Show Summary Details
Page of

Violent parasomnias and sleep forensics 

Violent parasomnias and sleep forensics
Violent parasomnias and sleep forensics

Michel A. Cramer Bornemann

, and Mark R. Pressman

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 December 2020

Parasomnias are complex behaviors occurring out of or during sleep. Parasomnias are increasingly presented as proof of an automatism in criminal cases involving violence. The sleep forensics expert must have an up-to-date understanding of current sleep science and research, diagnostic and clinical techniques, and the legal requirements of expert testimony and scientific evidence. Sleepwalking and related disorders typically follow sudden, partial awakenings from deep sleep. Higher-level cognition is severely limited or absent, and complex behaviors often consist of “automatic” behaviors not initiated or guided by memory or planning. Sleepwalking and related disorders are noted to occur during deep sleep and often require a genetic predisposition or priming factors. Prior cases of sleepwalking violence find that the victim of sleepwalking violence—most often a family member—seeks out the sleepwalker. The history of sleepwalking includes reports of episodes and sometimes criminal court cases of murder, assault, and rape.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.