Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a type of sleep disorder that can commonly affect children (4 years old to 8 years old), however, adults can also be affected with sleepwalking as well. One very common misconception for sleepwalking is that sleepwalking only involves walking during sleep. What many people do not know about sleepwalking is that it can only be sitting up, looking around, or it can be worse, like driving a car and even driving for hours. If sleepwalking can’t be controlled, it can really be life threatening.
Determine the Cause of Sleepwalking
Tips in Identifying Cause of Sleepwalking
No matter who is suffering the sleep disorder, may it be a child or an adult, if possible, the exact causative factor of the sleepwalking disorder should be determined. If the causative factor will be determined, there will be higher chances for the sleepwalking problem to be managed properly. Here are some tips that can help in determining the cause of sleepwalking.
If your child is suffering from sleepwalking, then you should try to remember if you were a sleepwalker during your childhood or try to ask your partner if he or she was a sleepwalker as well. Studies have shown that sleepwalking is 10X more prevalent in children who have parent/s that are suffering from the sleep disorder. Genetic tendencies should be noted in your family.
Another possible cause for sleepwalking is sleep deprivation. Try to check for any environmental factors that can possibly cause sleep deprivation, such as abnormal sleeping patterns, stressful situations, consumption of caffeine, fever, and many more. If environmental factors caused sleepwalking, try to avoid the exact environmental factor to prevent sleep deprivation, thus preventing sleepwalking.
Alcohol intoxication and some medications, such as stimulants, sedatives, minor tranquilizers, and antihistamines can all possibly cause sleepwalking. To help in preventing sleepwalking that is caused by alcohol intoxication or certain drug interaction, avoid consuming alcohol and do not drink any medication that is not recommended by your physician.
For women, pregnancy or menstruation can both be physiological factors for sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking occurs during stages of deep sleep. Children have longer durations and depth of deep sleep, which totally explains why children are more affected with sleepwalking when compared to sleepwalking in adults.
Psychiatric disorders or mental disorders can be factors for sleepwalking. Psychiatric disorders that can be factors for sleepwalking include but not limited to post traumatic stress disorder, multiple personality disorder, and panic attacks.