Sleepwalking Treatment Methods

By on July 1, 2013

Sleepwalking TreatmentSleepwalking treatments vary from person to person depending upon the symptoms. The treatment methods generally involve medications.

Simple lifestyle, and sleep environmental changes can also be great help in treating sleepwalking. Sleepwalking occurs when people getting up and walking around while asleep.

While asleep the sleepwalkers show a variety of behaviors like cleaning the house, switching the lights on-off, shouting, walking in the house, hitting the parents, throwing things, etc.

This disorder is most common in children between 5 to 12years of age and also associated with inherited, physiologic, environmental and medical factors. Boys are more commonly affected with sleepwalking than girls.

Causes:

The most common causes of sleep walking such as fatigue, stress, worry and anxiety, daytime sleepiness, and sleep deprivation

Symptoms:

Some risk factors increase the chance of walking in sleep such as walking and talking during sleeping, switching the lights on-off, hitting the bed partners, screaming in sleep, have a glazed and glassy-eyed expression, etc.

Test and diagnosis:

If you observe any of these symptoms in your child, you should consult a sleep specialist as he or she may suggest for an overnight sleep test known as polysomnograph.

In this test, a video camera will record various body functions like heartbeat, breathing, muscle tension, brain waves, leg movement, eye movements and oxygen in blood flow throughout the night.

Treatment:

Based on the sleep study, your doctor will review the information to identify whether your child has any sleep disorders. Your doctor will talk about the best sleepwalking treatment options for your child.

The sleepwalking treatment options include relaxation techniques, mental imagery, hypnosis, anticipatory awakenings and medications.

1. Physical guards:

  • Remove dangerous and harmful objects from your child’s bedroom
  • Keep a safe sleeping environment
  • Tell your child to do relaxation exercises and meditation
  • Keep windows and doors closed and locked.
  • Avoid late-night TV shows and internet
  • Cover bedroom windows with heavy drapes
  • Place an alarm or bell on the bedroom door

2. Relaxation and mental imagery techniques:

Relaxation and mental imagery techniques should be performed at home with the help of a behavioral therapist as they help your child to relax their mind and allow them to sleep throughout the night. Follow-up with your sleep disorders specialist if symptoms persist, or if injury to self or to others occurs.

3. Hypnosis:

Some cases of sleepwalking will be treated with hypnosis.

4. Anticipatory awakenings:

Your doctor asks you to record the time of your child sleepwalking and plan to wake up your child just before that time which helps to stop the sleepwalking.

5. Medications:

Medications that will help to reduce sleepwalking include:

  • Sedative- hypnotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Tranquilizers

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