June 16, 2024

A 42-year-old woman suffering from a unique sleep disorder was swindled when sleep-shopping led her to enter her bank details on a fraudulent site. Kelly Knipes first became aware of her propensity to sleepwalk following the birth of her first child in 2006. Over time, the rare condition evolved into sleep shopping, a habit that has cost her over £3,000, purchasing a myriad of items from a full-size plastic basketball court to Haribo sweets.

In March, a hoax text message impersonating the government, promising financial aid for bills, was responded by her in sleep. Knipes, unsuspectingly, provided her banking details to the tricksters, and since then, she has been a target of multiple scams. She strongly believes that her data was sold to other scammers.

Kelly, living in Basildon, Essex, was diagnosed with parasomnia in 2018. She links this disorder with her sleep apnoea condition. Kelly’s unique malady has led her to buy a diverse range of objects, including paint cans, teaching guides, seasoning pots, a doll house, refrigerators, and tables.

While medications for sleep apnea had some beneficial effects, they are not a foolproof solution for Knipes, as she often removes the airway pressure device at night. Since the March scamming incident, there have been several more attempts to withdraw money from Knipes’s account.

What is Parasomnia?

Parasomnia refers to a group of undesirable behaviours that occur during sleep. According to Patient Info, an estimated 4% of adults suffer from some form of parasomnia. This condition is more common among individuals with preexisting psychiatric disorders and those facing stress, sleeping irregularities, alcohol intake before bedtime, and an excessive need for sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Sleep Shopping mean?

Sleep shopping is an unusual condition where individuals make purchases online while they are asleep. This condition is somewhat linked to sleep disorders such as sleepwalking or parasomnia.

What are the repercussions of parasomnia?

Parasomnia includes a wide range of activities conducted during sleep, from sleepwalking to sleep shopping, leading to physical harm, increased expenditures, or potential scamming.

How can parasomnia be treated?

Treatments for parasomnia vary depending on its underlying cause. It may involve lifestyle changes, therapies, or medications. In Kelly’s case, a CPAP device was used to manage her sleep apnea, which was linked to her parasomnia.