Have you ever wondered how your parent(s) reached some other corner of the house in the morning, when they slept on their own bed last night? Well, there can be two reasons – one could be that they weren’t able to sleep in their room and two, they might be sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a sleep disorder that occurs in the part of your non-rapid eye movement sleep. It occurs in mostly one or two hours of sleep. Although, there are certain authorities that don’t consider it to be a disorder, it’s a cause for concern, if the episodes are frequent.
According to Dr. Rajnish Kumar, senior consultant and unit head neurology at Paras Hospital Gurugram, sleepwalking is very common in teenagers, children, and the elderly.
During sleepwalking, your parent(s) might sit, walk, or even try to do some ordinary tasks. What’s shocking is that their eyes are wide open, while they are sleepwalking. There are chances that they might not even remember what they were doing, because during that stage, they were in deep sleep.
1. Stress and anxiety.
2. Sleep destruction due to constant travel.
3. It can also be genetic.
4. Chronic migraine could also be a reason.
5. If your parent(s) suffer from breathing disorders, then sleepwalking can happen.
6. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) i.e. if there is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the gut.
7. Even certain medications can cause sleepwalking.
It means that if a person sleeps at 10 o’clock and s/he sleepwalks at 12 o’ clock, then try to monitor their regular time. Try to be prepared 15 minutes before the usual time, and check if disrupting the sleepwalking pattern causes interruption in the sleep cycle or not. If yes, then you can stop the person from sleepwalking.
Ensure that there is no noise around their room, and don’t try to wake them up if they are asleep.
“Ensure that they don’t take caffeine around their bedtime, as it can affect their sleep,” warns Dr Kumar.
According to Dr Kumar, sleepwalking is mostly not dangerous. But it can be problematic if the person hurts him/herself by walking near furniture/stairs.
“Patients can have abnormal daytime sleepiness, due to sleep disturbances. Also, people can disturb other members’ sleep, which is another trouble,” says Dr Kumar.
“First of all, try all the above-mentioned tips to deal with sleepwalking, and if it still persists and happens frequently, then visit a doctor to monitor the person,” concludes Dr Kumar.