How to manage your loved one's sleepwalking


How to manage your loved one's sleepwalking
  1. How to manage your loved one's sleepwalking
    theage.com.au
    An estimated 7 per cent of people sleepwalk in their life, but is there a…
    Health

People have long been fascinated with sleepwalkers — by those who roam during the night without awareness, climbing out of windows, walking down the street, urinating in a cupboard, or moving furniture.

Sleepwalking is one of a number of behaviours that can occur during deep sleep, know as the “non-rapid eye movement” (non-REM) period of sleep. Others may include talking, sitting up, or just making odd body movements. It’s a relatively common sleep phenomenon with an estimated 7 per cent of people sleepwalking at some time during their lives.

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Sleepwalking isn’t necessarily considered a sleep disorder, unless it occurs repeatedly, includes amnesia (that is they have no memory of sleepwalking or what they did while sleepwalking), and causes distress or impairment.

Sleepwalking seems to be more common in children, with estimates that about 5 per cent of children have sleepwalked at least once in the previous 12 months compared with 1.5 per cent of adults. The decrease in observed sleepwalking is not well understood, but may be the result of brain maturation, decreased non-REM sleep as we get older and hence fewer opportunities to sleepwalk, or adults being less likely to be observed sleepwalking than younger children.

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An estimated 7 per cent of people sleepwalk at some time during their lives. An estimated 7 per cent of people sleepwalk at some time during their lives. Photo: Stocksy

It is not yet known why some people sleepwalk and others don’t. Sleepwalking happens when some parts of our brain, particularly the limbic system (responsible for emotions) and the motor cortex (responsible for complex motor movements) are …

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