A sleepwalker fell out of the eighth floor window of his girlfriend's apartment in Manhattan's Lower East Side, and survived thanks to scaffolding which broke his fall in the early hours of Sunday morning (28 January).

Randy Phothisane escaped serious injury and was able to pick himself up after the fall, as local firefighters got him to safety before he was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was treated for a broken leg and rib.

"He's okay. We're waiting for more information," Phothisane's brother told The New York Post, who explained his brother had a history of sleepwalking as a child.

Phothisane, who works a day shift at an industrial site, had been staying at his girlfriend's apartment, who explained to The Post that Randy had taken sleeping pills before going to bed.

At around 5am local time on Sunday, he climbed out of her eighth floor window on South Street and fell wearing nothing but his boxers. He landed on scaffolding six stories below where he was later rescued.

"Thank God he is alive," his mother Pamela said. "I really don't know how he fell. I am really worried about him. Next time maybe you won't be so lucky."

A 2012 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that those who took non-prescription sleeping pills were more likely to sleepwalk and that overall, 3.6% of American adults were prone to sleepwalking.

The study also found that about a third of adults will have sleepwalked at some point in their lives.