Alyson Bair has vivid nightmares — so vivid that many of them turn out to be real.
In two terrifying incidents over the past couple of months, Bair has woken from her dreams in the Snake River, unable to breathe or touch the ground, according to ABCNews.com. Her sleepwalking has forced her family to barricade the doors — from the inside — and install alarms to make sure she doesn’t sleepwalk herself into more danger.
In early August, she suffered her first drowning nightmare.
“I thought I was dreaming, but then I realized I wasn’t and I was scared,” she told the site. “It was deep and I couldn’t touch anywhere and I was getting tired. I had to keep turning around and floating on my back.”
She eventually crawled onto the riverbank near her home in Burley, Idaho, and waited there until someone found her in the morning.
The 31-year-old mother of two says her family has taken every precaution to stop her late night escapades, but her sleepwalking self takes every advantage of mistakes. On Aug. 20, when her husband left the door open due to the heat, she sleepwalked out the door again and went straight to the river. She was found at 7:30 a.m., a quarter mile away from home on the riverbank, hypothermic and tired.
“It’s definitely scary and it worries me,” she told the site. “I haven’t tried to drive or anything yet, but it just scares me what I could do. We’ve locked up all my medicines and made sure that our guns are locked up. Everything I could harm myself with is put away because I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m sleeping.”
There are plenty of reasons why sleepwalkers’ episodes can become more severe over the years. The New York Daily News reported that stress — not drugs Bair is taking to treat a chronic autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with as a child — is a likely factor in her regular sleepwalking.
Bair has been recommended to sleep doctors, who hope to help quell the nightmares. She’s happy she hasn’t “tried to drive or anything,” and that she’s only contracted hypothermia during her episodes. But she still worries for her family.
“I’ve got my family to take care of and be with and I love them very much,” she told ABCNews.com. “So if there’s any way I could help others by my story, just to bring awareness to how serious this could be, and talk about what steps we’ve taken and find out if there’s anything else we can do, I’d like to do that.”