Have you ever wondered why some people walk while they’re asleep? It’s called sleepwalking, and some children as well as adults are known to experience walking while asleep at least once in their lifetime. But what causes sleepwalking? Let’s find out!
What Is Sleepwalking?
According to medical experts, sleepwalking is a sleeping disorder. It happens to people, regardless of age (except of course for infants). However, sleepwalking is documented to be most common among children. Sleepwalking happens while the person is in the deep stages of sleep.
How Will You Know If The Person Is Sleepwalking?
A person is sleepwalking if he has been to bed, has been asleep for some time, then suddenly gets up from the bed and walks around the room or the house while making incoherent mumbling sounds. A person who is sleepwalking has his eyes wide open but has a glassy, blank look. Another way of knowing if a person is sleepwalking is when he or she is unable to respond to questions properly. Doctors describe the response to questions as slow, and some sleepwalking persons do not answer at all.
There are different types of sleepwalking but what is common in all types is that the person sleepwalking also mumbles or appears to be talking but without making any sense at all. Some sleepwalking people get up from the bed and begin to roam around the room or the house and then go back to bed as if nothing happened. Generally, the person will not remember anything about what transpired during the night when he wakes up in the morning.
What Causes Sleepwalking?
Medical health experts believe that the biggest factor that causes sleepwalking is genetics. This means that if one person in a family is known to sleepwalk or walk while sleeping, then the chances of other members of the family to experience the same is very high. Research has also shown that sleepwalking is common among identical twins. Doctors are also saying that if a person has a relative in the 1st degree that sleepwalks, he is 10 times more likely to sleepwalk also. Based on this, sleepwalking is considered hereditary.
There are also other identified factors that are believed to causes sleepwalking, and these are the environmental factors and medical conditions. Under the environmental factors are the following: too much stress, not getting enough sleep or sleep deprivation, erratic sleeping schedules, and alcohol intoxication. Medications that the person is taking may also cause sleepwalking, and these include the following: sedatives or hypnotics drugs, neuroleptics or drugs for psychosis, stimulants, and antihistamines or medicines used to treat allergy symptoms.
There are also known medical conditions that cause sleepwalking, and these are as follows: Arrhythmias or heart rhythms that are abnormal, very high fever, gastroesophageal reflux, asthma that happens in the evening or nighttime, nighttime seizures, obstructive sleep apnea, and psychiatric disorders like panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dissociative states such as in cases f people with multiple personality disorder.
What Should You When Someone Is Sleepwalking?
The best way is to lead the person back to bed. Normally, people who sleepwalk never remember anything when they wake up the following morning. To avoid sleepwalking, get enough sleep, maintain a regular sleeping schedule, avoid stress, live a healthy lifestyle by avoiding alcoholic beverages and drugs, exercise regularly, and follow doctor‘s orders when taking medications or suffering from medical conditions.