Somnambulism

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SOMNAMBULISM, med. juris. Sleep walking.
     2. This is sometimes an inferior species of insanity, the patient being unconscious of what he is doing. A case is mentioned of a monk who was remarkable for simplicity, candor and probity, while awake, but who during his sleep in the night, would steal, rob, and even plunder the dead. Another case is related of a pious clergyman, who during his sleep, would plunder even his own church. And a case occurred in Maine, where the somnambulist attempted to hang himself, but fortunately tied the rope to his feet, instead of his neck. Ray. Med. Jur. Sec. 294.
     3. It is evident, that if an act should be done by a sleep walker, while totally unconscious of his act, he would not be liable to punishment, because the intention (q.v.) and will (q.v.) would be wanting. Take, for example, the following singular case: A monk late one evening, in the presence of the prior of the convent, while in a state of somnambulism, entered the room of the prior, his eyes open but fixed, his features contracted into a frown, and with a knife in his hand. He walked straight up to the bed, as if to ascertain if the prior were there, and then gave three stabs, which penetrated the bed clothes, and a mat which served for the purpose of a mattress; he returned. with an air of satisfaction, and his features relaxed. On being questioned the next day by the prior as to what he had dreamed the preceding night, the monk confessed he had dreamed that his mother had been murdered by the prior, and that her spirit had appeared to him and cried for vengeance, that he was transported with fury at the sight, and ran directly to stab the assassin; that shortly after be awoke covered with perspiration, and rejoiced to find it was only a dream. Georget, Des Maladies Mentales, 127.
     4. A similar case occurred in England, in the last century. Two persons, who had been hunting in the day, slept together at night; one of them was renewing the chase in his dream, and, imagining himself present at the death of the stag, cried out aloud, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" The other, awakened by the noise, got out of bed, and, by the light of the moon, saw the sleeper give several deadly stabs, with a knife, on the part of the bed his companion had just quitted. Harvey's Meditations on the Night, note 35; Guy, Med. Jur. 265.

References in periodicals archive ?
Major changes are afoot at Miller, after a decade of somnambulistic and wrong-footed management that has put the company into a kind of waking coma.
For Stevenson it is the mechanically repetitive process of the walking body that induces this "magnetic" somnambulistic state of anti-rational introspection by which the mind is linguistically rather than visually preoccupied with puns and acrostics, words and rhymes:
The central character, a Woman who works in a convenience store (played with somnambulistic perfection by Maureen Gammelseter) is the the film's central focus.
It's advisable to sleep with the eye shields on for the first week to protect your eyes from any inadvertent somnambulistic rubbing.
It's entertaining as all get out, including the somnambulistic walk around Providence, Rhode Island.
Subsequently, Caridad goes into trances and makes predictions to save her sister and help her father win the lottery However, she goes through her experiences in a somnambulistic stage, empty of all emotions until she meets Esmeralda.
There's something about (Phil) Simms' voice that's somnambulistic to me.
Dar es Salaam has shaken off its former somnambulistic, decrepit character and is reinventing itself as a thoroughly modern African city.
Dar es Salaam, the capital, has shaken off its former somnambulistic, decrepit character and is reinventing itself as a thoroughly modern African city.
For a discussion of the case, see Norval Morris, Somnambulistic Homicide: Ghosts, Spiders, and North Koreans, 5 RES JUDICATAE 29, 29-31 (1951).
Despite the confusion caused by his somnambulistic activities, the Prince is far more problematic for the other characters when he is awake and holding the law together (zusammenfassen) by simultaneously understanding (fassen) the Kurfurst's offer, composing himself (sich fassen), and composing (fassen) an answer.
This notion of building "strength on strength" narrows the list of potential partners and take-over candidates, but it also helps ensure that a lot of money isn't spent trying to breathe life into somnambulistic operations.