Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, applies to getting up and walking around while in a state of sleep. More common in children than adults.
If anyone of your concern sleepwalks, it’s essential to protect them from potential injuries related to sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking occurs early in the night, often one to two hours after falling asleep. The episode can occur seldom or often, usually lasting several minutes but even longer.
Individual who is sleepwalking may:
- Get out of bed and go for a walk
- Open their eyes and sit up in bed
- Have watery eyes and a glazed look
- Not speak or interact with others
- Being briefly dazed or perplexed after awakening
- I do not recall the incident in the morning
- Having sleep terrors as well as sleepwalking
Sleepwalking can result from a variety of circumstances, such as:
- Being sleep deprived
- Travel or sleep interruptions that interfere with your sleep schedule
Several underlying diseases can cause sleep disturbances and occasionally cause sleepwalking, including:
- A category of conditions known as sleep-disordered breathing includes irregular sleep breathing patterns
- Taking specific medications, such as hypnotics, sedatives, or specific psychiatric medication
- Use of drugs and alcohol
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- The disease of the gastroesophageal reflux
When to reach for medical aid
Sleepwalking does not usually need medical attention. It is rarely not severe and may get better with time.
But, you must particularly consider seeing a doctor if sleepwalking happens frequently.
Things to do if someone sleepwalks
Making sure they’re safe is the best action if you notice someone sleepwalking.
Avoid yelling or startling the person, and do not attempt to physically control them unless you are in immediate danger since they might lash out.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022