In intelliBED Life, Sleep Disorders

July 10, 2012
Sleepwalking is a disorder that occurs when people walk or do another activity while they are still asleep. This is a sleeping disorder but it is something that most people think of as a joke or not common. However, curent research has discovered that sleepwalking is more common in adults than researchers previously thought. The study also showed that increases in sleepwalking happen when the person sleepwalking is have problems with depression and or anxiety. This is according to research done by the medical journal Neurology.
“While our results show that having psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder may increase the risk of sleepwalking, they also suggest that sleepwalking is much more common in adults than was previously thought and may have other natural causes as well,” said study author Maurice M. Ohayon, MD, DSc, PhD, with Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.



The cause of sleepwalking in children is usually unknown. Fatigue, lack of sleep, and anxiety are all associated with sleepwalking. In adults, sleepwalking may occur with alcohol, sedatives, or other medication. Also Medical conditions, such as partial complex seizures and mental disorders have been linked with sleepwalking as well. In those people over the age of 65, sleepwalking may be a symptom of an organic brain syndrome or REM behavior disorders. Sleepwalking can occur in all ages, but it happens most often in children ages 5–12. Sleepwalking seems to run in families. Some people have reportedly linked food they eat before bed to their sleepwalking.
People, who sleepwalk, may look as though they are awake when they are really asleep. They might get up and walk around, or do complex activities such as moving furniture, going to the bathroom, and dressing or undressing. If h as been reported that people have even driven a car while they were sleepwalking. Sleepwalking can last only a few seconds or last for as long as 30 minutes or longer. Most of the time if not woken up the sleepwalker will just go back to sleep when they are done. Other symptoms of sleepwalking are; having a blank look on your face, opening eyes during sleep, performing activities while asleep, appearing awake during sleep, walking during sleep, and even talking while sleeping.
Some people believe that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. It’s not dangerous to awaken a sleepwalker, although it is common for the person to be confused or disoriented for a short time when they wake up. Another misconception is that a person can’t be injured while sleepwalking. Sleepwalkers are injured a lot when they trip and lose their balance. Most people don’t need any specific treatment for sleepwalking. In some cases, short-acting tranquilizers have been helpful in reducing sleepwalking episodes.

Thanks for checking out the intelliBED blog. Check out a related blog Crazy Sleep Schedules. We would love to hear if you have ever experienced anyone sleepwalk before. Comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook Page  or Tweet #intelliBED on Twitter. Thank you for helping intelliBED perfect the science of sleep.

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