The Dangers of Sleepwalking

Should You Be Worried About Sleepwalking?

We have all heard those stories about sleepwalking and seen funny scenes in movies related to this sleep disorder, but if you are affected by sleepwalking, should you be worried or should you just laugh if off as a silly aberration in your sleep pattern?

It is estimated that less than 20% of people are afflicted with this disorder and it is supposedly most common in children rather than adults or even teens with most occurrences in boys under twelve years of age. It can be genetic so perhaps one of your parents used to do it too, but usually an event only happens once a month and it is usually harmless; but some severe cases can become routine nightly affairs that can become more of a problem.

When episodes become more frequent and your sleepwalking takes you outside or down stairs where you might fall or hurt yourself, then it is time to take some action and get some help with this sleeping disorder. Sometimes sleepwalking is triggered by a medication or too much exercise before sleep.

What can you do to relieve sleepwalking?

Experts suggest that you should get plenty of rest and often episodes of sleepwalking can be induced by being overly tired. Do some calming routines before bedtime such as meditation or a relaxing bath as stress can stimulate sleepwalking occurrences too. Some people have benefited from hypnosis while others go so far as to seek professional advice from a health care professional.

Precautions you can take

Some safety precautions that should help to make the sleepwalking less risky for the person is to remove any hazardous articles from the bedroom such as knives or other types of things that could cause the person harm. If the person sleeps on an upper floor you might consider moving them to downstairs to ensure they don’t fall down the stairs.

Also, opening windows – especially on an upper floor – should be prevented so that the person does not fall out the window as there have been some accidents such as this for sleepwalkers who have fallen out windows or down stairs and been seriously injured or killed.

Some treatments that have been successful include Benzodiazepines for the treatment of sleepwalking. Small amounts of diazepam or lorazepam have been known to reduce the episodes or eliminate them entirely for some sleepwalkers. But you should seek a medical professional’s advice before taking anything that might be potentially harmful to the sleepwalker from the medicine rather than a fall.
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