Health

Sleepwalking;Causes and Treatment

What Is Sleepwalking?

The act of walking or performing complex motor activities while asleep is known as sleepwalking or somnambulism. Sleepwalking is most commonly associated with the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) (1) stage of sleep. The first several hours after falling asleep are when we obtain the most NREM sleep; sleepwalking is the most common. The duration of a sleepwalking episode might range from a few minutes to an hour.

Many children who suffer sleepwalking may not seek treatment because the experiences usually stop after puberty. On the other hand, sleepwalking has the potential to be aggressive or destructive. If you or a loved one is having frequent sleepwalking episodes or causing psychological or bodily harm, experts recommend treatment.

Symptoms Of Sleepwalking

Wandering around

People who sleepwalk may be confused and get up from their bed and wander around the house. Because their awareness isn’t complete while they’re awake, they might do things such as opening doors, eating routine, and urinating in unexpected places. It’s not clear what causes sleepwalking, but it’s important to consult a medical professional if it’s a persistent problem.

Causes Of Sleepwalking

  • Restless Leg syndrome

To understand the cause of sleepwalking, it’s important to know the underlying medical condition. It can be difficult to find an exact cause of sleepwalking, but a medical doctor can help minimise episodes by treating the underlying medical condition. Restless leg syndrome is the most common cause of sleepwalking. During a regular sleep study, a doctor can measure brain waves, heartbeat, and breathing, as well as the movement of the arms and legs during sleep.

  • Anxiety

As a parent, you can take steps to stop sleepwalking. The most common cause of sleepwalking is anxiety. In addition to being stressed, insomnia can also be a cause of sleepwalking. A medical professional can recommend medication to reduce your anxiety and improve your quality of life. If you are prone to sleepwalking, you should consult a doctor to assess your particular case. If your child experiences frequent interruptions to their sleep, a medical doctor can recommend a prescription for a medication to help control the symptoms.

  • Insomnia or Stress

In the case of insomnia, you should seek medical attention if sleepwalking occurs at night. The sleep study can detect the cause of sleepwalking, but most often, insomnia is a result of poor sleep habits. A proper sleep hygiene routine is important for your health. The best way to avoid sleepwalking is to get enough rest. It’s important to get a full eight hours of rest each night. Also, the mattress type is also important to get that amount of sleep. 

  • Sleep Terrors

Sleep terrors are panic and distressing feelings that occur while sleeping. Sleep terror victims frequently scream, weep, flail, or kick in their sleep until the horror subsides. Around the age of 18 months, early childhood is when sleep terrors are more likely. Children who have had early childhood sleep terrors are more likely to have sleepwalking tendencies later in life.

Treatment Of Sleepwalking

  • Lifestyle changes

If sleepwalking episodes are brief, you may not notice any negative effects. In fact, you may not even remember the episode. However, repeated sleepwalking episodes can lead to severe injuries. While there’s no cure for somnambulism, lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency of somnambulism episodes. Avoiding alcohol and drugs can reduce the chances of having an episode. It’s also a good idea to check with your physician to make sure no medications or other treatments are causing somnambulism. Also, sleeping in a more spacious and oversized bed can also help deal with this issue. 

  • Hypnosis

Fortunately, the treatment of sleepwalking is relatively simple. Some parents have discovered that hypnosis can help children overcome sleepwalking through guided imagery, which involves getting into a focused state of mind before NREM sleep. Using a motion detector can help children avoid sleepwalking, as well as night terrors and other sleep-related issues. Although it is not a common cause of sleepwalking, it’s important to identify the causes of the condition.

  • Awakening before 15 minutes

While the causes of somnambulism are not completely understood, there are certain precautions that parents can take to prevent a child from experiencing the disorder. Some of the most common risks for a child suffering from somnambulism include stress, certain substances, and accumulated fatigue. A child suffering from somnambulism may need to be awakened 15 minutes before a sleepwalking episode occurs. This can reduce the frequency and severity of these episodes and help them avoid accidents.

  • Seek a doctor

While sleepwalking may seem harmless at first glance, it is important to see a doctor if it is a symptom of an underlying condition. It’s a sleep disorder that usually affects children. Some people who suffer from sleepwalking may experience the symptoms as an occasional or irregular occurrence, while others may experience it as a more frequent occurrence. Despite the fact that most cases of this disorder are harmless, it’s important to seek medical attention if it persists for more than a few days.

  • Getting adequate rest

In addition to a medical condition, sleepwalking can be a symptom of severe exhaustion. To avoid sleepwalking, you should get adequate rest. Your body needs rest and restorative sleep is essential for a healthy and happy life. Keeping an organised sleep schedule can help you sleep tightly for a longer period of time. And it’s important to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can depress your central nervous system and increase the risk of sleepwalking.

  • Improve sleep habits

Improving your sleep hygiene is one of the most fundamental therapeutic techniques for reducing sleepwalking occurrences. Getting enough sleep regularly is helpful to both your body and mind. Because sleep deprivation is a risk factor for sleepwalkers, improving sleep quality may be beneficial. To promote a good night’s sleep, make healthy choices and prepare your bedroom environment by reducing outside light, noises, and distractions.

Summary

In many circumstances, sleepwalking is generally safe, but it can cause problems for some people. Sleepwalking has a variety of origins, and while there are some commonalities, where the activity comes from varies from person to person. Consult a specialist to determine which treatment option is best for you or a loved one.

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