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4 Reasons People Sleepwalk

It's not something that just happens in the movies or on television. People sleepwalk every day and are all different ages.

Sleepwalking is a much easier way to say somnambulism. Yes, it is a real word and the medical term that describes sleepwalking. People used to think that sleepwalkers were acting out their secret desires, but that is not the case at all. Instead, sleepwalking is an arousal disorder. Their brains are triggered to actually rouse the body even if the person is in a deep sleep. What happens then can vary. Some just sit up and look around without really waking up. Others actually walk around or leave the room. Some have left their homes, gotten in their cars and driven long distances. The myth that you shouldn't wake a sleepwalk can actually be dangerous. So, wake them up or get them back to bed so no one is hurt.

Who Is Affected

It is children between the ages of four and eight that are most likely to sleepwalk. These children often outgrow this by age 12. But adults sleepwalk too, and may or may not have done it as a child.

The Causes

There is no clear-cut, one size fits all cause or reason people sleepwalk. However, here are some triggers and factors that contribute to sleepwalking.

  • Children that sleepwalk may have sleep apnea, experience night terrors, or even be bed wetters.
  • Genetics can be a factor in this condition. It tends to run in families. In fact, in sets of identical twins, if one sleepwalks chances are so does the other.
  • Inconsistent sleep practices and poor quality sleep can also affect it. This can include sleep deprivation, use of sedatives such as alcohol, certain medications or even febrile diseases.
  • Your health and if you suffer from a medical condition can even affect sleepwalking. Ailments can include reflux, irregular heartbeats, apnea, PTSD, panic attacks, asthma, and even diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and seizure disorders.
Just like anything else that concerns your health, speak to your doctor if you were told that you may be sleepwalking.
[Image via Shutterstock]

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