Why Do People Sleepwalk? It Might Be Because They’re Not Sleeping Enough

Share
Ad failed to load

When you think of sleepwalking you might imagine a person with eyelids half open stumbling around like an extra from The Walking Dead, and you're not completely wrong. But the reasons why people sleepwalk have nothing to do with the undead. Known medically as somnambulism, doctors are still exploring the causes behind this phenomenon, but the National Sleep Foundation noted that most sleepwalkers are likely sleep deprived.

"Sleepwalking usually involves more than just walking during sleep; it is a series of complex behaviors that are carried out while sleeping, the most obvious of which is walking," the National Sleep Foundation explained. "Symptoms of sleepwalking disorder range from simply sitting up in bed and looking around, to walking around the room or house, to leaving the house and even driving long distances."

Sleepwalking is also more common in children. When I was little, if I fell asleep during a movie, my mom would tell me later how I suddenly got up and began performing strange activities like folding blankets or rearranging things in the living room. A few times I got up in the middle of the night and got ready for school before realizing it was only 2 a.m. Oops.

Ad failed to load

Symptoms Of Sleepwalking

One of the best television sleepwalking scenes is on the season 4 finale of Gilmore Girls, when Luke and Lorelai's first kiss is interrupted by a sleepwalking Kirk. The website Sleep Education noted that individuals who are sleepwalking "may bolt from the bed and walk or run away. They may be frantic to escape from a threat that they dreamed or imagined." This is Kirk all day.

Ad failed to load

Sleep education explained that sleepwalking most often occurs in the first third of a night’s sleep, or during other long sleep periods while you are in the slow-wave cycle of sleep. It can occur during daytime naps. Some of the symptoms of sleepwalking, according to the National Sleep Foundation include sleep talking, not remembering what you did while sleepwalking, being difficult to wake up, inappropriate behavior such as urinating in closets, screaming, or attacking the person trying to rouse you.

Sleep talking, known as somniloquy, is talking during your sleep without being aware of it. Sleep talking can involve complicated dialogues or monologues, complete gibberish or mumbling, the National Sleep Foundation noted. Some people sleepwalk while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, sleep medications, when taken incorrectly, have been reported to facilitate disturbing behaviors in people, including sleep driving, sleep eating and cooking, and even committing crimes while asleep, according to the Huffington Post.

Treatment For Sleepwalkers

Ad failed to load

If you or someone you love is a sleepwalker, experts say that while there is no cure, practicing good sleep hygiene can help eliminate the problem. Sleep hygiene is basically setting yourself up for a successful night of sleep by avoiding stimulants close to bedtime, adoption a regular fitness routine, making sure you get a lot of natural light during the day, and not falling prey to excessive naps. You also want to make sure you're getting enough sleep, between seven to nine hours is best, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Hypnosis is also known to be an effective treatment. "Treatment for sleepwalking in adults may include hypnosis. In fact, there are many cases in which sleepwalking patients have successfully treated their symptoms with hypnosis alone," the National Sleep Foundation noted.

Sleep Education said genetics may play a role in whether or not a person becomes a sleepwalker. "Your chance of having it can double or almost triple if one of both parents had sleepwalking episodes as a child or adult."

Ad failed to load

While it can be scary for both the sleepwalker and their loved ones, WebMD noted that it's usually not a serious disorder, and can usually be treated with lifestyle changes — like actually sleeping more. So if you're guilty of sleep deprivation, make a commitment to yourself to get some more sleep, for real.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale