In ancient times, people thought that the moon had an impact on the mental state of some individuals. It was believed that under her influence, people suffering from mental disorders got up and walked in a dream. Today it is known that the Moon is unable to have such an impact. However, many are still interested in the question of why people moop at night.
Prevalence and types of illness
Today, experts are carefully studying the causes and characteristics of this phenomenon. This violation is called “somnambulism”. In colloquial speech, it is called sleepwalking. Indeed, in the Middle Ages it was believed that such patients are subject to the influence of a night star and evil forces. They were often accused of witchcraft. Fortunately, the times of ignorance are past. And to the question of why people moolate at night, scientists are already able to give concrete answers.
Somnambulism is a common disorder. It occurs in two percent of the inhabitants of the earth. Most of the persons suffering from this disorder are individuals of youthful and young age. Some patients who had symptoms of illness, “outgrown” sleepwalking by 15-19 years.
Many believe that with somnambulism a person rises from bed and walks. But it's not always the case. There are two types of disorders:
- Easy flow. Attacks are observed two or three times a month. The patient does not get out of bed and does not perform complex actions. With this type of disorder, a person talks while sleeping, grit his teeth, sits down, picks up or moves objects on a bedside table in front of the bed.
- Heavy degree. This form is characterized by the fact that the patient walks and performs complex actions: doing housework, eating, walking along the street, getting into the car, going to work or visiting.
Any manifestations of the disorder cause shock in loved ones who are close to the patient. Why do people moan at night and talk? How to help a patient suffering from somnambulism? These questions interest many.
Causes of disorder in minors
It is known that sleepwalking is most common in children and adolescents. He is more susceptible to male individuals.
Pathology is associated with insufficient maturity of the central nervous system in children and adolescents. Increased mental and emotional stress, active activities (watching TV, computer games) in the evening - all this leads to the fact that the nervous system can not calm down even in the process of sleep.
Often somnambulism is combined with involuntary release of urine, tic, neurosis. In addition, one of the answers to the question of why people sleep at night is the presence of hereditary predisposition. If the disorder was observed in relatives, then there is the likelihood of its development in the child.
Somnambulism often occurs in children and adolescents during a migraine attack, during the period of diseases that are accompanied by fever. Another possible cause of illness is epilepsy.
Factors contributing to the development of pathology in adults
Adult individuals rarely suffer from this disorder. As a rule, it has a secondary character. Why do people sleep at night and talk in their sleep? The causes of the development of the disorder in adults may be:
- chronic lack of sleep
- psychological stress,
- brain neoplasms
- dementia in old age
- Parkinson's disease,
- mechanical brain damage,
- severe arrhythmia,
- respiratory impairment during sleep,
- pathology of brain vessels,
- period of gestation and critical days,
- asthma attacks during sleep,
- decrease in glucose concentration in diabetes,
- eating a lot of food at night
- unbalanced diet
- reception of alcohol-containing products, narcotic substances, medicines.
Signs of disorder
Usually patients suffering from somnambulism rise out of bed, walk, talk, perform various actions. At first glance it seems that these people are in a state of wakefulness. However, if you carefully observe them, you can notice the characteristic features. Movement of the patient is slow. The eyes are open, but the person does not perceive what is happening, does not see or hear anything around. You can not wake him up. There are cases when people during the attack opened the front door lock, started the car.
But not all persons with somnambulism are so active. There are patients who are standing or sitting in bed.
As a rule, episodes of sleepwalking are short-lived. They stop on their own in about half an hour. The man returns to bed and falls asleep. Upon waking, he does not remember the night attack.
Many are interested not only in the question of why people moop at night, but also how much this state threatens the patient or others. Somnambulism is not a fatal disease. However, during night walks, the patient presents a potential danger to himself and others. He could get injured, jump out of the window, fall from the roof, get into a car accident. There are cases when such patients committed criminal acts. Relatives of individuals suffering from this disorder should not abruptly wake them up. Such an impact can trigger stress.
How to get rid of somnambulism?
One of the answers to the question of why people moan at night, talk and walk, is the presence of overload and emotional stress. This is especially true of children and adolescents. First of all, to get rid of the symptoms of somnambulism, it is necessary to stabilize sleep and rest.
It is also necessary to consult a doctor in order to undergo an examination, which must necessarily include an encephalogram. Finding out why a person moons at night in a dream, a specialist selects a method of therapy. In the absence of serious ailments, the doctor will recommend a remedy with a sedative effect. If pathologies are found, treatment of the underlying disease will be necessary.
