Sleepwalking Treatment

Jan 24, 2021

Understanding Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a parasomnia disorder that involves walking or performing other complex actions during sleep. This condition typically occurs during the deep stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, often within the first few hours of falling asleep.

Causes of Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Irregular sleep schedule
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol or drug use

Signs and Symptoms

Sleepwalking can manifest in different ways and may vary in severity. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Walking or moving around while asleep
  • Talking or mumbling incoherently
  • Opening and closing doors or drawers
  • Performing routine actions, such as getting dressed or eating
  • Difficulty awakening during an episode
  • Confusion or disorientation upon awakening
  • Amnesia of the sleepwalking episode

Risk Factors

While sleepwalking can affect individuals of all ages, certain factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing this parasomnia. These risk factors include:

  • Family history of sleepwalking
  • Age (more common in children)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Medical conditions such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome


Diagnosing sleepwalking involves a thorough evaluation of the individual's sleep patterns and overall health. A sleep medicine specialist, like those at West Coast Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, will conduct a comprehensive sleep study to monitor brain activity, breathing patterns, and physical movements during sleep.

Treatment Options

Effective sleepwalking treatment strategies may vary depending on the underlying causes and severity of the condition. Some common treatment options include:

  • Improving sleep hygiene and maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Stress management techniques
  • Creating a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk of injury
  • Identifying and managing any underlying medical conditions
  • Medication to help regulate sleep patterns, if necessary

Preventing Sleepwalking

While it may not always be possible to prevent sleepwalking entirely, adopting healthy sleep habits and managing potential triggers can help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes. Some preventive measures include:

  • Establishing a consistent sleep routine
  • Creating a calm and comfortable sleep environment
  • Reducing stress and anxiety through relaxation techniques
  • Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before bedtime
  • Addressing any underlying sleep disorders or medical conditions

Expert Sleep Medicine Services

At West Coast Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, we specialize in providing comprehensive sleep medicine services for various sleep disorders, including sleepwalking. Our team of experienced sleep specialists, led by MUIR DIABLO OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, is dedicated to diagnosing and treating sleep disorders with expertise and care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with sleepwalking, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, helping you achieve better sleep and improved overall well-being.