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Sleepwalking – Cause and effect


Sleepwalking (somnambulism) is a sleep-disorder common among children, and reportedly rare among adults. It ranges from harmless activities such as sitting up in bed, reaching for hallucinatory objects, to much more hazardous activities like driving and cooking. Spells of sleep walking can last between 30 seconds to 30 minutes, but what causes this sub-conscious behaviour?


Sleepwalking, begins and normally only occurs in childhood, with only 10% of adults being affected. Somnambulism has been thought of as a delay in a child’s maturation. Sleepwalking is generic, and a child has a 60% chance of having the disorder if both parents also suffered from it. If a child suffers from other sleep disorders, such as bed wetting or rapid leg movement, then they are more likely to start sleep walking. However, among adults sleepwalking could be caused by sleep deprivation, night fever or excessive tiredness.

Coping day to day

Among sufferers of sleepwalking, there is some embarrassment about the disorder, yet before they sleep, the most serious sufferers have to prepare before they sleep, hiding anything that could be dangerous if mis-used whilst in their subconscious state. This means a set routine for sleeping, which must impinge on day to day life. Some sleepwalkers take anti-depressants and benzodiazepine to help them sleep, but it is argued that tablets do not aid against sleepwalking.

What to do?

Stress and worrying is one of the main causes of sleepwalking amongst adults, with people going to bed with stressful thoughts. A memory foam mattress helps induce a deep sleep, reducing stress on the pressure points and improving circulation which helps with getting to sleep easily. A stress free sleep will result in waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. So if you can go to bed, without worries on your mind, a good night’s sleep should follow.

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