Somnambulism

SauravBanerjee By SauravBanerjee, 21st Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Sleep

Those of you who don’t know, somnambulism is a disorder that happens when a person walks or engages in some other activity while asleep.

Understanding the Disorder

A sleepwalker may get up and walk around, dress, or do a number of routine activities. While most sleepwalkers limit their activity to a walk down the hallway or a trip to the bathroom, some people may even drive a car while sleepwalking.

Sleepwalking episodes usually last only a few seconds, but can last up to half an hour. The sleepwalker has no recollection of the events, and may be surprised to awake in a different place than in bed. Sleepwalking can happen at any age, but occurs most often in children. Many children outgrow the tendency to sleepwalk as they get older.

Causes of Sleepwalking

The cause of sleepwalking is unknown, but is believed to be associated with fatigue or anxiety, especially in children. Sleepwalking in adults can be far more complicated than sleepwalking in children. Sleepwalking in adults can have many additional causes, including mental disorders, medical conditions, or the use of certain drugs or alcohol. Fever and sleep apnea can also be causes of sleepwalking.

It is known that there are five stages of sleep, which make up a sleep cycle. These cycles are divided into REM and non-REM sleep. (REM refers to rapid eye movement.) Sleepwalking usually occurs during deep, non-REM sleep. This most often occurs about one or two hours after falling asleep.

Treatment and Prevention

There is no specific treatment for sleepwalking. Sleepwalking in itself is not a serious condition, though it may be an underlying symptom of a different disorder. If sleepwalking occurs often, doctors may do testing to rule out medical causes such as seizure disorders. A psychological evaluation may also be performed to see if the sleepwalking is a symptom of stress. Sometimes, tranquilizers have been prescribed to help prevent sleepwalking.

What to do with a Sleepwalker?

While no harm will come from waking a sleepwalker, still it’s important to see that the sleepwalker should be awakened gently. The sleepwalker will seem disoriented and confused, and usually, have no recollection of his activities. Therefore, a sleepwalker should either be guided back to bed while still asleep or awakened gently and helped back into bed.

Sleepwalkers are often injured by tripping or falling, and hence, precautions should be taken to keep the sleepwalker from being hurt. Such precautions include clearing the room from obstructions, removing sharp or dangerous objects, use of locks, and blocking dangerous stairways.

Tags

Causes Of Sleepwalking, Conditions And Diseases, Five Stages Of Sleep, Health, Help Prevent Sleepwalking, Non-Rem Sleep, Seizure Disorders, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Cycle, Sleep Disorder, Sleepwalk, Sleepwalker, Sleepwalkers, Sleepwalking, Sleepwalking In Adults, Sleepwalking In Children, Somnambulism, Treatment For Sleepwalking

Meet the author

author avatar SauravBanerjee
A freelance writer who loves to write on any topic under the sun. Also, experienced in the field of web content writing, blog writing, creative writing, and product reviews.

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