What is sleepwalking
Sleepwalking is a disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep. The sufferer engages in activities (like Walking) that are normally associated with wakefulness while he or she is actually asleep or in a sleep like state .
Sleepwalking disorder, also called somnambulism, is characterized by
repeating episodes of motor activity during sleep such as sitting up in
bed, rising, and walking around, among others. The person appears to be
awake because their eyes are usually open and they can maneuver around
objects, but is considered asleep.
Not all sleepwalkers actually walk. Some simply sit up or stand in bed or act like they’re awake (but dazed) when, in fact, they’re asleep. Most, however, do get up and move around for a few seconds or for as long as half an hour.
Sleepwalkers eyes might remain open, but they don’t see the same way they do when they’re awake and often think they’re in different rooms of the house or different rooms of the house or different place altogether. Sleepwalkers tend to go back to bed on their own and they don’t remember anything when they actually wake up.
What Causes Sleepwalking?
For centuries, sleepwalking was mistakenly associated with hysteria, psychological problems, or a guilty conscience. A famous sleepwalking depiction appears in Shakespeare’s MacBeth, Act 5, Scene 1, when Lady MacBeth plays out actions related to her own guilt.
Today, science has disproved these myths. Sleepwalking is thought to be aggravated by stress, fatigue, sleep deprivation and some medications. Sleepwalking most often occurs during deep-sleep early in the night, and therefore is more common in people who spend more time in these deeper sleep stages.
Alcohol and medications that promote deep, NREM sleep can trigger sleepwalking episodes. Some people report so-called “drunk sleepwalking,” or sleepwalking behavior while intoxicated.
Other causes of sleepwalking include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Sleeping with a full bladder
What to do when sleeppwalking occurs frequently
Occasional Sleepwalking generally isn’t something to worry about . But if sleepwalking occurs frequently, every night or so, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. Precautions should be taken so the person is less likely to fall down, run into something, or walk out the house while sleepwalking .
There’s is no cure for sleepwalking, but the doctor can talk to the sufferer about what’s happening and try to find ways to help him sleep more soundly. Most kids just grow out of sleepwalking. For kids who sleepwalk often, doctors may recommend a treatment called ‘scheduled awakening’ .
A sleepwalkers should not be Woken up abruptly. He might get confused and scared if you startle them into being awake. If you see someone sleepwalking . You should gently steer the person back to bed.
Tips to help prevent sleepwalking
- Relax at bedtime by listening to soft music or relaxation tapes.
- Have regular sleep schedule and stick to it.
- Keep noise and lights to a minimum while you’re trying to sleep.
- Make sure to go to the bathroom before going to bed.