SLEEPWALKING - Watsons Health
Sleepwalking - WatsonsHealth

SLEEPWALKING

One of the sleep behaviors that has been categorized by the National Sleep Foundation as a disorder is Sleepwalking. In medical term, it is called “somnambulism”. This disorder causes people who are asleep to get up and walk,  although the person is not awake.

Usually, somnambulism happens when a person is in a deep stage of sleep, but is going on towards the stage where he is about to wake up. And when he wakes up, he it’s highly unlikely that he will remember what he was doing in his sleep.

Aside from walking, there are other activities that the sleep person does while experiencing somnambulism. He might do daily activites that are usually done in the daytime. Sometimes, the person might suddenly jump off the bed and run away, probably to escape from a situation inside his dream. The person might also talk or shout while walking, and the eyes are usually open as though awake, but the person might look as if he is confused of what is happening.

Odd activities are also sometimes done while during sleepwalking. Examples of these odd sleepwalking activities are urinating in the trash can, rearranging the furniture, or climbing a window or going outside the house.

In very rare times, it also involves violent behaviors, like driving away to a distant place, sexual misbehavior, and may even hallucinate.

This should be a precaution to the person trying to wake up the sleepwalker because the latter might attack him, and wouldn’t even remember when he wakes up.

Sleepwalking is usually happens to children, but this behavior goes away as the child gets older. An adult who is still experiencing this might need to seek medical help.

Here are some symptoms that someone might be a sleepwalking:

  1. Walks around with a confused expression
  2. Doing activities that are usually done in the daytime
  3. Difficult to wake up
  4. Returns to sleep immediately (when he awakens up)
  5. Doesn’t have memory of what had happened
  6. Have sleep terrors
  7. May be leaving the house
  8. Drive the car
  9. Being sexually aroused without knowing it
  10. Involves in a violent behavior

DIAGNOSIS

Sleepwalking as a child is normal; as an adult, you might need to seek medical attention – a sleep specialist, or a sleep medicine physician.

Before the physician gives you medication or treatment, he will have to examine you while sleeping in an in-lab sleep room. He will study your sleep recorderd in polysmnogram, or sleep study chart. He will take not of the movements of your brain waves, your heartbeat, your breathing, and the movements of your limbs.

 

TREATMENT

The doctor usually requests you to do something, that is, to keep a diary of your sleep for two weeks. He might also ask you to find your sleep’s rate using an Epworth Sleepiness Scale, in order to show how are you being affected by your sleeping behaviors.

You should also tell the doctor your medical history – past surgeries, allergies, current medication, drugs or pills that you are taking in, and other sleep disorder, if any. This will give him insights on what other factors affect your sleepwalking.

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