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Sleepwalking

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Walking and/or talking while asleep are relatively common sleep disorders. Simple or common cases of either condition are considered to be not very harmful, provided, in the case of sleepwalking that the sleeper is not exposed to stairs, archways or other hazards.  However, an evaluation and treatment by a psychiatric specialist is highly in your favor.

While walking and/or talking while asleep are relatively common sleep disorders, they prevent quality rest from accruing, may be dangerous, and disrupts others. They can be considered less harmful in some cases, provided, in the case of sleep walking, that the sleeper is in a ground floor room that is free of obstacles.


Symptoms
· Asleep with eyes wide open
· Sitting up while asleep
· Walking around with a blank expression
· Getting out of bed and walking around the room
· Performing other acts - turning on the TV, even cooking, while asleep 
· Doesn't remember the episode when awakened 
· When awakened, seems confused and disoriented
· Mumbling incomprehensible phrases or talking nonsense


Causes
· Fatigue
· Previous sleep loss
· Worry and anxiety
· Any of a number of undiagnosed, untreated or undertreated, affective/mood disorders   
· Drugs - prescription or  recreational
· Alcohol consumption
· Various medical conditions
· Rapid Eye Movement (REM) disorders


Diagnostic Methods
· Personal observation or observation by others
· Medical or psychological testing to discover underlying cause


Treatment, Prevention, and/or Cure 

· Determine underlying causes via a complete psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatric ARNP, or psychiatrist, to identify and treat any related psychiatric disorders.
· Make sure sleep walker is in a safe room with no obstacles, away from stairs and unable to leave the building through doors or windows.


Ask the psychiatric ARNP about medication, such as prescription tranquilizers.
If the sleep walker is a child, quite often they will outgrow the disorder.

 

 

 
Contact Rainier Professional Psychiatry