Guinness World Records Recalls Story Of Boy Sleepwalking For 160 KM

In recent news, Guinness World Records shared the strange story of Michael Dixon, who, at the age of 11, 'sleep-walked' onto a train and travelled from his home in Illinois to Indiana in 1987.

Uma Bakshi
Aug 24, 2023 15:07 IST
bed empty sleep

File sourced from Unsplash (Image Credits- Quin Stevenson)

We've all known someone with the inclination to talk in their sleep, or walk in their sleep, but have you ever heard of someone sleepwalking to an entirely different place? In 1987, 11-year-old Michael Dixon, whilst sleepwalking, travelled all the way to Indiana from Illinois, according to the official site of the Guinness World Records. 

Sleepwalking, as the name suggests, is a medical condition that prompts the individual affected to walk whilst asleep

Michael Dixon's Sleep Travels

On 6 April 1987, an 11-year-old boy named Michael Dixon was found barefoot near a railway track in Peru, Indiana, USA. He was dressed only in his sleeping suit.


In the early hours of April 6, a railway crew member found the boy and called the police, telling them about the strange state Dixon was found in. When the police asked Michael Dixon where he lived, it became clear that he wasn't from Indiana but was from Danville, Illinois, over 100 miles away from home. 

Michael was last seen tucked in bed the night of the sleepwalking incident. As far as his mother knew, he was safe asleep at home when she got a phone call from the police in Indiana telling her they'd found her son.

How was Dixon able to travel such a long distance asleep? He had apparently boarded a freight train from a station near his home while sleepwalking. Since his house in Danville was near the railway, he didn't think he went too far while he was asleep. He later stated to a caseworker from the Miami County Welfare Department that he did not remember boarding or departing the train. His feet had cuts and were very dirty - for which he was tended to by a nurse - but he was otherwise unharmed.



The story got a lot of media attention across the United States at the time. Michael Dixon's sleep travels even made it into Guinness World Records two years later. 

In an article published in the Ball State Daily News, Michael's mother stated that this wasn't the first time he had sleepwalked. "He was having a nightmare and he went sleepwalking," she stated. "He sleepwalks, but he has never gone outside before," she continued. 


Police Chief Bill Page also commented, saying, that Michael allegedly got on a freight train and wound up in Peru. "He woke up, got off, and thought he was still in Danville," he added.

In an article about the incident on the official Guinness World Records site, Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, stated that they had recorded new heights for sleeplessness, snoring, dreaming, and other sleep-related conditions, but had never quite seen something like this.

"Records relating to sleep are fascinating because sleeping is something we all do," he said. "Well, apart from those unfortunate enough to suffer from the very rare condition of fatal insomnia."


"Who knows?" he further commented. "You might go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning as a record-breaker!"

Suggested Reading: Loud And Proud: US Woman Breaks World Record For Loudest Burp


#USA #travel #Guinness World Records #police #sleepwalking