The main questions that bother the relatives of the patient are: why do people moan at night and how to prevent possible damage. To avoid injury, you must remember these rules:
- You need to put the bars on the windows of the room in which the patient is sleeping.
- Do not place wires on the floor, objects made of glass.
- A wet cloth should be placed beside the bed so that the patient, rising from the bed, steps on it and awakens under the influence of cold.
Description and mechanism of development of sleepwalking
Everyone has heard chilling stories about lunatics. Allegedly, on bright moonlit nights, they walk over rooftops without falling, but if they scream loudly, they will certainly wake up, fall and break. Some may even drive a car and do not have an accident.
Known and quite naughty stories. For example, that after a party a sleepy man raped a sleeping girl. A lunatic woman went out of the house and had sexual intercourse with unfamiliar men. Such people do not remember their actions, their disease is considered a kind of sleepwalking and is called sexomnia - sex in a dream. In Western countries, they are exempted from criminal liability.
A lot of myths about dreaming. In the old days, it was believed that witches were dancing around the full moon. And then suddenly a creature with wide-open eyes appears on the street and is moving away somewhere. Such people were considered crazy and burned, poor creatures, at the stake.
Currently, medicine denies the relationship between the moon and walking in a dream. Although there is a definite connection. The night luminary can be an irritant - a “trigger”, which triggers the mechanism of midnight walks.
Lunaticism or somnambulism, sometimes used the term "selenism" (from ancient Greek "selenium" - "moon"), the phenomenon is not so rare, although not considered a serious mental disorder. In a dream, up to 10% of adults walk: both men and women. This is due to the hysterical type of character, nervous diseases, for example, stress, or chronic mental anguish, such as epilepsy.
Children suffer from sleepwalking more often, because their nervous system is still weak. The child is mentally healthy, but he is very worried, for example, when taking exams at school. Sleep becomes weak and disturbing. He may suddenly rise and, for example, go to the kitchen to get drunk water. And in the morning he himself will not remember. For many children, this condition goes away with age. If it remains, there is already need to talk about the pathological manifestations of mental development.
Depends on the work of a special area of the brain, responsible for the transition from fast to deep sleep. During the fast phase, the necessary information is put in order and memorized. In the slow - the body is restored and grows. If a malfunction of this organ occurs, deep sleep is disturbed. This can manifest itself in such a factor as sleepwalking. Speech at a lunatic is inhibited, he is not aware of fear and can do what he will never do in the normal state. For example, walk along the edge of the roof and not fall.
However, most recently, American scientists said that "walking under the moon" is genetically predetermined. This is due to changes occurring in some genes. It is their “wrong” work that causes the state when there is no possibility to completely “move away” from sleep. This is the essence of sleepwalking. But what specific genes are responsible for sleepwalking is unclear.
Causes of sleep in children and adults
Doctors cannot precisely determine the causes of sleepwalking. There are a number of assumptions about why people behave inadequately in a dream. Perhaps this is due to a disorder of the nervous system. Suppose a person has “restless legs syndrome”: when falling asleep, there are unpleasant sensations in the lower extremities and I want to constantly move, stand and walk. If the nerves are at the limit, fatigue and a stressful situation can affect.
Sleep disorder - deprivation, when a person is not awake or awake, and the reaction to external stimuli is weakened, is also the cause of sleep. Serious mental illness, such as Parkinson's disease, can provoke such a condition. Recently, a version has been put forward that sleepwalking is a hereditary disease, its roots should be sought in genes.
As a result of the research, a number of regularities were found. First of all, they relate to the age of people suffering from walking in their sleep. More common is sleepwalking in children aged 4 to 10 years. This is due to the still immature nervous system and large loads. Boys are more mobile than girls, because there are more lunatics among them.
Adolescents in puberty - puberty, which begins 10 or more years later, experience a real “emotional storm”. This often provokes sleepwalking. However, by the age of 20, the reproductive system has already been formed, the “storm” subsides. The vast majority of young people forget about their "night adventures."
Consider the causes of sleep in children and adolescents in more detail:
- Impressionability. If the child is very emotional, the information received during the day does not allow to fall asleep. The work of the brain continues. This can lead to sleepwalking.
Bad breathing during sleep. It may be associated with a respiratory disease or a shallow nervous sleep.
