Sleepwalking Disorder - Info
By Vicki Mozo
Sleepwalking – a sleep disorder that can spook you out or bring concern upon hearing from your companions a story of you suddenly getting up from bed and then walking while still asleep. Unless, of course, it is already a common scenario for you and you have already learn a thing or two about sleepwalking. But for those who have little or no information about sleepwalking this information might be of help.
Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder characterized by a person getting up and walking while seemingly still asleep. Other sleepwalking activities include moving furniture, dressing and undressing, and even driving a car. 1 It usually occurs when a person is from the deep slumber stage then going to a lighter stage or into the awake state. A typical episode would be a sleepwalker getting up, and then quietly walk and roam around the place with opened eyes and a glassy stare. When asked, the sleepwalker would not respond or mumble. When returned and awakened in bed, the sleepwalker usually does not recall it. 2 The episode can last for only few seconds or minutes or longer, e.g. for 30 minutes or more. 1
Is it there a cure? At present, there is no cure for this sleep disorder. Nonetheless, hypnotic therapy may help. Pharmacological treatments such as sedative hypnotics and tricyclic antidepressants are also prescribed to lessen the recurrence of sleepwalking.
Is it okay to wake up a sleepwalker at anytime of the episode? Accordingly, awakening a sleepwalker is not dangerous to the person but a short-term confusion and disorientation are likely. 1 A sleepwalking episode though could be unsafe when it comes to injuries. Aparently, most sleepwalkers feel no pain during an episode. This is what Dr. Regis Lopez, psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist at Hospital Gui-de-Chauliac in Montpellier, France, and his research team found in their research. Most sleepwalkers enrolled in their study reported no pain and they remained asleep even after getting injured during a sleepwalking episode. One of their subjects, for instance, jumped out the window at the third floor while sleepwalking and felt the pain only after walking up later in the night.3
There are many factors that urge sleepwalking. Some of them are sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol or nicotine withdrawal, medication (e.g. neuroleptics, stimulants, antihistamines, etc.), certain medical conditions such as hearth rhythm problems, heartburn, psychiatric disorders (e.g. multiple personality disorder and panic attacks), and so on. Thus, it is important to avoid the risks to prevent an episode of sleepwalking and make the place as safe as possible to prevent untoward injuries in case of an episode.
1 Mersch, J. (2015). Sleepwalking. ''Medicinenet.com.'' Retrieved from [http://www.medicinenet.com/sleepwalking/article.htm]
2 WebMD, LLC. (2014). Sleep Disorders: Sleepwalking Basics. ''WebMD.com.'' Retrieved from [http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleepwalking-causes].
3 American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2015, November 2). Sleepwalkers feel no pain, remain asleep despite suffering injuries: Study is first to focus on pain experienced during sleepwalking. ''ScienceDaily.'' Retrieved from [www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102100222.htm].
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide information and individual opinion of the author (and not of the site). Any information contained in this article should not be used to replace professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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