Sleep walking is a sleep related disorder that affects many individuals globally. It causes people to get up and start walking even when they are in a deep state of sleep. This condition happens when the patient is going through a state of deep sleep to light sleep, before actually awaking. In most cases, the patients are not aware of their actions and may find themselves in another room or part of the house when they wake up. While this condition usually happens for children between the ages of four to eight, it may even happen for certain adults. Here is everything you need to know about sleep walking from the reasons that cause it, to the ways in which it may be treated.
General causes of sleepwalking: Sleepwalking may be caused by sudden stress or a chaotic sleep pattern. In such cases, it may last only a few weeks and may even come with other symptoms like bedwetting. This is most commonly seen in children. It is also a genetically inherited disorder that can affect people whose parents or siblings have suffered from the same.
Also, if you have a sleep deprivation problem and experience trouble when it comes to falling asleep, then this condition may set in. Many people also walk in their sleep when they are drunk or are known to regularly get drunk. Excessive alcohol consumption may also lead to such sleep disorders. Also, if the patient is taking sedatives that are hypnotic in nature, then they may experience such symptoms as sleep walking.
Medical conditions: There are also a number of medical conditions that may cause this condition. To begin with, sleepwalking may arise as a symptom of heartburn and fever. Also, patients who are suffering from an irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm may end up walking in their sleep. Restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, night time seizures and asthma may also cause this condition. Other psychiatric disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and multiple personality disorder can also cause symptoms such as sleep walking.
Treatment: The method of treatment is usually based on the genetic, environmental or physiological reasons that are behind the actual disorder. While changing the medicines and treating the actual ailment that causes sleep walking as a symptom may be recommended by most doctors, one may also have to undergo therapy. This therapy will help in reaching the root cause of the sleepwalking disorder in case it is a chronic problem that has nothing to do with any other ailment or disease. The doctor may also look for signs of nocturnal seizures and confusion arousal in order to treat the same with proper therapy and medication.