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Sleepwalking (cont.)

Sleepwalking Symptoms

  • Episodes range from quiet walking about the room to agitated running or attempts to "escape." Patients may appear clumsy and dazed in their behaviors.
  • Typically, the eyes are open with a glassy, staring appearance as the person quietly roams the house. They do not, however, walk with their arms extended in front of them as is inaccurately depicted in movies.
  • On questioning, responses are slow with simple thoughts, contain non-sense phraseology, or are absent. If the person is returned to bed without awakening, the person usually does not remember the event.
  • Older children, who may awaken more easily at the end of an episode, often are embarrassed by the behavior (especially if it was inappropriate). In lieu of walking, some children perform repeated behaviors (for example, straightening their pajamas). Bedwetting may also occur.
  • Sleepwalking is not associated with previous sleep problems, sleeping alone in a room or with others, achluophobia (fear of the dark), or anger outbursts.
  • Some studies suggest that children who sleepwalk may have been more restless sleepers when aged 4-5 years, and more restless with more frequent awakenings during the first year of life.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014

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Sleepwalking - Treatment

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Somnambulism (Sleep Walking) »

Somnambulism (ie, sleepwalking) is a disorder of arousal that falls under the parasomnia group.

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Medical Dictionary