The Dead I Know

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23 April 2016

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Aaron Rowe is main character in Scott Gardeners novel ‘The Dead I Know’. Aaron walks in his sleep and has dreams he can’t explain, this essay is about Aaron’s sleepwalking and how he coped with it. Some of the points covered in this essay are Why people sleepwalk?, symptoms, dangers and treatments of sleepwalking as well as an experience I have had with sleepwalking.

There are many factors that can lead a person to sleepwalking and including genetics, physical factors and medical factors. Most of these factors are shown in the novel. It has been shown that sleepwalking can be inherited but it is normally other factors that make a person sleepwalk. In terms of physical factors, in the novel Aaron was stressed about many things including his new job, looking after Mam and the recurring dreams he was having. It has been shown that extreme stress is one of the biggest causes of sleepwalking on top of that it is shown that when having almost realistic dreams you are in a very deep sleep and when in deep sleep you are more prone to sleep walking.There are symptoms of sleep walking that can become very dangerous so it is important if you know you are sleepwalking to try and eliminate some of the causes like when Aaron tried to elevate his stress by taking Mam to the hospital.

There are many symptoms of sleep walking some dangerous some not. Some of these symptoms can range from quiet walking around the room to running around or attempts at ‘escape’. There have been cases where a person has sleepwalked and fell out of a first floor window. Aaron’s sleep walking was quite an extreme case as he was able to find the key to the door and untie himself from his bed. Like in the book when Aaron was with Dale West when he was sleepwalking, typically the sleepwalkers eyes are open with a glassy, staring appearance. When questioned they respond with slow simple thoughts which is typically nonsense. This may explain why Westy thought Aaron was stoned when they met that night. There are treatments and ways to manage these symptoms and most of them are readily available.

There is no specific treatment for sleepwalking, but improving your sleep hygiene may eliminate the problem. ‘Sleep hygiene’ means habits that help you have a good night’s sleep this may include obeying your body clock and going to bed at regular time and then waking up at the same time every day. Improving your sleeping environment can also prevent sleepwalking, to improve your sleeping environment you can make sure you have a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft. Make sure the room is at the right temperature.

Ensure the room is dark enough and If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), buy a pair of earplugs. In the novel Aaron had a lot of these things going on in his life but I believe the main reason why he disrupted sleep was because he had a lot of stress in his life. The only thing Aaron did about his stress was taking Mam to hospital this first made him more stressed but he eventually accepted it and relaxed a little. What Aaron could have done was buy some ear plugs and make sure he was in a comfortable bed. I have never experienced sleepwalking but I have had night terrors when I was younger.

When I was younger I didn’t experience sleepwalking however I did experience night terrors. A good definition of a night terror is “A person experiencing a night terror abruptly awakes from sleep in a terrified state, but is confused and unable to communicate. They do not respond to voices and are difficult to fully awaken. Night terrors last about 15 minutes, after which time the person usually lies down and appears to fall back asleep.” When I had my first night terror I was about three and had them for about a year, then I just stopped having them.

When you have a night you don’t remember the episode in the morning which makes it similar to sleepwalking. Also like sleepwalking if you fully wake the person who is asleep it may not be good for them. Like Aaron a person who is experiencing a night terror gets terrified but unlike Aaron the person cant explain why they are afraid, this is key to telling the difference between a night mare and a night terror.

In the Novel ‘The Dead I Know’ written by Scot Gardener the main character, Aaron Rowe, sleepwalks and has terrifying nightmares. The topics in this essay have explained why sleepwalking can be dangerous and how you can help yourself. Hopefully everything about sleepwalking was covered and that you got something out of reading this essay.

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The Dead I Know. (23 April 2016). Retrieved from

"The Dead I Know" StudyScroll, 23 April 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). The Dead I Know [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 31 January, 2023]

"The Dead I Know" StudyScroll, Apr 23, 2016. Accessed Jan 31, 2023.

"The Dead I Know" StudyScroll, Apr 23, 2016.

"The Dead I Know" StudyScroll, 23-Apr-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 31-Jan-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The Dead I Know. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 31-Jan-2023]

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