What Causes Sleepwalking?

womansleepinginfrontofafridgeHow Can You Prevent Sleepwalking?

Although sleepwalking cannot be completely prevented, you can make certain lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Get adequate sleep, develop stress management routines like meditation or exercise, and limit sensory stimulation (such as screen time) one hour before going to bed.

What Do I Do if Someone is Sleepwalking?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends gently turning the sleepwalker in the direction of his or her bed. Walk nearby until the sleepwalker returns to bed naturally.

Why Are You Not Supposed to Wake Up a Sleepwalker?

People who have been sleepwalking are usually confused, disoriented, and frightened when they wake up. In some cases, they may present a danger to someone who tries to wake them up – for example, by trying to scratch you or push you away.

How Do I Stop Sleep Walking & Talking?

Poor sleep and an erratic sleep schedule are the leading contributors to sleepwalking. Early attempts to stop sleepwalking should focus on achieving an improved quality of sleep. Go to bed earlier and at the same time every night in an environment optimized for sleep quality.

Can You Remember Sleepwalking?

Most people will not be able to remember episodes of sleepwalking. Although vague memories of sleepwalking can occur, the experience often seems similar to a dream.

How is Sleepwalking Diagnosed?

Sleepwalking is often first noticed by a bedroom partner, family member, or roommate. Once the condition is suspected, a professional diagnosis typically uses an overnight sleep study. Biological data is collected while the patient sleeps to pinpoint sleep disturbances.

Does Sleepwalking Run in Families?

Children with one or more parent who sleepwalked in the past are more likely to exhibit signs of sleepwalking themselves. The majority of people who suffer from sleepwalking do so early in life. Symptoms can subside on their own, often by the late teen years.

What is the Clinical Name for Sleepwalking?

The formal term for sleepwalking is somnambulism. You may also see it referred to as noctambulism, which means walking at night. Both terms refer to the exact same health condition.

How Do I Stop My Child from Sleepwalking?

Children often sleepwalk as a result of stress, feeling overtired, or being overstimulated. For young children, establishing a bedtime routine in which the same “rituals” are followed each night can help. For example, brushing the teeth, getting tucked in, and reading a bedtime story allows the child to ease more gently into sleep.

What Part of the Brain Controls Sleep Walking?

The exact neurological reason for sleepwalking is not fully understood. However, researchers believe that sleepwalking may occur when two areas of the brain fail to act in concert at the beginning of the sleep cycle. These two areas effectively stay awake while you are asleep.

One is the limbic region. It manages raw emotion and survival behavior. The “fight or flight” response is issued by the limbic system. Due to its simplicity, it can communicate very quickly. The other is the part of the cerebral cortex that manages complex motor movements.

To learn more about sleepwalking, make an appointment today with Dr. Malhotra at Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT.

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