Sleepwalking Myths and Treatments17th August 2022
Sleepwalking is a condition that occurs when you arise from slow-wave sleep. Sleepwalking is not limited to just walking, it also involves sitting in bed, looking around, and performing activities while still asleep.
What is Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking happens during the deepest part of NREM sleep. It often begins one to two hours after falling asleep. Sometimes during these episodes, your eyes might still be open, even though you are in a deep state of sleep.
Researchers have found several health conditions that can trigger sleepwalking episodes. Herewith are some of the possible causes.
- Anxiety and stress are two of the worst enemies of restful sleep. Scientists believe that daytime stress can be a contributing factor to this condition.
- Sleep deprivation people with a history of sleepwalking are more vulnerable to this condition.
- People suffering from chronic migraines are more susceptible to sleepwalking.
- Fever is primarily the reason some children experience sleepwalking. Kids with high fevers often have night terrors that disturb their sleep.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: Some studies have found that there is a connection between sleepwalking and medications for treating Restless Leg Syndrome.
Signs of Someone Sleepwalking
A sleepwalker will not respond even if you look into their eyes. Someone that is sleepwalking will have repeating movements like rubbing eyes, looking dazed or behaving clumsily.
According to various experts, sleepwalkers can engage in other activities, such as urinating, talking, preparing food, eating, attempting to leave the house, etc.
They are asleep and will never remember what they did. It is best to walk with a sleepwalker that way you can prevent them from injuring themselves. You can wake them up gently as they will be startled when woken up.
Never wake up a sleepwalker as it can be very dangerous and that they could hurt themselves or others around. Some say to rather guide them back to bed instead of waking them up. It normally occurs during the first half of the night, usually at the same time every night.
People say that sleepwalking only occurs in adults, the truth is that children are more likely to sleepwalk than adults.
Sleepwalking does not affect your daytime behaviour, yes it does, it messes with your sleep leaving you tired and sluggish the next day.
Some treatments do exist, but they are based on age, frequency of sleepwalking episodes, and severity of the condition. In most cases, doctors don’t recommend any treatment as the episodes can become less frequent with age, or can be resolved with therapy. Less frequent episodes can be prevented by meditation to reduce stress and improve sleep habits.
Sleepwalking in children can go away as they mature. Doctors recommend taking safety measures such as removing sharp objects, tripping hazards, closing doors and windows, and installing motion sensors.
Sleepwalking is not a disease and it does tend to go away as you mature. By managing the triggers, you can keep yourself from sleepwalking and enjoy a restful sleep.