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Sleepwalking (Somnambulism)


Somnambulism—from the Latin somnus (sleep) and ambulus (walking)—involves involuntary motor acts—particularly walking—during sleep. Research indicates that sleepwalking is a normal phenomenon, although it may be more prevalent among these under a lot of stress. Somnambulism occurs most often in pubescence (ages ten to fourteen years), and there is also a genetic component (some families exhibit a greater tendency to sleepwalk than others). There appears to be a relationship between somnambulistic and hypnotic states.

A typical sleepwalking episode is rather short, rarely exceeding thirty minutes. Although seemingly oblivious to external reality, sleepwalkers typically manage to avoid running into objects. They usually make their way back to bed successfully, but sometimes they lie down on the floor or a couch at the conclusion of an active episode.

Contrary to what one might expect, somnambulistic behavior occurs only during the deepest levels of sleep (Stage 4), rather than during the most active dreaming periods. People awakened in the midst of or at the conclusion of a sleepwalking episode are dazed and confused. They are unable to recall dreams that might conceivably be connected with the walking episode, or any part of the actual somnambulistic experience.

References in periodicals archive ?
Sleep walking and sleep terrors are not generally harmful but in some circumstances require intervention.
Drug-induced sleep walking or other sleep behavior can manifest after improper use of a hypnotic drug.
He did not deny killing her but the jury found him not guilty after believing that he was sleep walking at the time.
I've been told I am pretty good at sleep walking, in fact I can do it with my eyes closed, but I've never heard of sleep driving before.
Children who are bullied between the ages of eight and 10 are more likely to suffer from sleep walking, night terrors or nightmares by the time they are 12-years-olds.
A FIRST off find out from your pal whether her boyfriend is spinning you a story or not about this sleep walking.
He explained that sexsomnia was a sleep disorder which fell into the category of sleep walking, something that affects one in 25 people.
This important assessment will help staff to diagnose disorders such as sleep apnoea, sleep walking and sleep related seizures.
As for sleep walking, the only sleepwalkers have been from the electorate who have repeatedly allowed themselves to be duped into voting for some of these people.
Otherwise, we risk sleep walking thousands of people into long-term unemployment.
Forget the proclamations about sleep walking to segregation.
A SLEEP walking is a difficult problem to resolve but that doesn't mean it should be ignored.