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Sleepwalking or somnambulism is a sleep disorder common in children and young adults. The person walks, talks or performs activities while in a sleeplike state. Sleepwalking is widespread, and more than 1 in 10 human beings sleepwalk at least once in their life. Most sleep walking is for a short duration and harmless. However, there have been reports of injuries and death due to sleep walking.
It has been observed that sleepwalking generally occurs when a person wakes up from deep sleep. Since children and young adults spend up to 25% of their sleeping time in deep sleep, they are more likely to sleepwalk. As we grow older the duration of the deep sleep decreases, so elderly people are less likely to sleepwalk. The highest frequency of sleepwalking incidents have been recorded in children between the age of 11 and 12. Most children outgrow this disorder.
Sleepwalking is less common in adults and may be due to stress, alcohol abuse, sleeping pills. In adults, this disorder is likely to persist for the rest of their lives. In a majority of the cases, the person may only sit up in the bed, look around and go back to sleep. These episodes are rarely noticed and are harmless. However, some people are known to have eaten, walked some distance or even driven cars while sleepwalking. In such cases, the psychological problem or substance abuse has to be treated.
The frequency of sleepwalking varies from once a month to many times a week. Duration of sleepwalking episodes may be a few seconds to as much as 30 minutes. Most sleepwalkers do not remember the sleepwalking incident, which occurs during the first third of the night. Reducing stress can prevent sleepwalking incidents. Men are more likely to sleep walk compared to women. and other products.
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