Sleepwalking can affect anyone but is more common in children, and mostly stops when they reach puberty.
Sleepwalking occurrences usually last less than 10 minutes, with the person often returning to bed and sleep as if nothing has happened.
Some sleepwalkers may walk around the home, and may even perform everyday tasks. In extreme cases, sleepwalkers have left the house and driven cars. Their eyes may be open but appear glassy and unfocused, and they may talk nonsense or fail to speak at all.
Sleepwalking often runs in families, and may be made worse by stress and over-tiredness. Alcohol and drugs such as tranquillisers or antihistamines can trigger episodes, as can fever.
You should only need to consult the South West Sleep Clinic if the sleepwalking is severe, and the sleepwalker at risk of hurting him or herself.
Waking a sleepwalker could make them confused and distressed. The best thing to do is to make sure they are safe; gently guide them back to bed where they will probably go back to sleep again.
If you live with a sleepwalker, risk-assess your home and make a habit of locking doors and windows. Before bed, check that there are no unusual obstacles the sleepwalker could trip over or sharp objects they could pick up.
Relaxation exercises to reduce stress and getting enough sleep are the best treatment.
Read more about sleepwalking on the NHS Website Here
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