“Sleepwalking”—the term can seem amusing, but it is a real phenomenon that can have harmful consequences on the health and safety of both the sufferer and the people in their household.
Also known as somnambulism, sleepwalking is a common condition, affecting as many as 17 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the United States, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Read on to learn more about sleepwalking, particularly its symptoms and what you can do if you’ve been told you’re experiencing frequent episodes thereof.
Symptoms of Sleep Walking
People who suffer from somnambulism have no memory of the events, but the symptoms are real and observable by others in the household. During a sleepwalking episode, the person usually opens their eyes, sits up or gets out of bed, and wanders around. There are some instances when the person actually goes for a drive, gets dressed, talks to other people, or does other activities without ever realizing they ever happened. The person often has problems functioning during the day due to the disturbances in their sleep.
Episodes may occur sporadically, or some people may have several episodes in a single night.
If the individual does something dangerous (such as cooking and using kitchen appliances, climbing out a window, or striking someone), they may cause harm to themself and everyone in the household.
What to Do
If you’ve been told that you frequently sleepwalk, take it seriously and see a sleep medicine physician for prompt intervention.
A sleep medicine physician will review your medical history, assess your current state of health, and possibly, order a sleep study, which yields valuable information about how your body operates as you sleep. With the results, your sleep doctor will recommend the most suitable treatment, based on your age, how frequently you sleepwalk, and how dangerous or disruptive the episodes are.
To treat your condition, your doctor may recommend a combination of medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and teach you strategies to improve your sleep hygiene. If your doctor identifies that your sleepwalking is tied to sleep apnea, they will recommend treatment to address both sleep disorders altogether.
Sleep Medicine Physician in Weatherford, TX
If you live in or around Weatherford and are looking for a sleep medicine expert with a solid reputation for delivering exceptional care and treatment outcomes, visit us at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas for a consultation with Dr. Olusegun Oseni. He is one of the most trusted sleep medicine physicians in the region. In fact, he is the recipient of 360 West Magazine’s Top Sleep Medicine Physician Award for 2021.
If Dr. Oseni determines that you do need to undergo a sleep study, we do have our own state-of-the-art sleep center, where you will receive a comprehensive evaluation in the safest, most comfortable, and luxurious environment.
To see Dr. Oseni for a consultation, give us a call at (817) 594-9993. You may also fill out this form, and we will gladly contact you to schedule your appointment.