Sleep Center

Treating sleepwalking in children and adults

Also called somnambulism, sleepwalking is a type of sleep disorder known as a parasomnia, which are behaviors and activities that occur during sleep. It usually happens in the first couple hours of deep sleep and often includes more than just walking. The person may complete routine activities like eating. It’s likely they won’t remember the episode. Other sleepwalking symptoms include clumsiness, confusion, opened, glassy eyes and talking but not responding to anyone.

This sleep disorder is common, especially in children, and affects about 4 percent of the population. Think you may be a sleepwalker? Goshen Sleep Disorders Center offers a sleep disorders risk assessment to learn more about your sleeping habits. If your results suggest a risk, your primary care provider may want to refer you to Goshen Sleep Disorders Center for further testing and treatment from a board certified sleep specialist. Our specialists can provide treatment for types of parasomnias, including sleepwalking, in Goshen, IN.

To talk to us about a sleep disorders risk assessment, call (574) 537-8530.

What causes sleepwalking?

Health experts don’t fully understand the cause of sleepwalking. Most children outgrow the problem, and it’s rare to develop the condition as an adult. When a sleepwalking disorder starts in adulthood, another medical condition is likely to be the cause.

Factors that increase your risk of sleepwalking include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Fever
  • Stress
  • Sleep schedule disruptions, such as overnight travel
  • Medications, such as sedatives
  • Lack of sleep, such as from sleep apnea
  • Family history of sleepwalking

How to prevent sleepwalking

If you live with a sleepwalker, try keeping him or her safe by removing obstacles, installing stair gates or locking doors and windows. Try to guide the sleepwalker back to bed.

Creating good sleep habits can help prevent sleepwalking episodes. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, practice relaxation techniques before bed, and reduce stress and stimulation. For older children and adults, this may include stress management and limiting use of electronic devices. If an underlying condition is causing the sleepwalking, treating that condition may resolve the disorder.

Talk with your doctor about seeing a board certified sleep specialist at Goshen Sleep Disorders Center.

Goshen Sleep Disorders Center treats sleepwalking in children and adults in Goshen, IN.