Poor family environment. Parents quarrel among themselves or scold the child. His nervous system is upset, enuresis may begin, sleep is disturbed. It provokes sleepwalking.
Bedtime games. The child runs, plays in the yard until dark. Came home excited and immediately to sleep. The nervous system did not have time to calm down, legs in a dream “they themselves are asking to dance”, and the child rises from the bed. Computer games until late hours, watching TV programs are also sleepwalking factors.
Hereditary predisposition. If one of the parents went or walks in a dream, there is a high probability that the child will also be a lunatic.
High fever disease. This condition provokes restless sleep and sleepwalking.
If the child suddenly got up and went sleepy, you can not scream loudly. This will scare him, he can make a careless movement and injure himself.
Sleepwalking in adults is much less common than in children. It manifests itself in both men and women. There is no big difference. Causes of male and female dissonance are associated with severe nervous or mental disorder, often chronic.
Consider the main factors affecting the appearance of sleepwalking in adults. These may be:
- Chronic lack of sleep. A person works hard, gets tired, sleeps little and does not sleep well. The nervous system is continuously in tension.
Stress. May be due to various reasons. For example, the constant turmoil at work or at home. Sleep is bad and disturbing. Different galima is dreaming, a sleepy person suddenly rises and starts walking silently, putting terror on everyone who sees him.
Brain diseases. Suppose a tumor is formed, it crushes, interferes with the normal activity of all brain regions. Insomnia sets in, her attacks alternate with memory lapses. A person gets up at night and starts walking around the room or even goes outside.
Neurological disorders. There are diverse, and all may be related to somnambulism. If an obsessive state, when the same thought turns in my head for days, it can lead to psychosis and poor sleep. As a result, selenism.
Severe anxiety. Confusion is accompanied by bouts of unexplained fear that causes autonomic dysfunction — a disruption in the normal activity of the body’s vessels, which makes the general condition worse.
Chronic mental illness. This may be Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, senile dementia.
Diseases of the internal organs and blood vessels. Suppose an aneurysm is a protrusion or thinning of the artery wall due to stretching, or interruptions in the work of the heart. Diabetes and asthma can also cause night walking.
Severe injuries. It can be cranial, when normal sleep is disturbed.
Hard pregnancy. It can be a factor leading to sleepwalking. Sometimes this condition develops in women during menstruation.
Malnutrition. Food unbalanced in the composition of microelements, when the body is chronically deficient in magnesium, leads to poor sleep. A hard dinner “for a dream to come” also negatively affects the night rest. Anxiety and anxiety from heavy dreams can lead to sleepwalking.
Increased emotionality. The unstable psyche is characterized by strong emotional outbursts: joyful or negative experiences. Anxious and impressionable personalities also fall into the category of "lunar rovers".
Conversation in a dream. Often people talk in a sleepy state. This can make you get out of bed and go "about their business."
The main symptoms of sleepwalking
The main symptom of sleepwalking in all age categories is walking in a sleepy state. A man in the middle of the night suddenly rises with a detached gaze, his eyes are wide, his eyes are “glassy”. Slow movements.
A lunatic can sit on a bed motionless, then turn on the light and go, for example, to the kitchen. And there will open the tap, get drunk and go back to sleep again. If you tell him about it in the morning, he will be surprised, because he does not remember anything. The duration of such night "voyages" - from a few seconds to one hour, maybe 2-3 times a week or even a year.
The first symptoms of sleepwalking manifest themselves, as a rule, at an early age and become more frequent as the child matures. The highest frequency is reached in adolescents, then in the majority after puberty is terminated. According to statistics, only just 1% of young lunatics “roll over” with their illness into adulthood. This is quite a bit, but it speaks of chronic diseases, which in most cases were inherited and caused “walking under the moon”.
In children and adolescents, sleep attacks occur more frequently in the first half of the night. Often the child just sits on the bed, if there is a toy next to him, he plays with it, then he goes to bed himself. If it does not fit for a long time, you need to take the hand in silence and put to bed. Without scream and noise. Often they obey without question, and in the morning they will not remember anything. И не стоит напоминать им об этом.
Лунатизм в детском и подростковом возрасте в подавляющем большинстве случаев не является болезнью. Это проявление «усталости» детского организма от чрезмерных физических и психических нагрузок. Их следует ограничить.
