‘NCIS’: Season 17 Episode 5: Do They Have a Sleepwalking Murderer on Their Hands?

“NCIS” season 17, episode five, titled “Wide Awake,” was quite unusual. Gibbs and the team had to investigate Marine Corporal Laney Alimonte (Camryn Grimes). She was being treated for insomnia. That doesn’t sound unusual, but the thing that concerns the team is they think she murdered someone while under the influence of hypnosis for her insomnia. A gun was found in her refrigerator, and her neighbor was shot dead with that same gun. All the signs are pointing to Laney as the murderer.

Hypnotherapy for insomnia?

Camryn Grimes, Emily Wickershma, and Mark Harmon | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images
Camryn Grimes, Emily Wickershma, and Mark Harmon | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

Laney was undergoing hypnotherapy to treat severe insomnia. She told the agents she couldn’t get a decent night’s sleep, so she sought help from a hypnotherapist. He promised her she would finally be able to sleep if she let him treat her. After some questioning, the team began to wonder if her hypnotherapist might have suggested Laney kill her neighbor.

Did Laney murder her neighbor?

It turns out Laney didn’t kill her neighbor. The way she was cleared of the charges isn’t typical. Peanut shells were found at the victim’s house. Lucky for Laney, she’s allergic to peanuts. Her allergy is so bad she could have a type of allergic response called anaphylaxis if she comes into contact with peanuts. Consequently, Laney couldn’t have been anywhere near the victim. If she wasn’t allergic to peanuts, she would probably be sitting in jail.  

How can you get a good night’s sleep?

Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Diona Reasonover as Forensic Scientist Kasie Hines | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Diona Reasonover as Forensic Scientist Kasie Hines | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

If you’re like Laney and you can’t get a good night’s sleep, there are other ways besides hypnotherapy to get some rest. Dr. Allison Brager, a sleep scientist, recommends staying away from sugar before bedtime. “Don’t consume sugar 120 minutes before bed. Spikes in blood sugar levels at night can prevent achieving deep restorative sleep or cause sleep fragmentation,” Brager told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. She also suggests meditating, turning down the lights, and turning off all electronics 90 minutes before bedtime.  

Dr. Anil Rama, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, and medical director and founder of Kaiser Permanente’s tertiary sleep medicine laboratory, recommends cognitive behavioral therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy is highly effective but labor and time intensive. It is a six-week program designed to stabilize the sleep-wake cycle and more importantly, change the mindset of the person with sleep difficulties. For instance, by the end of the treatment, a person with insomnia should change his or her mindset from exclaiming ‘I will never fall asleep!’ to asking, ‘When can I go to sleep?’ If an underlying cause for the insomnia is found, treatment should be directed at the underlying condition.

Read more: ‘NCIS’ Season 17, Episode 5: The Team Faces an Unusual Situation, Gibbs Makes a New Friend

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