Sleepwalking. Why do people walk in their sleep?

Some people living on Earth suffer from sleepwalking: without waking up, they get out of bed and sometimes do not quite harmless things, threatening themselves and others. In this issue we will explain why this is happening.

To begin with, in medicine this phenomenon is called somnambulism and is expressed not only in classical walks around the house in a state of sleep, but also by performing more complex actions. For example, there were cases when people cleaned the house, cooked food and even drove a car without regaining consciousness. Also, perhaps aggressive behavior and sexual violence towards other people, about which, a person suffering from sleepwalking simply does not remember.

In the medical literature, sleepwalking is classified as a sleep disorder, the causes of which are not completely clear. There are hypotheses that it is associated with over-stimulation of the nervous system, severe fatigue and genetic predisposition. Also, the risks increase the intake of antidepressants and beta-blockers. This also includes various mental disorders, problems with the respiratory system and Parkinson’s disease, which can occasionally cause sleepwalking.

Of the cases known to science, it is worth noting the rare one that happened in 2004 in Australia. Here, a woman during sleep went out of the house and had indiscriminate sex with strangers. This case would have remained unexplored if one night her partner had not found the absence of a friend and condoms scattered throughout the house. And in 1987 there was an even stranger case. A man named Ken Parks left 23 kilometers from his home, in a state of somnambulism, after strangling his father-in-law and killing his mother-in-law.

The statistics is that sleepwalking is a rare occurrence. It occurs no more than 3% in children and no more than half the percentage in adults. In most cases, the disease is characterized by aimless walking and does not threaten anyone except the lunatic himself, who simply can break his neck.

In conclusion, we would like to note that according to clinical trials, no method of treatment, whether psychological or using different pills, has proven to be effective in combating this ailment. But in some cases, hypnosis and various psychophysical methods of treatment can significantly reduce the number of cases of sleepwalking.