Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.

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.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Royal Navy is understood to have dismissed eight sailors in the past three years for sleepwalking.
John performed a successful exorcism and the girl stopped sleepwalking. I'll tell you more about Troika in the near future.
Unlike other manifestations of somnambulism described many years ago in the literature, for example, hereditary somnambulism in 1898 in Bran Stoker's Dracula, sleep driving may truly be a new phenomena of sleepwalking. The prevalence of sleepwalking may he as high as 17% in childhood with peak age of 8-12 years (another reason riot to decrease the legal age of driving and for that matter drinking alcohol).
"In my view I think London is sleepwalking towards Johannesburg.
Gwyn Lewis, defending, said: "It is obviously a very unusual case, with Mr Clegg, being a sleepwalker, and sleepwalking at the time.
"I don't know what has happened and assumptions that he was sleepwalking are baseless," he said.
A BUSINESS graduate was seriously injured after sleepwalking off a balcony during a holiday in Majorca.
Skoz is a lovable pooch who finds himself in all sorts of trouble due to his sleepwalking. In this adventure he awakes to find himself adrift on the open sea in a small wooden boat.
Well, apparently, the poor girl has been sleepwalking ever since her childhood.
According to Wikipedia, sleepwalking -- also called somnambulism or noctambulism -- is a sleep disorder that makes sufferers engage in activities that are normally associated with being awake, while being asleep or in a sleep-like state.
-- Sleepwalking peaks in adolescence, and it's no wonder, Dr.