Path: Home / Sleep Disorders / Sleepwalking Disorder
sleepwalking

Sleep Disorders

Sleepwalking Disorder

Sleepwalking is a disorder that affects people during deep sleep, causing them to perform complex behaviours as though they were conscious. Also known as somnambulism, up to 15% of the general population has experienced and may still experience symptoms of sleepwalking, which range from using the washroom in your sleep to actually travelling long distances without even knowing it. It has been difficult to monitor personal accounts of sleepwalking as sufferers will most likely not remember their seance, but the most common causes of its occurrence have surfaced.

Symptoms

Sleepwalking disorder has often been considered a less severe disorder than other sleep-related disorders because of the comedic value of the symptoms. Generally, those who experience the disorder will often move around their bed or area of sleep with absolutely no awareness of what they’re doing, though they often have enough awareness not to injure themselves immediately. As a result of their wakefulness in sleep however, they will perform supplementary actions that are relatively more serious. These include sleeptalking, inappropriate behavior such as urination and loud yelling, a lack of temperature or weather awareness (if sleepwalking outside) and in extreme cases, violence upon those trying to wake them. Symptoms will also vary based on the possible dream-state of the sleepwalker; if they are experiencing light sleep, their movements may reflect conscious acts, but if they are in a deep sleep, their decisions may be as inexplicable as their dreams.

Causes

For many who suffer from sleepwalking disorder, the root cause of their unintended actions tends to revolve around the combination of sleep deprivation and drug use, whether they be recreational and medicinal. However, studies have shown that there is a particular prevalence of sleepwalking cases in children suffering maturation issues. Researchers believe that this stems from a disparity between physical maturation and neurological development in the central nervous system. For that reason, there has been suggestion of a genetic link. Adolescents have been thought to be prone to the disorder because of a disproportionate amount of delta wave occurrence within their sleep stages, and this is directly correlated with their development process. Alternatively, sleepwalking disorder has been found to be caused by alcoholism, fevers, and in rare cases hypnosis. These, however, are quite rare but still cloud the disorder in misconception.

Management

While there is no definite treatment for sleepwalking disorder, there are many doctors and specialists who can provide personalized management methods. You should speak to an expert about the issue because the nature of the cases vary.

Some doctors will provide you with antidepressants, sedatives and other pharmacological therapies like Klonopin, Trazodone and ProSom, while others may get specialists to induce hypnosis. Most childhood cases of sleepwalking disorder often wane as time goes by, so some doctors believe the best medicine is time.

You can also employ some practical at-home prevention and treatment methods that you can use prior to going to bed. These include locking your doors and windows so that they become virtually impossible to open when sleepwalking. Also, be sure to detach yourself from forms of stimulation like technology or high-intensity exercise. Your body needs to be relaxed more than anything.

Prognosis

Fortunately, sleepwalking will often diminish with time. Sufferers should know that their actions are symptomatic of their neurological development, and should not worry about its lingering effects, unless they continue to live a high-stress, low-sleep lifestyle. Establishing an effective routine is likely to induce higher relaxation, which almost guarantees a more solitary sleep. Unless there are potential hazards that may harm you when sleepwalking, sufferers understand that this disease is not so serious as to be alarmed. For further information, the non-profit Sleepfoundation.org is committed to giving sound advice on sleep abnormalities, and should be consulted to check up on new treatment methods, patient testimonials and general discussion.

Disorder Advice © 2021 ~ All Rights Reserved