Understanding How Sleepwalking Works

Sleepwalking is a phenomenon that is most commonly suffered by children and young adults. The older a person gets the more likely it is that they will stop sleepwalking. It is a phenomenon where a person can be in an unconscious state and yet they will have their eyes opened, they can walk around, they can talk, and in some cases, they may even do things like drive a car. Here we’ll take a look at how sleepwalking works.

What Causes This Condition?

The most common factor found in children who sleepwalk is that they come from home environments that are stressful for them. Often the children will be from broken homes and divorced parents. There may also be other factors that causes the person to feel under a great deal of stress. If someone is experiencing disrupted sleep patterns this could be another reason for the sleepwalking.

There are some medical conditions that seem to be linked or at least commonly found in those who have this condition. Some of these include extreme heartburn, sleep apnea, emotional and mental disorders, and even restless leg syndrome. If someone is taking drugs to sedate themselves or if they have allergies then these are other factors that seem to have a relationship with those who sleepwalk.

Sleepwalking Is Classified As An Abnormal And Disruptive Sleep Behavior

For the average person, sleepwalking will usually not be dangerous. Even so, it can be very disruptive. If someone else in the house tries to engage the sleepwalker in conversation the person who is sleepwalking may respond with words that don’t make sense or they may be verbally aggressive in nature even if there’s no known reason for it. Very often if someone is unfamiliar with this condition they will be convinced the person is awake and they will find their behavior to be disturbing.

It is best not to engage the person in any kind of conversation. They are in an unconscious state and to a degree, they are in a dreamlike state. This means if someone in the house engages them they’ll respond not based on that person but based on whatever is happening in their mind at the time. When they lay back down you will notice that they are instantly asleep. This is a telltale sign that they were indeed sleepwalking.

It is usually recommended that if a family member or friend finds the person sleepwalking that they just simply watch them to make sure they don’t do anything where they can be hurt but don’t engage them. In most cases, the person will walk around a bit and then lay back down and go back to sleep. There are those that will fix themselves a sandwich and something to drink and the next day they will have no memory of it.

Obviously, if they try to do something like drive a car and you are aware that they are sleepwalking you should not allow them to do so. Other then when they might do something dangerous to themselves and others, you should simply allow them to do whatever they are doing and they will return back to sleep. If they do engage in aggressive or abusive verbal behavior you should realize that they are sleeping and they will have no memory of it the next day.