
I'm not into communal sleeping generally, partly as I snore a bit, and well.........I just prefer privacy.
The very modest private rooms I use 'most of the time' are very often about the same price as two Albergue beds. And most of the private rooms have 2 beds....or a 'matrimonial' bed.

Maybe try a mix of both, communal and private ?
Great idea! It's nice hearing that we have options. If it was all or nothing one way, I think I'd be so anxious, but I feel pretty good and excited. Thank you for response!
 
Great idea! It's nice hearing that we have options. If it was all or nothing one way, I think I'd be so anxious, but I feel pretty good and excited. Thank you for response!

It's good that you are thinking this through and finding out what options you have.
All part of sound Camino planning and researching.

But rest assured, once you start, you will find that you are part of a moving community of really friendly supportive people. And there are always solutions to whatever comes up. ;)
 
I am a retired sleep physician. Sleepwalking has a genetic background, but sleepwalking more likely if chronically sleep deprived( less than 8 hours per night).
I would start before the trip with extending nightly sleep to near 8 hours Every Night. With walking the Camino, try pushing to 9 hours per night. An early afternoon nap of 20-30 minutes could be part of that daily total. Sleep is not resting in bed watching TV or cell phone information.
The additional sleep may reduce the risk of injury during long walking.
I may seem dogmatic, but so many myths about adequate sleep in modern world.
It’s quite amazing the variety and depth of talent and knowledge to be found on here. It tempts we generalists to keep our head down from time to time.

Not entirely sleep related, but the now deceased husband of Mrs Htd’s close friend was prone to getting sharply out of bed in the early hours and (clearly conscious of his army service in Egypt) stand to attention and, when challenged, state that he was mounting guard in Egypt as ordered. Whilst this was tolerable at home, it did interfere with holiday plans. No amount of intervention would convince him that he was in north-west England.

The solution was to holiday in Egypt. When he declared that he was in Egypt, his other half could answer ‘yes, that’s right’ and after brief consideration, he returned to bed.

Clearly sleepwalking is a serious issue, and I hope the OP finds a suitable way of coping.
 
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It's mostly walking, but sometimes I do talk (absolute nonsense about dinosaurs or how there was an octopus touching me) and I do "search through things" sometimes. I don't sleep walk every night, maybe once every two weeks, but I'm trying to be on top of it for myself and others. My husband doesn't think it will be a problem because I only do it sometimes and he's hoping I'm so tired that I will just sleep. Maybe he's right, but if I do, even once we need to explore other options. Luckily, I wake up pretty fast after standing up, like 30 seconds or less so based on that: bottom bunk always and bed away from stairs. Thank you for your response.
Don’t discount the possibility that you’re right and it’s everyone else who can’t see it

 
There are some albergues where the bottom bunk has plenty of clearance to sit straight up before you get out of bed. But most of the time the clearance is much lower. It can be that you have to angle your head somewhat (depending on your height of course) to clear the top bunk. There are other bunks that you have to (almost regardless of how tall or short you are) roll your body out of the bunk and carefully keep your head down to make sure you do not bang your head on the top bunk. There is very little room between top and bottom bunks to say the least.
Ouch, that brought back painful memories of hitting my head more than once in the first days of my first camino. It made me nervous about waking up suddenly before I had time to remember I had to make my way out of the bed with my head lowered - and I am not a tall person. After a couple of 'hard knocks', my solution of sorts was to test myself sitting straight up to see where the impact point would be - then wrap a bundle of clothes into the bottom structure of the bed above, to cushion any impact if I sat bolt upright without thinking. Not foolproof but it helped. Hopefully you will be able to have some private rooms in albergues - but if you do find yourself in a lower bunk bed we worth trying @TravelingVegan . Best wishes.
 
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Ouch, that brought back painful memories of hitting my head more than once in the first days of my first camino. It made me nervous about waking up suddenly before I had time to remember I had to make my way out of the bed with my head lowered - and I am not a tall person. After a couple of 'hard knocks', my solution of sorts was to test myself sitting straight up to see where the impact point would be - then wrap a bundle of clothes into the bottom structure of the bed above, to cushion any impact if I sat bolt upright without thinking. Not foolproof but it helped. Hopefully you will be able to have some private rooms in albergues - but if you do find yourself in a lower bunk bed we worth trying @TravelingVegan . Best wishes.
That's really smart, I could definitely pad my impact site. Thanks for tip!
 
