Sleepwalking - medically known as somnambulism - is a disorder which causes one to unconsciously make movements, typically walking, in their sleep; in some cases, patients even make nonsensical conversation. It usually occurs when the brain is moving from the deep sleep stage of the sleep cycle to a lighter sleep. Those that suffer from this disorder don’t usually recall or remember what they did whilst sleepwalking.

This disorder is most common in children between the ages of four and eight, however, can affect people of all ages. It is important to create a safe environment before bed if you or a loved one suffer from this disorder. This includes locking doors and windows, removing sharp objects and installing gates above the stairs. These steps can help prevent injury.

Sleepwalking does not require a complex diagnosis. Your doctor will ask the parent about their symptoms and medical history and may run some tests to see if a medical condition is inducing sleepwalking. If sleepwalking is starting to interfere in the patient’s life, it is recommended that they change some of their lifestyle habits; such as sticking to a set sleep schedule, partaking in a relaxing bedtime routine and completely refraining from alcohol and other drugs.


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