Sleepwalking, formally known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder associated with sitting up in bed, walking around, talking, or performing repetitive motions — all while sleeping. Many individuals who sleepwalk do not even realize they are doing it, which can leave them wondering why they feel fatigued and drowsy during the day. At Bogan Sleep Consultants, Dr. Richard Bogan is your Columbia, SC, sleep doctor for helping you sleepwalk less so you can achieve a more restful nights sleep.
Sleepwalking is more common in children than adults, but many adults do sleepwalk as well. Sleepwalking tends to occur one or two hours after falling asleep and during deep sleep cycles, although it can occur during other sleep cycles. Sleepwalking in adults can be triggered by a variety of factors, including poor sleep or certain medical conditions. Triggers for sleepwalking in adults include:
- An inconsistent sleep schedule
- Sleep deprivation
- Stress or anxiety
- Fever or illness
- Certain medications
- Sleep apnea or other sleep disorder
- Restless leg syndrome
- Head injuries
Treatment for sleepwalking begins by studying your sleep patterns to determine if other sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, might be interfering with your sleep and contributing to the sleepwalking. Your Columbia, SC, sleep doctor will perform a sleep test, such as the polysomnogram, to study your sleep patterns. The test is performed in a comfortable and relaxing environment with the latest equipment. While you are sleeping, your brain waves, heart function, sleep patterns, and more will be observed.
The sleep study allows the doctor to gain an understanding of your particular sleep patterns and habits so a plan can be developed for treating the sleepwalking. In some cases, sleepwalking can be minimized by treating underlying sleep disorders or medical conditions, if there are any. The doctor might also prescribe a medication, such as a sedative to aid in sleeping or another medication to calm the brain. Certain medications can help you sleep better, which can help prevent sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking can leave you feeling tired and lethargic during the day. Participating in a sleep study can help your Columbia, SC, sleep doctor determine if your daytime sleepiness is due to sleepwalking or some other sleep disorder. For help with sleepwalking, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bogan of Bogan Sleep Consultants by calling the sleep center at (803) 251-3093.