Since wandwork is not absolutely necessary to cast spells, is it possible for a wizard to accidentally cast spells while asleep, akin to sleepwalking or nocturnal emission?

  • Related: Why does pronunciation of spells matter? – Edlothiad Mar 22 '17 at 16:17
  • Can you please clarify exactly what you mean by 'spell'? – Mithical Mar 22 '17 at 16:39
  • @Mithrandir I guess I mean verbally or gesturally-induced magic -- magic that is endogenous to the caster. Not something like potion-making that relies on external components. – BrandonL Mar 22 '17 at 17:14
  • Do you mean it has to require a movement/sound? What do you think about my answer? – Mithical Mar 22 '17 at 17:16
  • @Mithrandir Yeah, I'm thinking along the lines of sleepwalking, where the wizard actually verbalizes the spell in the waking-world, but is asleep, not that he simply dreams about casting the spell or has a magical property that auto-casts a spell, like an auto-heal. – BrandonL Mar 22 '17 at 17:20


Harry Potter once grew his hair back overnight after Aunt Petunia cut it off, while asleep:

Next morning, however, he had gotten up to find his hair exactly as it had been before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, chapter 2

After the clarification of what the OP meant by spell, I'd say that it's possible, but probably not very likely. You would have to make the appropriate motion, and think/sleeptalk the right words, at the same time. It presumably is possible, though.

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    I didn't accept that answer ;). It obviously grew back magically; you can't have all your hair cut off and have it grow back overnight without magic. – Mithical Mar 22 '17 at 16:28
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Edlothiad Mar 22 '17 at 16:31
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    It is kind of indicated that Harry did not sleep that night. "Dudley had laughed himself silly at Harry, who spent a sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already laughed at for his baggy clothes and taped glasses. Next morning, however, he had gotten up to find his hair exactly as it had been before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off ” – Vishvesh Mar 22 '17 at 16:33
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    @Vishvesh - I kinda imagined that as just not sleeping well, ie, not falling asleep for a while. That's still called a sleepless night sometimes. – Mithical Mar 22 '17 at 16:38
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    @Mithrandir I up voted your answer, but I had this confusion. – Vishvesh Mar 22 '17 at 16:46

I wouldn't think so because every time i see them learning or casting a spell, they have to remember to concentrate. Concentrating on the things around them physically would prove difficult while sleeping.

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  • Can you provide any sources for you answer? It'll bring it more attention. – Edlothiad Mar 23 '17 at 15:05
  • The one that comes to mind is when they are practicing the patronas (spellcheck), in the room of requirements. That being said, my wife pointed out that Harry removed the glass from the snakes cage without "trying" to do it. – M1AGSR Mar 24 '17 at 16:32

It might be possible because it's stated in the book series that just simply saying a spell in your mind can properly cast it. I found this quote in the Why does pronunciation of spells matter? question somebody commented earlier and found this quote within one of the answers:

"Pointing his wand at nothing in particular, he gave it an upward flick and said Levicorpus! inside his head. "Aaaaaaaargh!" There was a flash of light and the room was full of voices: Everyone had woken up as Ron had let out a yell. Harry sent Advanced Potion-Making flying in panic; Ron was dangling upside down in midair as though an invisible hook had hoisted him up by the ankle."

Now if the wizard was sleeping walking and had used the same motion and thought process I would think that it would allow the spell to work like normal. It's also possible to use wandless magic as well, so it might be possible to do some forms of magic while asleep.

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