Sleepwalking is pretty common as compared to other sleep-related ailments but until and unless you actually see someone sleepwalking you would never be able to understand what sleepwalking actually is. The official name of sleepwalking is somnambulism. In this stage, you might appear to be sleeping but you can walk around and do the other normal tasks which you would have done if you would have been awake.
Sleepwalking can prove to be quite dangerous since not all of your sensory organs are functioning in sleepwalking and similarly, you are fit enough to think properly in this stage and the power for logical reasoning is greatly diminished as well.
If you look into most of the people who suffer from sleepwalking, you would realize that it occurs mostly in children but there are cases where adults have been sleepwalking as well.
In most of the cases, when you’re suffering from the problem of sleepwalking as a child, when you grow up the problem would be automatically eliminated. This brings us to the very important question of why do people sleepwalk? There has been a lot of research on this topic and we have gone through a lot of this information to bring out the truth for you.
Why do people sleepwalk?
According to the research done by a lot of scientists, this is due to the abnormal alertness of our psychological systems even when we are sleeping. In most of the cases for a normal human, when you are sleeping the psychological systems are not that alert either but in people who are sleepwalking the psychological systems are alert even when you’re sleeping.
When we are normally sleeping, our body is at rest as well apart from the usual moment of moving from side to side. If at all, the brain gives a command to your body to move like getting up or walking when you are sleeping, then that particular command is diminished with the help of the nervous system. Though when you are sleepwalking, the nervous system is not able to suppress these commands.
There can be various reasons due to which the nervous system is not able to suppress these commands. Some of the reasons can be related to the genetics and others reasons might be related to the growth of your body and the synchronization of your nervous system.
In almost all the cases, if a person is sleepwalking, it has been seen that it is a hereditary disorder and therefore you can say that it is due to the genetics as well. Even if one of the parent of the child was sleepwalking even if at a very young age, then also the child can suffer from the problem of sleepwalking.
If you’re looking to the environmental factors for sleepwalking then sleep deprivation and continuous stress and fatigue are the prime causes of sleepwalking. It is said that tranquilizers are also a cause of sleepwalking. If you’re having a irregular sleeping schedule due to working night shifts or being awake all night, then also you can suffer from sleepwalking.
How to deal with the person who is sleepwalking?
While your instinct might tell you that you should wake up the person but this is exactly the wrong thing to do. When you wake up the person, the state of the body is abruptly changed and therefore the person might get scared and also the person might suffer from anxiety disorder as well. This is because according to the memory of the person the person should be in bed right now that is the last location where the person was consciously present. If you jerk up the person and the person suddenly finds himself or herself in a completely different location, then the reality is different from the memory in the subconscious mind of the person and this can result in a lot of stress as well as anxiety disorder as well. The person can be pretty scared as well.
That is why, the best way to deal with the sleepwalking person is to lead them to their bed again or to a location where they were when they had gone to sleep. When you lead them to that particular location, they would be most likely able to sleep again and therefore they would not be remembering anything. When they wake up from their bed, the surroundings would be matching up with the memory in their subconscious and therefore their would be no distortions in the reality and the memory. If while leading them to their bed you realize that they are coming out of the sleepwalking situation then you can gently wake them up. This would ensure that they are more aware of their surroundings and at least in that particular cycle of sleep they do not suffer from sleepwalking again.
Precautions to take for a sleepwalking person:
If you or anyone you know is suffering from sleepwalking, then you need to remove all the sharp and the dangerous objects in their rooms and also you need to ensure that the doors and the windows are locked as well so that the person is not able to go outside the room while sleepwalking. This would generally keep the sleepwalking person safe as well as the people who are living in the same house.
Is there any treatment for sleepwalking?
If you search for the treatment of sleep walking on the Internet, you would be able to find a lot of different systems but most of the systems do not work and they actually disrupt your sleeping cycles as well and therefore you would not be able to get the same sound sleep while you are undergoing the treatment and that is why, it is important to avoid such sleeping systems. There is some promise which is shown by hypnotherapy but it is still under tests and therefore no proper conclusion can be drawn yet. If there is a lot of danger to the person while sleepwalking then doctors would occasionally recommend tranquilizers and antidepressants to the person who is sleepwalking.
So, sleepwalking can occur due to a variety of reasons but the tips explained above would keep the sleepwalking person and their family safe.