Sleepwalking occurs when a person gets up and walks around while at rest. Sleepwalking disorder occurs more frequently in children than in adults, and it usually disappears in teenagers. Occasionally, it doesn’t indicate a severe problem or require treatment. An underlying sleep disorder may be indicated by recurrent sleep walking.
It is more likely that it is confused with another sleep disorder or medical condition in adults.
In the event someone in your household sleepwalks, it’s important to protect them from potential injuries.
It usually occurs one to two hours after falling asleep that sleepwalking occurs. If you take a nap, it’s unlikely to happen. An episode can occur rarely or often, lasting for a few minutes or several hours.
Someone suffering from this may:
Walk around after getting out of bed
Not responding or communicating with others
Being disoriented or confused
Forget the episode in the morning
Sleep disturbances cause problems during the day
Engage in sexual activity without awareness
Consult your sleep walking doctor if the sleepwalking episodes:
Lead to dangerous behavior or injury
Cause significant sleep disruption
Result in daytime symptoms
Sleepwalking is also known as a parasomnia which is an undesirable behavior or experience during sleep. The act of sleepwalking is an arousal disorder that occurs during sleep.
It can be caused by several factors, including:
Sleep schedule disruption
Restless legs syndrome
It may be caused by the following factors:
Genetic: It appears to run in families.
Age: It is more likely to occur in adulthood.
A person who sleepwalks can:
Experience prolonged sleep disruption
Experience social problems or embarrassment
Injure someone nearby
Doctor reviews the medical history and symptoms to diagnose the disease.
Physical exam. Your doctor may perform a physical exam.
Symptoms discussion. Describe any sleepwalking history
Nocturnal sleep study (polysomnography). Doctors may recommend an overnight sleep study in some cases.
If sleepwalking disorder leads to the potential for injury, is disruptive to family members, or results in embarrassment or sleep disruption for the person who sleepwalks, treatment may be needed.
Sleepwalking treatment may include:
Treating any underlying condition
Mental health therapy or counseling