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Sleepwalking (cont.)

Are there Home Remedies for Sleepwalking?

The following measures can be taken by a person who has a sleepwalking disorder:

  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Meditate or do relaxation exercises.
  • Avoid any kind of stimuli (auditory or visual) prior to bedtime.
  • Keep a safe sleeping environment free of harmful or sharp objects.
  • Sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor if possible. To prevent a fall, avoid bunk beds.
  • Lock the doors and windows.
  • Remove obstacles in the room. Tripping over toys or objects is a potential hazard.
  • Cover glass windows with heavy drapes.
  • Place an alarm or bell on the bedroom door and if necessary, on any windows.

What Is the Medical Treatment for Sleepwalking?

If sleepwalking is caused by underlying medical conditions, for example, gastroesophageal reflux, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic leg movements (restless legs syndrome), or seizures, the underlying medical condition should be treated.

Medications for the treatment of sleepwalking disorder may be necessary in the following situations:

  • The possibility of injury is real.
  • Continued behaviors are causing significant family disruption or excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Other measures have proven to be inadequate.

Benzodiazepines, such as estazolam (ProSom), or tricyclic antidepressants, such as trazodone (Desyrel), have been shown to be useful. Clonazepam (Klonopin) in low doses before bedtime and continued for 3-6 weeks is also usually effective.

Medication can often be discontinued after 3-5 weeks without recurrence of symptoms. Occasionally, the frequency of episodes increases briefly after discontinuing the medication.

Is Other Therapy Available for Sleepwalking?

Relaxation techniques, mental imagery, and anticipatory awakenings are preferred for long-term treatment of persons with sleepwalking disorder.

  • Relaxation and mental imagery should be undertaken only with the help of an experienced behavioral therapist or hypnotist.
  • Anticipatory awakenings consist of waking the child or person approximately 15-20 minutes before the usual time of an event, and then keeping him awake through the time during which the episodes usually occur.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017

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