When toddlers have bad dreams, they usually run to snuggle up with their parents. Not Thea Helena Robertsen! This four-year-old Norwegian toddler decided to deal with her nightmare by sleepwalking, not just to the kitchen or the neighbor's home, but an astounding 5km (3-miles) - all the way to the next town!
The chain of events unfolded last weekend. The young girl and her sister were under the care of their aunt Kristine Sorensen, while their mother was vacationing in Greece. Everything was going well until Sunday, September 15th. Kristine tucked in the kids and then went to bed herself. It had been a particularly cold and stormy weekend and everyone was happy to be under a warm blanket - at least that's what the poor aunt thought! The first inkling that something had gone wrong came the following morning when Kristine was awakened at 6.30 am by the local police, and questioned about Thea's whereabouts. Confused at the question, Kristine rushed to Thea's room, only to find it was empty.
Turns out that the toddler had a nightmare that the house had caught fire. So she put on her boots, unlocked the door and started walking - all while asleep. What's amazing is that even in her deep slumber, she seemed to have the sense to keep safe by walking on the edge of the streets. Nobody knows the exact route the toddler took. The one thing they do know is that she crossed the 800-meter tunnel that connects Nordkappveien where her aunt resides to the nearby town of Hjellplassen, where she was found the following morning at 6.15 am, by a resident on his way to work.
The young girl who was awake by now, appeared surprisingly calm and while she was unable to provide the police much detail about what had happened, she did know how to contact her aunt and was soon reunited with her family. Needless to say, Kristine has not let Thea out of her sight since. Thea's mother says though this is not the first time the young girl has sleepwalked, she has never taken it to this extent before.
Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a recognized disorder that originates during deep slumber and affects between 1-15% of the general population. People suffering from this disease have no recollection of their actions, which include not just walking but also complex tasks like driving. Sleepingwalking is especially prevalent in kids between the ages of three and seven. Fortunately, most stay within the confines of their homes!
Resources: dailymail.co.uk,9news.com.au finnmarkdagblad.no