Causes and Cures for Sleep Walking and Somnambulism
by Erika Slater
In the movies and television sleep walking is often poked at in a fun and quirky light. It’s even conveyed in horror or mystery movies as a dark and unnatural act being induced by something sinister or controlling.
In reality however, sleep walking is serious business and not tied to anything evil or theatrical!
Since an individual who is sleep walking is for all intents and purposes ‘asleep’, they don’t know what they’re doing. Add to the fact they’re walking around in the dark with their eyes closed or seemingly open but unaware of surroundings, and this can be a recipe for disaster!
It’s easy to get injured, even severely hurt if you continue to sleep walk.
Think about how accidents can happen when your eyes are open and you’re wide awake and alert? Well, sleep walking can compound injuries.
Let’s take a look at why people sleep walk.
CAUSES OF SLEEP WALKING:
Experts assert sleep walking affects 1-15% of the general population. Children between the ages of three and seven comprise the largest sleep walking group, and this is usually linked to sleep apnea.
For the other ages there are other factors that come into play which may lead to individuals sleep walking.
Just because a person sleep walks don’t mean they have a psychiatric disorder.
Most times there are periods or incidences in an individual’s life which may make them more prone to sleep walking. Individuals who are deprived of sleep for long periods of time are more likely to sleep walk or talk in their sleep. Adults consuming larger portions of alcohol in the evening before bed are more likely to sleep walk.
Also, taking certain medications or sleep aids (sedatives) has shown to cause incidences of sleep walking. Alcohol and depressive medications like sleep aids disrupt normal relaxed REM sleep and can cause this restlessness which leads to sleep walking.
Another isolated cause of sleep walking can be individuals who have fevers while they’re sleeping. It can lead to psycho-somatic confusion, whereby they cannot properly discern between sleep and wakefulness.
There are other medical conditions linked to sleep walking so consult with your doctor to determine if one of these exists and the right cause of intervention.
There is also evidence that it can be hereditary and be “in the family” so to speak.
So what is the impact on a sleep walker?
THE IMPACT OF SLEEP WALKING:
The problem with sleep walking is the danger it can pose.
Individuals could come in contact with sharp instruments which can accidentally stab them. They could hurt themselves badly falling down a flight of stairs, or trip on something. If that isn’t enough, they may even wander out of the house and onto the street and get struck by a car.
Sleep walking can truly become ‘deadly’.
Despite the myth of not awakening a sleep walker because it’s dangerous for them in effect you MUST rouse them from sleep.
While they may be disorientated and even slightly embarrassed about the event it’s much safer they get back into bed and finish their sleep pattern.
What can be done to help children and adults overcome sleep walking?
OVERCOMING SLEEP WALKING:
Children who sleep walk usually outgrow it once in adolescence but if it persists through teenage years then consult with your Doctor and a sleep specialist. Making sure they get enough sleep each night for their age is first line of defense.
Provide a safe environment such as locking windows and exit doors and putting barriers across stairs to keep them on one level and not easily exiting a safe house. Don’t lock them in their room though as this can block an emergency exit for them.
Hypnosis has proven to be an excellent therapy for helping adults with sleep walking problems.
Hypnosis can help people rest and relax easier.
With that said, individuals who are overly-stressed out, which in turn is causing their insomnia, can be helped out by having their stress reduced or released with hypnosis. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our in-office and online sessions for our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>
Furthermore, if an individual suffers from sleep deprivation which is caused by their insomnia, then hypnosis can help them shut down their minds (racing thoughts) when it comes time to sleep.
This can also help them without having to use sedatives and sleep aids to get to sleep at night which may be the trigger for their sleep walking.
Here is a hypnosis resource that can help with overcoming sleep walking in adults >>>
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO SLEEP PROBLEMS:
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
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