What Is Sleepwalking Disorder?
Sleepwalking disorder, also known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder in which an individual wakes up and walks or performs other activities while still asleep. During a sleepwalking episode, someone might appear awake and may go about their activity as normal, but they are actually not aware of what’s going on around them. Usually, getting them back to sleep is the only treatment needed for sleepwalking episodes. However, for those with recurrent or frequent sleepwalking, the condition can have a major impact on their overall health and well-being.
Causes Of Sleepwalking Disorder
Sleepwalking disorder has been linked to a variety of causes, some of which are psychological and some of which are physiological. Common causes of sleepwalking include:
- Emotional Stress– Unresolved emotional issues, trauma, or stress can all trigger sleepwalking disorder.
- Heredity– Sleepwalking disorder can have a genetic component and may run in families.
- Medication– Certain medications and drugs can also trigger or worsen sleepwalking disorder.
- Alcohol Use– Alcohol consumption has been linked to increased incidences of sleepwalking.
Treatment For Sleepwalking Disorder
Treating sleepwalking disorder usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. Here are some of the common treatment options available for those dealing with sleepwalking disorder:
The first step in treating sleepwalking is to make changes to lifestyle and routines that may have caused or aggravated the disorder. This includes getting enough sleep and avoiding certain triggers, such as alcohol or drugs, that may contribute to sleepwalking episodes.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be helpful for those who have underlying emotional issues that may contribute to their sleepwalking. This type of therapy can help individuals identify and address any stressors or issues that are causing or worsening the sleepwalking disorder.
The last resort for treating sleepwalking disorder is to use medications, such as muscle relaxers, antidepressant medications, or barbiturates. These types of medications can help reduce the frequency and severity of sleepwalking. However, it’s important to consult a doctor before taking these medications as they can have side effects.
Sleepwalking disorder, or somnambulism, is a sleep disorder that can have a major effect on a person’s health and wellbeing. The causes of sleepwalking disorder can range from emotional stress to heredity, and can be triggered by certain medications and alcohol use. Fortunately, there are many treatments available for those dealing with sleepwalking, including lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. If you are experiencing sleepwalking episodes, speak to your doctor and take the necessary steps to treat the disorder.