Sleepwalking

154452003-smallSleepwalking is a sleep disorder that causes people to get up and walk or perform other activities while sleeping. Symptoms of sleepwalking disorder ranges from simply sitting up and looking around, to walking around, to leaving and even driving long distances. It is a common misconception that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. It is not dangerous to wake them up, although it is common for the person to be confused or disoriented for a short period of time after being woken up.

There are several factors that may be involved in the development of sleepwalking that may include genetics, environment and medical conditions.

Sleepwalking occurs more frequently in identical twins and is 190 times more likely to occur if s first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, has a history of sleepwalking.

Environmental factors that may cause a person to sleepwalk include: sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol intoxication and drugs such as sedatives, neuroleptics (drugs used to treat psychosis), stimulants and antihistamines.

Medical conditions that have been linked to sleepwalking include: abnormal heart rhythms, fever, nighttime asthma, nighttime seizures and certain psychiatric disorders such a PTSD, panic attacks or multiple personality disorder.

Usually, no exams are tests are necessary for determining whether a person sleepwalks. However a medical evaluation may be completed to rule out any medical causes of sleepwalking.

A person who has a sleepwalking disorder can take these measures of treatment to help prevent any future instances:

– Get adequate sleep
– Meditate or do relaxation exercises
– Avoid any kind of stimuli before bed

Medications for treatment of this disorder may be necessary if there is a high possibility of injury, if the disorder is causing significant disruption to the family and daytime schedule or when all other measures have proven ineffective.

Dealing with Sleepwalking

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night in your kitchen, confused as to how you got there? If you are a person who often finds themselves in random locations with no recollection of getting there, as I’m sure you have already realized, you are probably a victim of sleepwalking. Depending on its frequency and severity, this condition is often accepted with a certain degree of levity. However, if you are a chronic sleepwalker, you would be wise to take it seriously and take certain precautions before you accidentally hurt yourself or others.

If you know yourself to be a sleepwalker, there are some things you will want to avoid before you go to sleep that could be possible inhibitors of such behavior. The first factor often linked to sleepwalking is stress. Try and limit the amount of stress you encounter each day, especially in the hours leading up to sleep. This may seem obvious and stress is often unavoidable but if you live a high-stress life style you should consider taking a while before bed to relax and meditate to attempt to rid yourself of some of your excess stress. Also, as we mentioned before, you should avoid any high-stimulation media right before bed. No TV, computer, or mobile devices before bed will often give you a better nights sleep and prevent the restlessness that can lead to sleepwalking.

You will want to make sure all of your doors and windows are locked before you get in bed. If you are unable to leave your bedroom while you’re sleepwalking there is much less of a chance that you will hurt yourself. If you attempt to open a locked door while asleep, you probably won’t think to find a key.  If, by chance, your bedroom door does not have a key lock than you should think about installing a small alarm on your door that beeps every time your door is open. This way, if it is loud enough, the chime will wake you up before you continue on your sleepy journey.

You may also want to think about hiding objects in your bedroom that you could use to hurt yourself or others. Move any weapons or sharp objects that happen to be in your bedroom to a place that you either wouldn’t typically think to look or a place that is hard to reach. It is also a good idea to put your car keys in a similar place as it has been documented that some people wake up from sleepwalking in the middle of a joy ride.

All of the advice provided here is apt but you must keep in mind that we are not doctors. If you attempt these techniques and your sleepwalking persists, it is our recommendation that you seek out a physician as you may have a sleep disorder such as rapid eye movement behavior disorder. This can be quite dangerous if you do not seek help and get properly treated. But, before you try any of the advice provided above, you may just want to try a more comfortable mattress. If you force yourself to go to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress and your subconscious self keeps try to escape it, maybe your body is telling you something. Try one of the vast array of extremely comfortable mattresses at Mattresses for Less and its likely both your conscious self and your subconscious self will agree that you never want to get out of bed.