Sleepwalking – Causes

Sleepwalking is described as the action of walking during the first stages of sleep. There are five stages of sleep that will last up to one hundred minutes, in fifth being the one where a person will dream. Studies have shown that during the first two sleepwalking is more likely to happen due to the inactivity of the conscious.

The behavior can be categorized into normal actions like sitting up or walking up to harmful situations in which the person can put herself or himself in danger or possible others. Many scientists claim that sleepwalking will occur in first degree relatives and also that it is very frequent in twins. There are several environmental factors that can lead to sleepwalking like: chaotic sleep schedules’ sleep deprivation, stress, fever, magnesium deficiency or alcohol intoxication. Also neuroleptics, which are drugs that are used in order to treat psychosis, strong sedatives or hypnotics, drugs that will promote sleep, several minor tranquilizers, medication that will provide a person with a calming effect, stimulants, which are drugs that will increase activity and pump energy into the human body, and several antihistamines that are used to treat symptoms of allergies will also be prime causes in sleepwalking.

A list of physiologic factors as well can be comprised from the depth and the length of the sleep wave, which would be far grater in children and teens in comparison with adults, pregnancy or menstruation. In several medical conditions sleepwalking can become a symptom for example when a person suffers from severe fever, arrhythmias, that will constitute abnormal heart rhythms, nighttime asthma, gastro esophageal reflux (liquid of food that is regurgitated from the stomach into the esophagus or food tube), nighttime seizures or convulsions, psychiatric disorders like panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorders or multiple personality disorder and obstructive sleep apnea ( a condition in which the person will stop breathing temporarily while sleeping). In treating correctly sleepwalking there is no general treatment that can be applied. Primarily it must be taken into account the factors that may influence the development of such a condition and the severity of the situation.

Sleepwalking is not a condition that will happen on a nightly basis, the patient being in need of being kept under observation to observe a pattern and the actions that he or she is portraying. In general these actions are not harmful, all in all the people that will be fully awake and will be part of such a situation getting at the most a very good scare. Sadly, there are some cases in which the person is amazingly active and can sleepwalk all the way outside his of her house putting in danger him or her and others as well. In these kinds of situation some drastic measures have to be taken to establish the security of the person.

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