For children and adults, sleepwalking is usually a sign of lack of sleep, intense emotional problems,
stress, or fever . As these conditions resolve, sleepwalking incidences disappear.
In most cases, no treatment is necessary because sleepwalking rarely indicates any serious underlying medical or psychiatric problem.
In most children, sleepwalking disappears at puberty. However, it can occasionally persist into adulthood or may even begin in adulthood.
Consult a sleep specialist if the person is having frequent episodes, injuring himself or herself, or showing violent behavior.
Self-Care at Home
The following measures can be taken by a person who has a sleepwalking disorder:
- Get adequate sleep.
- Meditate or do relaxation exercises.
- Avoid any kind of stimuli (auditory or visual) prior to bedtime.
- Keep a safe sleeping environment, free of harmful or sharp objects.
- Sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor if possible.
- Lock the doors and windows.
- Remove obstacles in the room.
- Cover glass windows with heavy drapes.
- Place an alarm or bell on the bedroom door.
Relaxation techniques, mental imagery, and anticipatory awakenings are preferred for long-term treatment of persons with sleepwalking disorder.
- Relaxation and mental imagery should be undertaken only with the help of an experienced behavioral therapist or hypnotist.
- Anticipatory awakenings consist of waking the child or person approximately 15-20 minutes before the usual time of an event, and then keeping him awake through the time during which the episodes usually occur.
Follow-up with your sleep disorders specialist if symptoms persist, or if injury to self or to others occurs.
- Limit stress
- Avoid alcohol intake
- Avoid sleep deprivation
The outlook for resolution of the disorder is excellent.
Sleepwalking is not a serious disorder, although children can be injured by objects during sleepwalking.
Although disruptive and frightening for parents in the short term, sleepwalking is not associated with long-term complications.
Prolonged disturbed sleep may be associated with school and behavioral issues.