How this rare sleep disorder forced a woman into debt
A UK mum has spoken out about a rare medical condition that resulted in a huge online shopping bill – all while she was sound asleep.
Kelly Knipes, from Essex in England first discovered that something was wrong seven years ago, a little while after her first child was born.
Speaking to The Mirror, the 37-year-old said that every morning after she would wake up, she would find receipts for items that she had no recollection of purchasing.
Now, years later, she believes she has spent over $A5,571 including hundreds of dollars on lollies, cookie jars costing $A107 and also a “full-size plastic basketball court” that was delivered to her home in a truck.
“I bought a full-size basketball court from eBay, and when it turned up at my house the next day, I just refused delivery,” she said.
“I would never actually have to put any credit card details when I was buying things online because it was all saved on my phone.
“It was all on my phone, and everything that is on my phone is accessible by touch. I was racking up debt everywhere.”
According to Ms Knipes, the transactions were made through her phone, which had her credit card details already saved.
She was later forced to return the items to avoid falling into debt.
Her condition, otherwise known as parasomnia, is a disorder caused by sleep apnoea – a dangerous condition that causes the person affected to stop breathing while they’re sleeping.
The symptoms are similar to sleepwalking, which Ms Knipes was known to do as a child.
And while shopping seems to not be the worst thing in the world, Ms Knipes has also overdosed on diabetes medication during her pregnancy due to the disorder.
“I was having a dream that I was speaking to the doctors, and I kept saying that I didn’t want to take the medicine anymore — but when I woke up, I had taken all the tablets,” she told The Mirror.
“Luckily everything was OK — but I was so worried that social services would get involved.”
Countless doctors’ appointments later, she finally found the solution by using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device during the night, which helps her breathe while she sleeps.
“When I had the CPAP machine, I felt rested and re-energised for the first time in ages,” she said.
“It really has given me my life back.
“Since starting CPAP, I have not had any abnormal sleep behaviours, have not shopped online at night, my headaches have ceased, and I am not depressed.”
Ms Knipes is now opening up about her journey to raise awareness and help those who are currently facing the same issue.