Sleepwalking: what is it and what causes it
Ah, the dream! How strange and confusing it is! There are so many things that we do not know about him, so many mysteries that he hides ...
Surely you have heard of sleepwalking sometime: that of sleepwalking at night without being aware of what you are doing. Maybe you've even lived it. But what is it really?
When it occurs and why
Sleepwalking is a Sleep disorder or parasomnia that occurs in the phase 3, when sleep is deeper and slow waves, just like night terrors.
Its alot more common in young children, so if it continues to occur in adolescence and adulthood, may be indicative of other health problems. Also has as a risk factor genetics, since sleepwalking is much more likely if a close family member also suffers or has suffered from it.
It can occur due to various alterations, such as sleep deprivation or disruption often the stress, the fever or changing times to go to sleep.
If it appears for the first time as an adult, may be caused by other conditions What:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea or other respiratory problems.
2. Restless legs syndrome.
3. The use of hypnotic, sedative or psychiatric medications.
4. Consumption of substances such as alcohol.
5. And gastroesophageal flow disease.
What does the sleepwalker feel
You can easily recognize a sleepwalker: they have the lost and disoriented look, they do not communicate when one speaks to them, upon waking up from an episode they are confused and they don't remember anything of what happened, and they are also likely to suffer from night terrors in addition to sleepwalking.
These symptoms tend to last several minutes, but they can be lengthened. Sometimes they also carry out activities of their daily life such as eating, talking, dressing, going to the toilet ... The dangerous thing comes when they leave the house or fall and are injured by furniture that they do not see in their path.
Sleepwalkers are not aware of what they are doing, so they feel confused, disoriented and can even get a little aggressive when waking up from an episode (although who does not get aggressive when waking up ...)
How to help the sleepwalker
The treatment for sleepwalking is usually collateral, that is, different conditions that may be triggering it are treated, and by improving these, sleepwalking itself is improved.
The best thing to do for the sleepwalker is create a safe environment: removing dangerous objects and furniture that could harm you and hiding car and house keys that could help you “escape”.
Along with this, there is a myth that it is dangerous wake up a sleepwalker: This is false. It's not dangerous, but it is not necessary either, because many times when they wake up they are more agitated and confused by their situation.
What can be done with them is guide them carefully and slowly to bed, not tell them what happened the next morning so as not to generate rejection to go to bed, avoid over-activating them before going to sleep (and not leaving with a full bladder!) and create small alarm systems, such as bells and bells in the doors, to find out when they are wandering around the house.