Walking in your sleep
Sleepwalking can affect anyone but it’s most common in children. It’s usually nothing to worry about and most children grow out of it by the time they reach puberty.
Why some people sleepwalk
A person is more likely to sleepwalk if a close relative of theirs also sleepwalks.
Generally, the following factors can trigger sleepwalking or make it worse: sleep deprivation, fever, stress, drinking too much alcohol and certain drugs such as tranquillisers or antihistamines.
Therefore it can help to get more sleep and practise relaxation exercises to reduce stress.
What happens when a person sleepwalks
Some people who sleepwalk may just sit up in bed, while others may wander around the home, open cupboards and even get dressed or eat. Some severely affected sleepwalkers have been known to drive a car.
The sleepwalker will often have their eyes open but their eyes will appear glassy and unfocused.
If you talk to a sleepwalker, they may respond slowly and express simple thoughts or may not say anything that makes sense.
Most sleepwalking episodes last no longer than 10 minutes. The person may wake up or just go back to sleep in their own bed. If woken, the sleepwalker usually feels confused and doesn’t remember the episode.