Sleepheading in adults is sometimes noisy. The lunatic can walk and swing his arms, even shout something, go out of the apartment to the street. If you ask him about something, the reaction will be inadequate. He mumbles something, looks wide-eyed past, as if there is an empty space in front of him. Such people have always inspired fear. In the Middle Ages, they were considered evil forces, stoned and burned at the stake.
To people who have seen a somnambulist, it seems that they make senseless movements. However, this does not prevent them from manifesting the “miracles” of the balancing act. Suppose you walk along the edge of a roof or a sheer wall and do not fall. But such cases are very rare, many of them are described in detail. Such a “gymnastics” is connected with the fact that in a half-asleep state the reflexes are all inhibited, there are no emotions - a feeling of fear that can make you take the wrong step. But unconsciously, all movements are controlled, the instinct of self-preservation works. If you shout loudly, the lunatic will startle and stumble in surprise, fall from a height and break.
Nowadays, suffering from sleepwalking, no one is afraid, they are considered sick and trying to help them. If you just happened to meet with a somnambulist, you should not shout sharply so as not to cause an unexpected injury or cause aggression of a suddenly awakened person.
In the morning the sleepwalkers remember nothing. They are drowsy, inattentive and absent-minded, they have no “appetite” for work. So affect the general condition of patients with sleepwalking "night walks".
Ways to combat sleepwalking
How to get rid of sleepwalking, doctors still do not really know, because the reasons for walking in a dream are largely unclear. Various psychotherapeutic methods and various medical devices were used: sedatives, antidepressants, tranquilizers, but all of them were not effective enough. Although certain developments are still there. Studies have found that stress is often the cause of sleepwalking, when sleep is disturbed, sleepy, and often awaken in the middle of the night. If all these signs are present, it is necessary to contact a neurologist, he will conduct a comprehensive examination and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
How to get rid of sleepwalking in children and adolescents
Treatment of sleepwalking in children and adolescents, as a rule, is not medication. With the exception of pathology, which can be hereditary and manifest, for example, as epileptic seizures. In this case, you need to undergo a special course of treatment in a psycho-neurological hospital, where sedatives (sedatives) will be prescribed in accordance with age. In most cases, sleepwalking in children is not a pathology.
To prevent a child or teenager from hurting himself during night walking, you just need to adhere to the following rules:
- If children walk in their sleep, do not shout at them. We need to try to calm them down to bed.
It is recommended to check the child’s sleep more often to make sure that everything is in order.
To the room where the child sleeps, it is necessary to remove all sharp objects with which the child may accidentally inflict a wound during the descent.
The light switch must be safe.
How to treat sleepwalking in adults
Treatment of sleepwalking in adults is often to eliminate the causes of a stressful situation. Here the help of the psychiatrist is necessary. He will prescribe medication, consisting in the appointment of antidepressants, sedatives and tranquilizers.
After the course of treatment, the psychologist at psychotherapeutic sessions will try to develop a psychological setting in the patient, which will help to remove the causes of stress and restore healthy sleep.
There is no effective treatment for sleepwalking, but the fight against sleepwalking in adults does bring the desired result.
How to get rid of sleepwalking - see the video:
Description of the disease, causes and symptoms
The patient in the period of the first third of sleep gets up, sits down, starts walking, talking, etc.
He may strive to go somewhere, go out the open window instead of the door.
A person suffering from somnambulism has no facial expression. His eyes are open, his eyes are aloof.
Often the disorder occurs during a period of slow sleep, all sensory systems are in working condition, which allows the patient to bypass the existing obstacles.
It is very difficult to wake him up at this time, after finishing the attack he goes to bed, falls asleep, and when he wakes up, he does not remember anything.
Causes of walking in a dream can be:
- Great stress.
- Increased anxiety, suspiciousness, impressionability of the patient.
- Sleep disturbance, frequent waking.
- Watching TV programs that cause hard feelings before bedtime.
- Bright light of the lamp or the moon falling on the person sleeping.
- Strong mental, physical fatigue.
- Restless legs syndrome.
If signs of sleepwalking occur, a neuropathologist, psychiatrist, or neuropsychiatrist must be visited.
These specialists will be able to determine the cause of the development of the disease and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
To help the doctor make a diagnosis, you need:
- ask relatives to record the time when the patient falls asleep, when he begins sleeping, how he behaves during this period, how much he wakes up in the morning,
- highlight the possible causes that can provoke an attack,
- make a list of products that are constantly included in the diet, medications taken regularly.
The doctor, after speaking with the patient, will prescribe the following research methods that will confirm or deny the diagnosis:
- electroencephalography - makes it possible to determine the electrical activity of the brain and detect epileptic foci in this organ,
- polysomnography - the patient spends the night in the sleep laboratory; sensors are pre-connected to him, with the help of which, after he falls asleep, he can monitor changes in the nervous system,
- Ultrasound brain vessels to determine the nature of blood flow,
- computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to detect or eliminate the presence of tumors or any other pathological changes,
- consultations of other specialists: cardiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist to identify somatic diseases that can provoke sleepwalking.
Treatment with pills
How to get rid of sleepwalking?
If necessary, doctors prescribe medication.
Patients help the following drugs:
The specialist writes a prescription for medication and independently selects the appropriate dosage.
Preparations are taken immediately before bedtime. As a rule, people who have found sleepwalking require a small dose.
The course of therapy is repeated several weeks later, even if there were no more attacks.
Sometimes in patients who have ceased to take medication, the number of episodes of slumbering increases briefly.
How to treat sleepwalking in adults with folk methods? Traditional medicine offers different ways to combat sleepwalking:
- Herbal baths have a good effect.. A bath with a St. John's wort is taken 1 time in 7 days, on the remaining days there is enough foot bath. This plant calms the nervous system. Hypericum is even included in some antidepressants. To make a bath, you need to soak 100 g of dried herb St. John's wort in 1 l of pure cold water. Before the procedure, the mixture should be boiled and added to the filled bath. The patient must dive to the level of the kidneys. While taking foot baths, it should cover the lower limbs to the middle of the lower leg. The procedure lasts no more than 20 minutes.
- For the preparation of salt bath 300 g of fine sea salt, 3 drops of pine oil and 5 drops of patchouli oil are required. All this is added to the filled hot bath and take it at bedtime for 10-15 minutes.
It is necessary to go to bed at 10 pm and wake up around 6 am During this period, the most effective recovery of the nervous system occurs.
The prognosis for somnambulism depends on what caused the appearance of the disease.
If it is caused by a brain tumor, epilepsy, mental illness, the severity of the underlying pathology plays a big role.
In old age, sleepwalking often accompanied by dementia, in which case the prognosis is poor.
If the attacks are associated with overwork, overexcitement of the nervous system, it is quite possible to get rid of them by adjusting the mode of the day, fully relaxing, following all the recommendations of the doctor.
Sleeping is a fairly common disorder, it does not always require the intervention of specialists. In the absence of various aggravating factors do not worry.
It is quite possible to get rid of the attacks, especially since now doctors suggest using effective drugs.
Recipes of traditional medicine, as a rule, also have a pronounced effect.
Sleepwalking - Symptoms and Treatment:
Treatment of sleepwalking with the latest methods
Treatment of sleepwalking is a process aimed at eliminating the complex unconscious motor actions of a person in a dream. The main causes of sleepwalking, whose treatment begins with a diagnosis, include the immaturity of the nervous system. Most often, boys aged 4-16 years suffer from sleepwalking. After the daily load the brain continues to be active during sleep, this is the main cause of sleep. Also among the causes of the symptoms of sleepwalking, the treatment of which should be carried out in a specialized clinic, it is worth highlighting the genetic factor, epilepsy, neurosis, tics, enuresis. The main signs of sleepwalking:
- during sleep a person walks,
- inhibited movements
- blurred gaze
- constricted pupils,
- missing orientation
- while sleeping the patient is talking
- does not perceive his surrounding reality,
- a man sits on a bed without realizing it.
If a person has at least one of the above symptoms, then it is necessary to undergo a course of treatment for sleepwalking.
Causes, symptoms and treatment of sleepwalking in children
In this disease, the patient's eyes are open during sleep, but the look is completely absent, i.e. a person in this state has no emotions. During an attack, a person does not speak, does not answer questions, simply does not perceive what is happening around. Very rarely, but still some senseless sentences can be heard from the patient. It is necessary to seek help from specialists who, after examination, prescribe a course of treatment. If the need for treatment of somnambulism in children is caused by the immaturity of the nervous system, then the need for treatment of somnambulism in adults occurs much less frequently. This disorder is secondary in an adult, and the root cause may be chronic stress, an acute lack of sleep, panic attacks, diabetes, or even a full supper before going to bed. In some cases, sleepwalking goes away by itself as the child gets older. However, more often than not, a treatment of somnambulism is required, which implies an orderly mode, refusal from watching television before going to bed, avoiding stressful situations. If you accurately identify the main causes, the treatment of sleepwalking in children gives a quick positive result. It is very important to contact the experts in a timely manner.
