When someone walks or carries out complex activities while not awake that is called sleepwalking. It usually occurs during a period of deep sleep. This is at its height during first few hours after falling asleep, so it tends to occur in the early part of the night. Sleepwalking can start at any age, but is more common in children. Most children will grow out of it by the time they reach puberty, but can persist into adult life. There are some factors which can cause sleepwalking or can make it worse like: sleep deprivation, fatigue, stress, anxiety, fever, drinking too much alcohol, taking recreational drugs, certain types of medication, such as some hypnotics being startled by a sudden noise or touch and waking from deep sleep, or waking from deep sleep to pass urine. Some people who sleepwalk just sit up in bed and look around, while some get out of bed and walk about, open cupboards, get dressed or eat. In severe cases, some people have been known to walk out of the house and carry out complex activities, such as driving a car. The person will usually have their eyes open while sleepwalking, but will look straight through family members and not recognize them. They're often able to maneuver around objects. There's no specific treatment for sleepwalking, but it generally helps to try and get enough sleep and have a regular and relaxing routine before bedtime.
Last date updated on July, 2014