Sleepwalker Stirs Yuks Off-Broadway

Sleepwalking With Me wins praise from neurologists
By Kristina Loew,  Newser User
Posted Jan 25, 2009 9:18 AM CST
In this image released by Keith Sherman and Associates, Mike Birbiglia, who wrote and stars in "Sleepwalk with Me," is shown. The production is now playing off-Broadway.    (AP Photo/Keith Sherman and Associates, Joan Marcus)
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(Newser) – Fighting off an imaginary Brad Pitt and leaping from a second-story window confirmed it: Mike Birbiglia was ready to turn his sleepwalking stories into a one-man show, Newsweek reports. Launched off-Broadway in November, the comedic Sleepwalk With Me is drawing raves from reviewers and sleep researchers alike. "Mike is really de-stigmatizing this disorder," one neurologist said.

At least 5% of adults suffer from REM Behavior Disorder, which is likely under-diagnosed because people are too embarrassed to see a doctor. At least it's no longer considered a sign of madness, although some experts say it has psychological roots. Birbiglia agrees it's not all yuks: "It's terrifying if you think about it," he said. "Your brain is like, 'We're going to shut down for a while,' and your body is like, 'We're going skiing!'"