Sleepwalking demystifying popular beliefs about sleepwalkers

Sherman Hoover
Sleepwalking demystifying popular beliefs about sleepwalkers


  • What is sleepwalking?
  • Sleepwalking in children and adolescents
  • What are some of the factors that influence the development of sleepwalking??
  • What can I do when I find someone sleeping around the house?
      • Relaxing ritual before sleeping
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What is sleepwalking?

The DSM-V classifies this type of parasomnia as a disorder of awakening from non-REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movements). It originates during deep stages of it and involves sleep wandering. The person gets up and sits up, adopting a generally relaxed muscle tone, with a very unique look and different from when he is awake; generally somewhat disheveled, can walk or even perform other more complex behaviors. So it usually scares the family and at the same time worry them.

Throughout history, this condition has been associated with supernatural issues, and in general, this does not contribute to the restoration of the patient's health: quite the contrary! It should be noted that it has nothing to do with any situation of this type, as many people think. In these people, the brain remains active enough for the person to be able to walk and perform other activities, but not so active that the person will wake up.

Sometimes I don't know where the path takes me because I am wandering in my sleep while others are sleeping as well. It can be tiring at times, but I am grateful for having that restlessness to dream and the strength to walk towards my dreams… Still asleep! Anonymous.

This sleep disorder is to a certain extent benign, since psychoeducation can be done for the patient and the family, promoting sleep hygiene habits, as well as guiding and providing some relaxation techniques, inducing sleep such as autosuggestion, Guided meditations, going down and working on deeper levels of consciousness: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Theta. This, through different behavioral modification programs, which can bring great benefits that will be reflected in the well-being of the patient and those who live with him..

This condition is more common in children than in adults and is more likely to happen if the person does not have good sleep hygiene as their wake-sleep cycle is affected. Sleep disturbances in children are more common than you think. As we grow older, it may occur less frequently, but these behaviors are prevalent in between 1% and 2.5% of the adult population..

Sleepwalking in children and adolescents

Occasional sleep wandering is not necessarily a problem, most children naturally overcome it by going to
other stages. The importance of sleeping and dreaming in the early years of life represents a critical role in maturational development.

Sleepwalking occurs in a stage of deep sleep, and it is precisely where growth hormone is produced, so it is important to detect and treat them promptly, because it can be said that children and adolescents "grow while they sleep", it is one of the functions of the dream.

What are some of the factors that influence the development of sleepwalking??

In children, it has been seen that sleepwalking is related to several factors, which include the hereditary component, but environmental factors are also taken into account such as continuous exposure to stimuli that are very strong for them and to large amounts of stress, anxiety; it is associated with harmful habits of sleep hygiene. A very common example today is allowing minors to stay up late at night on a regular basis, thus generating difficulty waking up in the morning and fatigue during the day..

This has an impact on academic performance, since lack of sleep negatively affects cognitive processes such as learning, memory,
attention, language and others, which are required for the student to have a good performance and for people to perform well in general while carrying out their activities, these functions help to favor our biopsychosocial development process at any age.

Sleepwalking has been observed to occur when the anxiety load is not properly processed during the day. It can range from a concern about getting a good grade on an exam, to something more delicate, it often happens when parents or family have problems or strong arguments in front of them.

What can I do when I find someone sleeping around the house?

The most advisable thing is to try to guide him with respect and kindness back to his bed and not wake them up abruptly, he will surely not remember what happened during the episode because he was in very deep levels of sleep.

Relaxing ritual before sleeping

  • Avoid exposure to very strong stimuli, such as video games and very bright screens, for at least 2 hours before going to bed to rest.
  • Consume dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed, avoiding ingesting stimulants such as chocolate, coffee, energy drinks and sugar in excess mainly. Preferably drink caffeine and sugar free drinks such as a delicious and aromatic chamomile tea, which is relaxing.
  • Take a warm and relaxing bath, you can use sleep-inducing essential oils that promote relaxation such as lavender and chamomile oil.
  • Do a breathing or relaxation exercise of your choice.
  • Keep the environment free and clear, and as far as possible, lay them down as much as possible at the height of the ground, this to avoid accidents.

Health professionals can help design and implement the most convenient and practical strategies that improve family dynamics, sometimes the best treatment is the one that can be applied with perseverance and is adapted to our rhythm of life. Specialists can detect the specific needs of the family and the patient, thus providing an encouraging prognosis.


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