Nightmare of dad who cannot sleep peacefully
JAMES Bugden has a problem. He has nearly jumped to his death, got stuck in the toilet and nearly strangled his wife – and all of this was in his sleep.
For the past three years the 36-year-old from Kingsnorth, Ashford, has suffered from sleep apnoea, a condition where the neck tightens leaving him, at times, unable to breathe.
Following a knock on the head at work in 2006 Mr Bugden discovered an equally dangerous side effects to his condition – sleepwalking. He now fears for his wife of 17 years Carol and their children.
The father-of-five said: “I’ve woken up strangling the wife, woke up punching the wife and two nights ago I smashed the headboard and done all my knuckles in fighting with the headboard.
“One night the wife had to grab me back through the window. We’re in a three-storey house and our bedroom is on the top floor and I’d climbed on the chest of drawers and was trying to climb out of the window because I thought there was a fire.
“On another night I’d gone into the toilet asleep and the door had closed behind me and I then couldn’t open it so I was stuck in the toilet most of the night asleep.”
The condition, where oxygen in the blood is lowered, has left James almost blind in his right eye and deaf in one ear following two strokes.
The former HGV recovery driver said: “When you go to sleep your body sleeps but your brain stays active, it never sleeps. Swelling in the neck stops you breathing so every now and then you stop breathing too.”
Mr Bugden added: “If my wife was not so on the ball I could be already in the dock facing prison. I can fall asleep anywhere, any time; day or night.
“You dread going to bed at night. They reckon if you’ve watched a film or something on the television you go to bed and your brain is still re-enacting it and your brain thinks you are in the part.
“It’s just fingers crossed someone can help because we’re three years down the line, seven different doctors, eight different hospitals and we’re no nearer an answer.”
Can you offer Mr Bugden any help or advice? Call our newsroom on 01233 623232.
James Bugden, who suffers from sleep apnoea and fears for his wife and children’s safety because he kicks and punches in his sleep