Sleepwalking is a disorder that causes people to get up and walk while they're asleep.
It usually happens when a person is going from the deep stage of sleep to a lighter stage or into the awake state. The sleepwalker can't respond during the event and usually doesn't remember it. In some cases, he may talk and not make sense.
When it comes to myths about sleep, this one refuses to nod off -- and stay asleep. Contrary to popular opinion, older people don't need less sleep than the average person. In fact, adults require about the same amount of sleep from their 20s into old age, although the number of hours per night varies from person to person. But many older adults get much less sleep than they need, for a variety of reasons.
Take Harry Gaertner, a 68-year-old retiree from Richardson, Texas. He remembers first being...
Sleepwalking mostly happens in childhood, typically between the ages of 4 and 8. But adults can do it, too.
When someone sleepwalks, they might quietly walk around their room. Or they might run or attempt to "escape."
Typically, the sleepwalker's eyes are open with a glassy stare as he roams the house. If you question him, he'll be slow to respond or not respond at all. When you get him back to bed without waking him up, he usually won't recall the event.
Older children may wake up more easily at the end of a sleepwalking episode.
Several things can lead to sleepwalking.
It can run in the family. Identical twins are more likely to sleepwalk. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who sleepwalks, you're 10 times more likely to do so than someone from a family with no sleepwalkers.
Taking drugs such as sedative-hypnotics (which promote relaxation or sleep), neuroleptics (used to treat psychosis), stimulants (which boost activity), and antihistamines (used to treat symptoms of allergy)
Medical conditions that have been linked to sleepwalking include: