What is Sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder that results in walking or performing other complex activities while asleep. This behaviour may last between 5 and 15 minutes, and typically occurs within an hour or two after falling asleep.
Isolated episodes of sleepwalking need not cause any distress, but when it becomes recurring, then it should be treated. Sleepwalking may be a symptom of an underlying sleeping disorder. It occurs more in children than adults as research shows that it affects 40% of children while only 2% to 3% of adults sleepwalk.
Causes of Sleepwalking
Not sleeping enough hours or having interrupted sleep can lead to sleepwalking. Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to sleepwalking as well, as people with depression are 3.5 times more likely to sleepwalk.
It may also be hereditary as some people have a history of sleepwalking in their family. Also, It can be a side effect of some treatments or medication, or caused by not urinating before going to bed. Change in sleep schedule or environment may also be a major factor why a person sleepwalks.
Solutions to Sleepwalking
There is no definite cure for sleepwalking as the treatments suggested usually depend on the trigger or cause. Some of these solutions include:
- Have a good sleep hygiene. It should also be best not to deprive yourself of sleep.
- Make sure you take drugs that are only prescribed by your doctor. It also helps to do your own research and take note of the potential side effects. If the side effects make you sleepwalk, talk to your physician about alternative treatments.
- Treat the underlying issue. If sleepwalking is a result of another sleep disorder, it should be addressed.
- Sleep in a safe and quiet environment.
- Have a relaxing routine before going to bed, which may involve emptying your bladder.
- Maintain a healthy mental state so you can have a relaxing sleep. It’s also important to handle the stress of the day using a method that works well for you. A mental health professional can help with ideas on how to reduce stress.
- Make use of technology that produces white noise while sleeping to help you relax and prevent sleepwalking. This is especially useful for those whose sleepwalking is caused by a noisy environment. Examples of these are the Lectrofan, Wave Premium Sleep, and the Marpac Dohm Classic.
You don’t need to be overly alarmed when you or a loved one sleepwalk. The above solutions could help solve the problem as effectively as possible.