Ouch, that brought back painful memories of hitting my head more than once in the first days of my first camino. It made me nervous about waking up suddenly before I had time to remember I had to make my way out of the bed with my head lowered - and I am not a tall person. After a couple of 'hard knocks', my solution of sorts was to test myself sitting straight up to see where the impact point would be - then wrap a bundle of clothes into the bottom structure of the bed above, to cushion any impact if I sat bolt upright without thinking. Not foolproof but it helped. Hopefully you will be able to have some private rooms in albergues - but if you do find yourself in a lower bunk bed we worth trying @TravelingVegan . Best wishes.
I have hit my head more than a few times (I am tall 6'2" 1.89) and I will do my 8th camino this year haha. I hit my head at times on the rack above but it is alot more often on the side panel of the top bunk as I am getting in and out of my bed. Also the way I flop around in bed I would have to cover half the top bunk:) and then I would probably forget to take my stuff in the morning. I am kind of a mess about organization and hitting my head. The joys of camino living!!!!
 
Unfortunately I can't help you with your problem. And I think the previous posts already gave you some suggestions. It's a good thing to be concerned about your safety, wherever you will stay the night.

But, to lighten things up a bit, I have an additional worry for you: should you go sleepwalking on the Camino, make sure to be following the yellow arrows...
;)
🤣
 
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I was planning on always requesting a bottom bunk because I've fallen sleepwalking before. My husband was going to take the top and me the bottom. Are they usually accommodating if you tell them why? My husband is a doctor so maybe he could tell them in person...If all the bottom bunks are taken and I come in with a note, do you think they would go take one for someone who was already given it? In all honesty, we plan to be at the albergues before they open so this hopefully won't be an issue. Thank you for your response!
I suggest you stay in private rooms with your husband. For two people the cost is not much more than staying in a Albergue. I think you are sincere but I have heard more people trying to get a low bed on this condition it seems to be fashionable 😊
 
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night (maybe once every two weeks, but sometimes only once a month) I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
I was on the Camino last April May. Often times the cost of an individual room wouldn’t be much more than paying for two in a dormitory. You can often get single rooms in albergues so you would get the feel of the Albergue life.
 
Couple of things…if in an Albergue and all lower bunks are taken, I am sure that if you asked, someone would be OK with moving to another bunk. Us pilgrims tend to be a helpful lot. I would suggest that whatever sleeping cover you use has a zipper. One, it will help keep the chinchas out and two; it will take a more conscious effort for you to get out.

Do you have a goal when you sleepwalk? My only experience with sleepwalking was when a doctor prescribed Ambien ER. Turns out I would go to the kitchen, find something to eat and leave a mess. Wondered why I was gaining weight. Happened a dozen times before I realized what was happening and I switched sleep meds. I was conscious enough to do all that but never remembered any of it.
 
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A letter on letterhead from your GP will be more official than your husband saying he is a doctor.
I was going to suggest asking a doctor if melatonin or some other substance could be prescribed to prevent sleepwalking. Until I read that you are married to one. And the other doctor who responded didn't mention such a thing, so I suspect it doesn't exist. But since your husband is a doctor, office letterhead with his name would not only look official but would help if he needs to persuade anyone that he's a doctor.

I would also suggest laminating it or at least print it on heavy paper, because if you carry it many days on the Camino, it will get wet.
 
Couple of things…if in an Albergue and all lower bunks are taken, I am sure that if you asked, someone would be OK with moving to another bunk. Us pilgrims tend to be a helpful lot. I would suggest that whatever sleeping cover you use has a zipper. One, it will help keep the chinchas out and two; it will take a more conscious effort for you to get out.

Do you have a goal when you sleepwalk? My only experience with sleepwalking was when a doctor prescribed Ambien ER. Turns out I would go to the kitchen, find something to eat and leave a mess. Wondered why I was gaining weight. Happened a dozen times before I realized what was happening and I switched sleep meds. I was conscious enough to do all that but never remembered any of it.
Sounds good! And not usually. It usually has something to do with whatever I am dreaming about. So one time I was dreaming about snorkeling and woke up my husband to tell him there was an octopus in the bed and it was touching me. Or I stood up to stand at the bottom of the bed and then woke up. I wake up pretty soon after standing up usually or moving around.
 
