The common sleepwalking term is just one of the many terms that the media and the general public have to lump together when talking about people that sleepwalk. Sleepwalking is a disorder that afflicts an estimated three percent of the population at least once in their lifetime. The disorder is usually a waking episode that is interrupted by an episode of sleepwalking. The symptoms vary from person to person but are usually similar to different sleep disorders.
Disorder In The Brain
It has been said that people who suffer from this disorder have an abnormality in their brain. Neuropsychiatrists, who specializes in the study of the brain, believe that sleepwalking is caused by an aberrant behavior of the brain. Studies show that those who have sleepwalking awaken from an episode feeling more tired than usual, but not in a good mood. This means that these episodes can continue into a deep sleep and even REM sleep for as long as four hours.
Some of the main sleepwalking symptoms include fidgeting, sweating, dry mouth, shaking, or acting out actions that seem natural. People often do not remember the episode of sleepwalking after they come back from the bed. They may also say that they don’t remember what happened or who was with them during the episode. There may be times when the individual wakes up in their bed from a sleepwalking episode in which they are wearing clothes that are very different from how they normally sleep.
Sleepwalking can also occur while the individual is not asleep. Most sleepwalking occurs when an individual is either falling asleep or recovering from a period of sleep. The disorder is also present during periods of stress.
Sleepwalking episodes can be very unsettling and disruptive to the sleep of the victim. Some common signs that the person has had a sleepwalking episode include the individual shaking, suddenly becoming sleepy or shaking, and the need to walk, especially from one room to another. This symptom may also indicate that the individual has fallen asleep again while on the floor or couch.
How It Happens
There are times when individuals experience light sleep that lasts for less than an hour and then they are awake. It is during this period that they often do not remember what happened during sleep. These individuals may not move or react to their surroundings.
Sleepwalking often occurs at night, but some people get up during the day from a sleepwalking episode. Others wake from a time of being asleep. Sometimes people will be asleep when they awaken and then will fall back asleep. There are instances where individuals fall asleep, wake up, and then try to go back to sleep again.
Sometimes, sleepwalking is not noticed until a panic attack is triggered. In other cases, the individual may not remember what happened in the preceding night’s sleep and cannot differentiate whether it was a normal sleep episode or a deep sleep episode. The symptoms will likely be similar to those of a sleep disorder such as insomnia.
Many times people may tell themselves that they are not a problem, but they may not be able to sleep when they wake up. Other individuals feel totally normal during the night but wake up from a deep sleep during the day. People have even reported sleeping in the middle of the day.
Two Categories Of People That Sleepwalk
There are many reasons why people sleepwalk, but they mostly fall into two categories. The first category includes people who are not as active and do not think about going to sleep. The second category includes people who may not know that they are getting too little sleep and need more sleep.
Sleepwalking is not considered a disorder if it occurs once in a year, but it should be noted that those who have a history of sleepwalking are more likely to continue to sleepwalk in the future. If you or someone you know has experienced sleepwalking, seek treatment. Your health care provider may be able to advise you about whether or not you are at risk for the disorder and what steps you should take to prevent future sleepwalking episodes.
Sleepwalking is a very common sleep disorder that affects the lives of many people. When the person wakes up from a sleepwalking episode they feel tired, groggy, have a feeling of being out of place, and appear disoriented. Anyone who has suffered from sleepwalking should consult with their doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Or possible causes of the sleepwalking episodes and learn the symptoms of sleepwalking. How to be able to recognize it before it occurs.