Causes and treatment of sleepwalking in adults
Treatment of sleepwalking begins with the diagnosis of the disease and establishing the causes of its occurrence, among which it is worth highlighting alcohol abuse, constant stress, the presence of mental disorders, epileptic seizures, and neuroses. Often, people suffering from sleepwalking, can involuntarily sit on the bed during sleep, and after a while go to bed again. This behavior is possible at the initial stage of the disease. If a person rises and walks during sleep, this indicates that the disease is progressing. The patient may return to his bed, or he may fall asleep at the place where the attack retreated. Treatment of sleepwalking in adults causes some difficulties. Here, amnesia joins walking during sleep. A person is not aware of all the dangers of such a state and may unknowingly cause harm to himself or others. In those cases when sleepwalking is a consequence of another disease, the treatment of sleepwalking depends on the success of therapy in relation to the underlying disease. The same rule applies to the treatment of sleepwalking in adolescents. In this case, sleepwalking is caused by hormonal changes in the body of a teenager.
Drug treatment of sleepwalking
With regard to the treatment of sleepwalking with drugs, then this requires the presence of some indicators:
- there is a high probability that during walking in a dream he may cause severe injuries to himself or others,
- during the daytime drowsiness is observed, habitual daily activity is disturbed.
Treatment of sleepwalking, the causes of which are rooted in the presence of mental disorders, occurs with the help of various medications, which include: benzodeazipins and triceclic anidepressants, Clonazepam. These drugs are taken at bedtime. The attending physician prescribes the drug in a specific dosage, which can not be broken under any pretext. For each patient, the dose of the drug is selected individually. As a rule, the course of treatment is from 3 to 6 weeks. If during this time there are no attacks of the patient, then the treatment is stopped.
The basic concept of sleepwalking
Somnambulism is the modern name for sleepwalking; a somnambulist is a person suffering from this disease. Sleepwalking occurs when the central nervous system during sleep does not control all parts of the brain responsible for movement. All of the well-known academician I. P. Pavlov argued that during sleep, nervous inhibition extends both to the cortex and the subcortex. with sleepwalking, the latter is not distributed at all. The somnambulist brain is in partial activity, it can move in space, perform various actions, sometimes even lead a simple discussion. Most often, after such unconscious "walks", a person does not remember anything and comes to an extraordinary surprise when they tell him about what happened. Accidents are not uncommon during such somnambulistic activity, so in a dream, people confused windows with doors, drove cars, manipulated unsafe objects, and even resorted to violence. There is a case that occurred in the late 80s of the last century in the United States, when a lunatic man got into his car, having traveled several dozen kilometers, came to the house of his wife's parents and killed them. After that, he was found innocent, as he was in a state of somnambulism and did not give an account of his actions.
Causes of sleepwalking
Causes of sleepwalking manifest themselves in:
- a messy dream
- stressful situations
- strong experiences
- increased emotional personality,
Recent scientific studies have reported that somnambulism can be caused by heredity, and if both parents are somnambulists, then the probability that a child is born with the same ailment is 60%. Sometimes this abnormal night activity is caused by epilepsy and is repeated systematically. Such attacks are manifested mainly in the morning, of the same type in nature and require special treatment.
In most cases, sleepwalking occurs in children because of the immaturity of the psyche and goes away with age. In adults, sleepwalking is much less common and can cause neuroses. The causes of sleepwalking can be:
- strong emotional outburst
- children's fears and phobias, while children are mentally healthy.
- constant stress
- chronic fatigue can trigger this ailment in the adult population.
Approximately 15% of children aged 3-4 years, from 8-12 years walk in a dream and only 1% of them remain lunatics in the future. Встречается также подростковый лунатизм, причиной которого является этот сенситивный возрастной период. Дети этого возраста переживают эмоциональную бурю и очень чувствительны ко всему, поэтому, иногда, казалось бы, уже закончившиеся снохождения возобновляются к 12-14 годам.
