How To Stop Sleepwalking

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Sleepwalking can be scary and sometimes even dangerous. You might be unaware of where you’re going, and people have been known to suffer physical harm while sleepwalking because they are unaware of things like stairways.

While those suffering from sleepwalking know they want to stop it, they often aren’t sure how to do it. Here is a thorough explanation of what sleepwalking is and some surefire ways to get rid of that nightly bad habit.

What Is Sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking is when a person starts walking around during a deep stage of sleep. It happens most frequently in children, and it often occurs when a person is overly tired and hasn’t been getting enough sleep.

But just because children are the likeliest to sleepwalk doesn’t mean adults don’t do it too. Even if a person has no history of sleepwalking, it can begin to occur during adulthood and can often be chalked up to reasons like alcohol usage, using particular kinds of medication, and having an illness that causes a high fever. A study published in the medical journal Neurology in 2012 said that 3.6 percent of American adults have at least one sleepwalking incident per year.

When they are sleepwalking, a person doesn’t wake up – they stay in a stage of deep sleep while they are wandering around. The next day, the sleepwalker won’t remember walking around in the night.

But some people don’t stop with just walking while sleepwalking. It’s also a term to explain a person doing other behaviors they would only normally be doing while awake, like driving their cars.

A long-held myth says it is dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker, but that’s not true. A sleepwalker should be woken up and guided back to their bed to prevent them from accidentally injuring themselves.

Symptoms of Sleepwalking

The biggest sign of sleepwalking is seeing a person wandering around when they are still asleep. But there are other symptoms of sleepwalking too, including:

  • Having no memory of wandering around at night.
  • Talking while asleep.
  • Being difficult to wake up during some of these symptoms.
  • Unusual behavior while sleeping.

What Can Be Done?

There is no specific cure for sleepwalking, but there are things you can do to eliminate the frequency or possibly stop it altogether.

  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis can help, but it isn’t a magical cure. Whether it will help you will only be determined after you give it a try.
  • Medications: There are some medications, such as antidepressants, that may help.
  • Avoiding being overtired: Getting regular sleep can help cut down on the number of sleepwalking incidences you have.
  • Unwind before bed: Relaxing before you hit the sheets may help cut down on sleepwalking.

Protecting Your Safety

While you’re trying to reduce the number of sleepwalking incidences you have, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and any others in your household who are sleepwalking.

  • Put an alarm on your door, so it will alert you if you try to leave the house while sleepwalking.
  • Lock doors and windows.
  • Put gates on stairways to try to prevent people from wandering down them while asleep.
  • Put your keys in a spot you wouldn’t ordinarily put them to lessen the chance you’ll get behind the wheel.

With time and effort, you should be able to cut down on your sleepwalking and make your surroundings safer in case you still have the occasional incident.