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.
Sleep has never been easy for Leslie Partridge Sachs, a dancer, choreographer, and mother of two young girls who lives in Garrison, N.Y. Even as a child, she says, "I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep." Once she became a mother, her insomnia worsened.
"I sleep very lightly -- I hear my daughters even if they turn over in bed. And most mornings I wake up at 3:30 or 4 and can’t get back to sleep." Her average night’s shut-eye of four to five hours affects her mood. "I feel irritable,"...
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: