Sleepwalking also known as somnambulism involves getting up and walking around while in a state of sleep. More common in children than adults, sleepwalking is usually outgrown by the teen years. Isolated incidents of sleepwalking often don't signal any serious problems or require treatment. However, recurrent sleepwalking may suggest an underlying sleep disorder.
Sleepwalking is a behavior in which the child gets up during the night and walks or does other activities. The child usually does not remember getting up or being engaged in the activities. Sleepwalking tends to occur during the first part of the night, usually within an hour or two of falling asleep.
Most children who sleepwalk do not have emotional or psychological problems. Childhood sleepwalking usually disappears on its own at the time of puberty, but may last longer. About 18% of people sleepwalk at some point in their life.
CAUSES OF SLEEPWALKING
Causes of sleepwalking include:
- Hereditary (the condition may run in families).
- Lack of sleep or extreme fatigue.
- Interrupted sleep or unproductive sleep, from disorders like sleep apnea (brief pauses in the child's breathing pattern during sleep).
- Illness or fever.
- Certain medications, such as sleeping pills.
- Stress, anxiety.
- Going to bed with full bladder.
- Noises or touches.
- Changes in sleep environment or different sleep setting (example: a hotel).
- Head injuries.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEPWALKING
In addition to getting out of bed and walking around, other symptoms exhibited by sleepwalkers include:
- Sitting up in bed and repeating movements, such as rubbing eyes or tugging on pajamas.
- Looking dazed (sleepwalkers' eyes are open but they do not see the same way they do when they are fully awake).
- Clumsy or awkward behavior.
- Not responding when spoken to, or responses may not make sense.
- Being difficult to wake up.
- Talking in their sleep.
- Urinating in undesirable places (for instance, a closet).
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR SLEEPWALKING
Natrum Mur : This medicine is very useful in persons who rise at night during sleep and sit about. They may have anxious dreams while weeping during sleep. Another complaint of talking in sleep may also be present in them. Their sleep is also disturbed. On awakening in the morning they feel unrefreshed. A violent headache may also be complained about in the morning. During the day there is excessive drowsiness and frequent yawning.
Phosphorus : It is another valuable medicine for these cases of sleepwalking. In cases needing it there is restlessness and disturbed sleep at night. There are frightful and horrible dreams in those requiring it. Along with this there is frequent waking with fright. During sleep there may be crying, moaning and jerking of limbs. There is a feeling in the morning as if sleep is not completed with sleepiness all the day.
Kali Phos : It is very effective medicine to treat somnambulism in children. Those needing it are restless in sleep and may be mumbling, crying, moaning or talking in sleep. They also have night terrors and awakens with fright even from sound sleep at night. In the morning they feel sleepy, and are difficult to awake with excessive yawning. Excessive tiredness may also be present where it is required.
Silicea : It is another good medicine for somnambulism. The person needing it gets up from sleep at night, walks and afterwards lies down. Their sleep is restless with crowded dreams and frequent waking. They may be talking loudly in sleep. They can also have complaints of nightmares. Snoring, jerking of limbs are some other complaints that they may have during sleep. In the morning they feel unrefreshed and don’t wish to leave bed. Other than above it is a specific medicine when sleepwalking occurs at new and full moon.
Kali Bromatum : It is very beneficial medicine for somnambulism in children. Children who need it may also have complaints of night terrors. They get awake from sleep with screaming and recognise no one. They also have restless sleep. Grinding of teeth, crying and moaning can also be present in them during sleep. In the morning they may wake with a severe headache.
Stramonium : Stramonium is a useful medicine when there is complaint of sleepwalking. Persons who need it get up at night especially after midnight with confusion. They may seem frightened and have eyes staring at a point. They sit up in bed or walk about at night. Other attending symptoms that attend it are restless sleep, tossing in bed, snoring. Screaming, starting or laughing can also be present during sleep.
Artemisia Vulgaris : This medicine is prepared from fresh root of plant Artemisia Vulgaris also commonly known as wormwood. This plant belongs to family compositae. It is well indicated for cases in which a person wakes at night from sleep and starts doing his daily work. In the morning he remembers nothing about it. Other than this it is a leading medicine for epilepsy treatment. Epilepsy after grief, fright or blow on head are well treated with this medicine.
Luna : It is also a significant medicine for cases of somnambulism. People needing it may have nightmares, horrible, frightful dreams that wake them up. They have sleepwalking and in the morning they feel that their sleep is not completed.
Zincum Met : This medicine works well in cases of sleepwalking arising in persons from suppressed emotions. Persons needing it have disturbed sleep with frequent waking. They may have loud screaming in their sleep. They can have frightening dreams while talking and crying. They sometimes have disturbed sleep from painful cramps in legs. They have unrefreshing sleep with drowsiness and sleepiness in daytime. e.t.c