Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a type of sleep disorder that is characterized by walking and/or other complex behaviors during sleep. Sleepwalking is more common to affect children than adults. And another thing is that sleepwalking is more common to affect people who are deprived from sleep. Most cases if not all cases of sleepwalking occur during the deepest stage of sleep and people who get affected with it can’t recall about their sleepwalking episode.
It is a common misconception in which sleepwalking only involves only walking during sleep. What most people do not know is that sleepwalking involves more than walking, it also involves a series of complex behaviors during a person’s sleep. Not all sleepwalking episodes are associated with actual walking. There are some episodes of sleepwalking that are only associated with sitting up and looking around. But there are also instances that a sleepwalker will go out from the house, gets inside the car, and drive long distances. Sleepwalking can be life threatening.
Prevalence of Sleepwalking
What is Sleepwalking
Just as mentioned above, sleepwalking is more common in children than in adults. When it comes to general population, sleepwalking affects at about 15%. However, even if sleepwalking is more common in children than in adults, sleepwalking in adults is still common. One good thing about sleepwalking is that it is not associated with any serious and life threatening psychiatric or psychological medical disorders. But researches and studies have found that children who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are at a very high risk for sleepwalking or somnambulism.
Symptoms of Sleepwalking
Just like mentioned above, sleepwalking episodes mostly occur during deep sleep. However, there are instances that sleepwalking can occur in the Non REM stage of sleep, which is the lighter stage of sleep. Sleepwalking episode that occurs during the Non REM stage of sleep can be partially aroused. There are other symptoms of sleepwalking aside from walking may include:
Sleep Talking or Somniloquy
Will not be able to Remember the sleepwalking episode
It is very difficult to wake the sleeper during his or her sleepwalking episode
Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) or urinating at inappropriate places, such as the carpet, closet, living room, and many more.
Shouting and screaming if the sleepwalking is associated with sleep terrors
If someone is trying to wake up the person suffering from sleepwalking, the sleeper may possibly attack the person trying to wake him or her up violently.