Why Do People Sleepwalk?

Did the question “Why do people sleepwalk?” ever enter your mind? If you’re not a victim of sleepwalking, then it’s close to impossible that you have not heard of sleepwalking cases from the experiences of other people.

So, why do people sleepwalk? Sleepwalking is also known as somnambulism. It is a sleep disorder that occurs from the deep sleep stage or slow wave sleep stage, in a state of low consciousness. A sleepwalker is able to perform typical activities, like walking to the bathroom, cleaning, opening a refrigerator, or even as dangerous as driving or having sex with a stranger.

Sleepwalkers are often left with little or no memory of the incident. Although they may seem fully awake and doing ordinary chores or activities, they are not in the state of full consciousness. This phenomenon may last as long as half an hour or as little as 30 seconds.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Christina A. Gurnett, sleepwalking could be acquired as an autosomal dominant disease. Sleepwalking usually occurs during the slow wave non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep stage. Several experts speculate that sleepwalking is caused by a delay in maturation in the central nervous system. Sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue, and fever are other factors that hasten sleepwalking.

The topic on “Why do people sleepwalk?” is indeed very fascinating and interesting. What if a sleepwalker commits a crime while sleepwalking? In such cases, since sleepwalking is an uncontrollable behavior, legal courts examine these circumstances carefully. An individual may be accused of non-insane automatism (temporary insanity) or insane automatism. Non-insane automatism can result in the acquittal of the accused while insane automatism may result in the court giving an order for the accused to attend a mental institution.

Sleepwalking incidents are more common during childhood than in adulthood. It is a mistaken belief that adult sleepwalkers always suggest a psychological disorder. However, in some cases, sleepwalking may be an indication of a psychological disorder. A lot of sleepwalking cases have been recorded in patients exhibiting schizophrenia. Also, patients with Tourette’s syndrome are more likely to sleepwalk.

There are various remedies for sleepwalking. Low doses of benzodiazepine, clonazepam, and tricyclic antidepressants are some of the drugs prescribed for sleepwalkers. Sleepwalkers are also advised to develop a healthy sleeping habit to avoid sleepwalking. Most experts recommend locking doors and windows and keeping harmful items to minimize the risk of any harmful activity.

When you are asked again the question “Why do people sleepwalk?” you can now explain how the event occurs and how to manage the sleeping disorder.

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