One aspect of the world I'm conceptualizing is that some employees might opt to work while in a medically induced coma, or work at night while they sleep by using brain implants that induce a type of controlled sleepwalking/working.

They might do this for various reasons. They may be given more leisure time during the day. They might believe they are more creative while asleep etc.

Are there physiological complications involved in excessive sleepwalking which might transfer over to sleep working, and what might be used to counteract or mitigate those complications?

Alternatively, could it be possible to use pharmaceuticals or implants to induce a kind of work trance. an altered state of consciousness which is increases productivity while reducing perceived time working?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Surely the long term health complications and the denial that they exist would be the key to any situation involving this. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Sep 13, 2018 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ Shadowrun novel "Tails You Lose" by Lisa Smedman has the main character implanted with technology that is related to this. Can't describe the side effects without giving spoilers, unfortunately. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2018 at 11:00
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    $\begingroup$ Does the "sleep working" allow the person to enter REM sleep or no? (Sleep walking typically happens during non-REM, but deep, sleep but can happen during REM morning cycles as an fyi). $\endgroup$
    – LinkBerest
    Sep 13, 2018 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ What kind of work do you envision your characters doing? By definition they can't be using higher brain functions, so it seems unlikely that they're doing anything analytical, and it seems like for manual labor, a robot is way more straightforward. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Sep 13, 2018 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ This works fine for me in my job as a prostitute. Actually it usually works better. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Sep 13, 2018 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


The best place to look would be medical journals I guess.


Skimming through this article I found no problems with long-term sleepwalking, only the potential for self-harm while sleepwalking is treated.

This article mentions symptoms and risks, without any mention of long-term problems: http://sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders-by-category/parasomnias/sleepwalking/symptoms-risk-factors

This article does mention that sleepwalking is dangerous but again not necessarily on the long-term: https://aasm.org/adult-sleepwalking-is-serious-condition-that-impacts-health-related-quality-of-life/

Considering the risk factors it is likely that controlled sleepwalking procedures wouldnt cause such problems immediately. Even the fatigue symptoms could be caused not by the sleepwalking but by the risks that cause sleepwalking. Despite all that, the risk that fatigue, insomnia, depression and all that those things entail can be caused by long-term sleepwalking is still high even in a controlled setting.


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