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Understanding Sleepwalking Disorder - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Understanding Sleepwalking Disorder – CBT Kenya

Imagine waking up somewhere other than where you fell asleep and not remembering how you got there. That’s what may happen to people who sleepwalk. Sleepwalking is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while still mostly asleep. It is more common in children than adults and is more likely to occur if a person has a family history of the condition.

Additional activities may also be performed during a sleepwalking episode. For example, some people who sleepwalk may go to the kitchen and eat or unlock a door and walk outside. Although uncommon, there have been incidences of sleepwalkers getting in their car and driving without waking up. People who sleepwalk often remain in a deep state of sleep throughout their episode. Although it varies, sleepwalkers may not remember their sleepwalking episodes.

Causes Of Sleepwalking

  • If either or both of a child’s parents have been sleepwalkers as adults or children, the child’s chances of inheriting the tendency are double or even triple. Carrying even one copy of the defective DNA is thought to be enough to cause sleepwalking.
  • If your child isn’t getting enough sleep for their age, it could lead to sleepwalking. Sleep deprivation can also be a trigger for sleepwalking among adults. Fortunately, it’s also a problem that’s easier to fix than other causes of sleepwalking.
  • Some incidents of sleepwalking happen, whether with children or adults, when the person has gone to bed on a full bladder. It could even result in urinating in wrong places, say a closet.
  • Childhood we’d think is a carefree interlude but anxiety and stress over school and peer relationships can affect children. So can trouble at home, say, frequent fights and discord between parents. Sleepwalking, say experts, can be triggered when a child is under pressure.
  • For people who are prone to sleepwalking, other triggers can include travel and sleeping away from one’s familiar environment. A sudden unexpected sound or touch, or light in the sleeping area can also have the same effect

How to treat sleepwalking

  • If children do not outgrow sleepwalking by their teen years or they are at risk of injury during episodes, it’s best to talk to your child’s doctor. Although medication is not usually recommended for children who sleepwalk, improved sleep habits or scheduled awakenings may be options.
  • Treatment for adults who sleepwalk may also not be needed. But if sleepwalking is leading to unusual or negative behavior during sleep, such as leaving the house or driving, treatment be advised. Medication is sometimes used to decrease episodes of sleepwalking. For instance, antidepressants or medication to treat anxiety may be prescribed for sleepwalking that’s a problem.
  • People who sleepwalk can also take certain measures to improve their sleep quality and prevent sleep deprivation. For example, doing relaxation exercises before bed to reduce stress and limiting alcohol may minimize sleepwalking episodes.
  • One important factor is to make sure the environment is safe for sleepwalkers, so they don’t injure themselves during a sleepwalking incident. For instance, minimize the risk of tripping and falling by moving obstacles and clutter.


Sleepwalking may not always be preventable. But people are more likely to sleepwalk if they are overly tired. Sleepwalking may decrease if you get enough rest. Developing good habits can improve the quality of your sleep. For example, limit naps to 30 minutes, get enough sunlight during the day and avoid stimulants, such as caffeine several hours before bed. If possible, try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day to get into a natural sleep rhythm.

Take away

If sleepwalking continues from childhood into adulthood or begins at this later phase in life, it may be appropriate to seek professional help since adults are at greater risk of injuring themselves.

CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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