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night (maybe once every two weeks, but sometimes only once a month) I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
My husband has REM Behaviour Sleep Disorder, where he becomes active in his sleep some nights. We have walked three Caminos and had the same concern. The second night of the first Camino he had an episode (in a private room), and while falling out of bed, hit his head on a bedside table. The decision was made, private rooms only, particularly so as not to disturb others and of course to avoid the top bunk issue. We stayed in basic reasonably priced accommodation. Save a bit more until you can afford to do this. It will make for a calmer less worrisome Camino. And no, being exhausted did not make a difference. Much luck with your decision.
Buen Camino
 
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I understand that you want to be flexible but know that it is unlikely that you will be able to just decide to change to private rooms. Many albergues don’t have private rooms and COVID has definitely increased the demand and the number of people making reservations. I normally wouldn’t recommend this, but in your case some pre-planning may be necessary. I can relate as my husband has REM sleep disorder and has a CPAP machine (definitely more of a challenge than sleep walking.)
 
I once stayed in a pilgrim albergue where a young woman spoke very loudly in the middle of the night, waking everyone but herself. I was confused as to where the voice came from. I got up and went downstairs to check the front entrance in case a woman arriving late was at the door. In the morning, the young woman was informed of the incident and was quite embarrassed at hearing about it. But no one expressed any annoyance, just that she was told what had happened. It is just as well that she did not get up, as the front of the dormitory led into a steep staircase, where she would have risked serious injury.
 
Ok, I admit it. I'm both a sleepwalker and sleep talker.
I've walked 7 Caminos and I'm on my 8th atm.
My sleepwalking isn't as bad as it was when I was younger.
On Caminos, I have woken up out of bed quite a few times, but not too far from my bunk. I've slept in both top and bottom bunks and somehow I manage to get out of top bunks just as easy as bottom bunks.
The worst thing that I've done on the Camino was to totally unpack someone else's pack while sleeping! And, I've talked or shouted while sleeping often.
I usually try to book a bed in albergues that have small rooms, and let my room mates know my situation. Maybe 2 or 3 bunks in a room maximum. If they have affordable smaller private rooms for 2 people, I'll book that.
Letting others know lowers my stress, and I don't do it as often. I guess also, I'm fairly tired after a days walking.
I'm sure that your Camino will be wonderful.
Buen Camino.
 
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Ok, I admit it. I'm both a sleepwalker and sleep talker.
I've walked 7 Caminos and I'm on my 8th atm.
My sleepwalking isn't as bad as it was when I was younger.
On Caminos, I have woken up out of bed quite a few times, but not too far from my bunk. I've slept in both top and bottom bunks and somehow I manage to get out of top bunks just as easy as bottom bunks.
The worst thing that I've done on the Camino was to totally unpack someone else's pack while sleeping! And, I've talked or shouted while sleeping often.
I usually try to book a bed in albergues that have small rooms, and let my room mates know my situation. Maybe 2 or 3 bunks in a room maximum. If they have affordable smaller private rooms for 2 people, I'll book that.
Letting others know lowers my stress, and I don't do it as often. I guess also, I'm fairly tired after a days walking.
I'm sure that your Camino will be wonderful.
Buen Camino.
Thank you very much. I can't sleep on top bunks because I will roll off, but I think being in the liner and having to maneuver out of that will force me awake. I'm going to let the people around me know. I usually wake up pretty quick, but I have been known to go through stuff so I'm hoping that's not the case.
Thank you for your reply, it's nice knowing someone else like me has done so many Camino's successfully :)
 
A sleepwalking pilgrim staying in an albergue?
Yup, I agree with the opinion you would be better off and safer booking private accommodations.
 
Hello! I will be walking the Camino, for the first time this summer with my husband. We are doing the Camino Portugues from Porto.
I am a sleep walker, it runs in the family (my mom and younger sister as well) and we have all done it our whole lives. It sometimes is made worse from being in an unknown place so I worry it could happen while staying in the albergues and I don't want to disrupt other people.
Has anyone (who sleep walks as well) found this to be an issue or were you so tired that you crashed out every night? What have you done to make sure you don't sleep walk or if you do, you don't bug others?

Note: I do not sleep walk every night (maybe once every two weeks, but sometimes only once a month) I'm just trying to be prepared.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.
Tie your foot to the bed. Sounds terrible but we have a friend who got an extremely infected tooth and Sinus infection. She was transported to a hospital the following day. She was delusional from fever but she knew enough to tie one leg to a tree so she wouldn't wonder off before help came. (Or maybe sleep in hotels.)
 
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