May 9, 2023 – Is there a connection between sleepwalking and insomnia?
Sleepwalking, also called sleepwalkingaffects approx 4% residents of the United States on a regular basis – although many people may not realize they do. (Sleepwalking is classified as a Parasomnia, or Abnormal behavior during sleep.)
Sleepwalking can happen when you are aroused for a short period of time Non-rapid eye movement sleepwhich is a very relaxing stage that helps restore body tissues and repair important bodily functions.
“Non-rapid eye movement is approximately 80% of adult sleep,” he said. Kenneth Lee, MD, Assistant professor of neurology and sleep medicine and clinical medical director at the UChicago Medicine Sleep Center. “In general, sleepwalking occurs when you’re not fully asleep, but also not fully awake — you’re in some kind of limbo between the two states. Plus, things that increase the number of times your brain wakes up put you at risk for sleepwalking episodes, If you are exposed to it, including sleep apnea and leg movements.”
If you sleepwalk, it usually happens during the first third of the night, and you won’t be able to think, plan, or function properly. You won’t know where you are. Even though you are navigating in a dream-like state, you will not be able to remember any dreams you actually had while sleepwalking.
Many doctors believe that lack of sleep is a major cause of sleepwalking. If you have insomniaIt is difficult for your mind and body to pass between stages of sleep; When you sleep, you may not settle into a deep enough sleep, and it can “trick” your brain into thinking your body must be active.
But what is the exact link between insomnia and sleepwalking? Can you retrain your brain into a restful sleep pattern? Here’s what you should know.
What are the risk factors for sleepwalking?
Children are more likely to sleepwalk, because The older you get, the less NREM sleep you get. She said sleepwalking can sometimes continue into adulthood Reza Radmand, DMD, Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Hygiene and Sleep Medicine and Fellow of the American Academy of Oral Medicine.
“Sleepwalking in adults is rare, and is usually associated with certain medications such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Trauma can also be a factor,” said Radmand, who is also a lecturer and research collaborator in sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School. Contributing to bouts of sleepwalking.
Can sleepwalking Runs in familiesEspecially if one of your parents did. Other possible risk factors include:
- drink alcohol
- Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- being tense
- Having a seizure disorder
“Our mental state also has an impact on sleep quality,” he said. Jordan Standley, MD, A neurologist at Michigan Health University and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.
“During periods of high situational stress, our brains have a more active fight-or-flight signal, and this often carries over into the sleep period, where our brains have a harder time achieving a deep, restful, and stable sleep. Many people who are sleepwalkers will report this happening more often. often during periods when they are particularly stressed or anxious.”
What are the symptoms of sleepwalking?
according to medicine binSigns of sleepwalking include:
- Open your eyes with a blank look on your face
- We talk, but what you say makes no sense
- Acting confused or aggressive if someone wakes you up
- Appearing awake to others
- Sitting or engaging in activities as if you were awake
- You don’t remember anything that happened when you wake up
Does insomnia cause sleepwalking?
While insomnia itself does not directly cause sleepwalking, there are at least four main ways in which the two conditions interact, Standley said.
These methods are:
- disturbed sleep environment
- periods of “situational stress”
- Sleep Apnea
- Medication effects
“Sleepwalking has strong genetics, which means that some people are inherently more at risk of developing these symptoms. It does not arise from deep, stable sleep, but rather from intermittent, twilight sleep. Sleepwalking also occurs more when someone sleeps in an environment external as in a hotel room or in a place of sleep deprivation.” “Again, this is likely because during those scenarios, their sleep is less stable at night and more time is spent in a transitional sleep state.”
And distractions in your sleep environment can make matters worse.
“Noise or light in the room can cause insomnia and sleepwalking, especially having a TV in the bedroom all night,” Standley said. “It is difficult for the brain to stay in a deep, stable sleep while this type of light or noise is present, and the result can be either frequent full awakenings — insomnia — or partial awakenings, which prepare you for sleepwalking.”
Another concern: Trying to treat insomnia can actually lead to an episode of sleepwalking.
“Some of the common medications used to treat insomnia can themselves cause sleepwalking,” Standley said. “Sedative medications such as zolpidem, eszopiclone, zaleplon, suvorexant, lemborexant, and daridorexant have been described to cause complex sleep behaviors, meaning sleepwalking, as well as other sleep activities such as cooking, eating, making phone calls, and driving while asleep.”
What is the correct way to treat insomnia and solve the problem of sleepwalking?
First of all, talk to your doctor.
He said, “If you know you’ve had an episode of sleepwalking, a sleep study should be done.” Andrea Matsumura, MD, A sleep medicine specialist in Portland, OR. “You also need to take safety measures—for example, if you live in a two-story home, you want to put a screen on your stairs, and close your windows.”
You can also discuss sleep and sleep issues with a psychologist.
“The best course of treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy for severe insomnia,” he told me. “This is a way to retrain your mind and body how to sleep again. Making sure you treat insomnia and promote sleep will reduce the risk of sleepwalking.”
Good sleeping habits should also be a nighttime ritual.
“Don’t eat or exercise close to bedtime, and stop drinking caffeine 6 hours beforehand,” Matsumura said.
Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can also help. Focusing on being kind to your mind and body can help you rest more often.