Sleepwalking, somnambulism, is a behavior disorder that results in walking or performing behaviors while asleep. It is more common in children than adults, about 1% of pre-school children and 2% of school-aged children experience sleepwalking at least a few nights per week, according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2004 Sleep in America Poll.
Sleepwalking usually occurs while someone remains in a deep sleep and behaviors vary from simply sitting up in bed to walking around the room or house and leaving the house. A sleepwalker should be awakened, contrary to popular belief that waking a sleepwalker is dangerous.
Why do people sleepwalk?
Sleepwalking usually occurs when a person is sleep-deprived.
What are the symptoms of sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking may occur during lighter sleep stages and symptoms of sleepwalking include:
- Little or no memory of the event
- Difficulty waking up a sleepwalker
- Inappropriate behavior
- Screaming like in night terrors
If you are experiencing symptoms, you should talk to your Columbia sleep specialist, especially if you want to prevent injury and future sleepwalking episodes by way of controlling trigger symptoms like:
Is there a treatment for sleepwalking?
There is a treatment for sleepwalking but improving sleep hygiene may help. Sleep hygiene includes:
- Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes.
- Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine near bedtime.
- Exercising to promote good quality sleep.
- Avoid food that can disrupt sleep.
- Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light.
- Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine.
- Making sure that the sleep environment is pleasant.
Other sleepwalking treatment options include pharmacological therapies.
If you have any questions regarding sleepwalking, how to treat it and how to diagnose it, then contact Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC, today.