Специфика лечения лунатизма
Treatment of sleepwalking is primarily to eliminate the root causes of stress. If the seizures recur, it is systematically necessary to consult a doctor who will prescribe the necessary treatment (antidepressants, sedatives and sedatives, tranquilizers). If sleepwalkings are repeated only after stress or emotional experiences, it makes sense to contact a psychologist who will advise you to undergo effective psychotherapy.
Treatment of sleepwalking in children is usually absent, if it is not permanent and is not a symptom serious diseases. If episodes of walking in a dream often recur, you need to consult a neuropathologist who will send you an electroencephalogram (EEG) and other necessary studies for early diagnosis of epilepsy, prescribe sedatives for sound sleep.
How to treat childhood sleepwalking at home without the help of experts? First of all, it is to protect the child from any stressful factors, to adjust the mode of the day, to walk more in the fresh air, not to overly burden intellectual work, to exclude watching TV and computer games. At night, the child can be fed with a rather soothing herbal tea (chamomile, mint, St. John's wort), listen to slow classical music, make a relaxing massage, take a bath with aromatic oils (lavender oil, rose, mint).
To cure sleepwalking is real, it should be remembered that it is mainly due to psychological factors, so you need to create a favorable emotional environment for a speedy recovery. Somnambulism in epilepsy requires special treatment, requiring treatment of the underlying disease.
When sleepwalking occurs
As you know, sleep includes 2 phases: slow and fast. The phase of slow sleep consists of 4 stages - from falling asleep to deep sleep. The REM sleep phase is accompanied by active movements of the eyeballs, it is in this phase that a person sees dreams. The sleep cycle, which includes 2 large phases, lasts an average of 90-100 minutes and repeats overnight up to 10 times. Sleepiness occurs, as a rule, during the phase of deep sleep (that is, at the end of the 1st phase) of the first or second cycles. During the day, somnambulism occurs extremely rarely, since the duration of daytime sleep is insufficient.
In young children, the phase of slow sleep is more prolonged, and sleep in this phase is deeper than in adults: these features also increase the likelihood of developing sleepiness in them.
As for physiology, sleepwalking occurs when, during sleep, inhibition of the central nervous system functions does not extend to the areas of the brain responsible for motor functions. That is, the overwhelming number of body functions is inhibited, but the movement function is not.
Symptoms of sleepwalking
The main and main symptom of somnambulism is walking in a dream. The person seems to be asleep, but suddenly he rises and goes somewhere or performs certain actions. The duration of a sleep attack may be from a few seconds to half an hour, in rare cases up to 50 minutes.
Some patients do not walk, but simply sit in a bed, sit for a few seconds or minutes, and go to bed again.
Most people suffering from sleepwalking get out of bed, then they can turn on the light, or they can walk around the room in the dark, perform some actions, and even go outside the house - in the porch, in the yard, they can get into the car and even start it. .
Some sources have information that, while in a dream, some “lunatics” can drive a car, but this is a myth: reflexes are dulled during sleep and a person cannot react adequately to events occurring around events, which means that even if he succeeds in starting the car then he will not go far: an accident will happen immediately.
In some cases, a person without even getting out of bed makes certain stereotypical movements (straightens his pajamas, rubs his eyes, and so on): this can also be a manifestation of sleepwalking.
During the descent of a person's eyes are wide open, but they are like glass - the gaze is directed towards emptiness, it is “absent”, the face does not express any emotions at all, the movements are slow and smooth. If at this moment I turn to a lunatic, he will not hear and will not answer questions, but he can say words and incoherent sentences by himself or just mumble something under his breath.
The episode of sleepwalking ends spontaneously: the patient returns to his bed or falls asleep elsewhere. In the morning he remembers absolutely nothing about his nightly adventures and, waking up not in his bed, he may be very surprised. If the phase of active sleepwalking was long, during the day a person feels weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, reduced working capacity.
Episodes of sleepwalking are rarely daily: as a rule, they occur with a frequency of several times a week to 1-2 times a month and less.
During the episode of somnambulism, all kinds of feelings are blunted, so the patient is not aware of the danger: he can calmly walk on the roof, use a knife or jump out of a window. A person can harm himself (a quarter of a somnambulist is injured during sleepwalking), and people around him, unwittingly, therefore, living under the same roof with a lunatic, you need to take a number of measures to avoid it. We will discuss what these events are below.
Principles of treatment of somnambulism
For most children, this violation goes away independently, as the child grows up.
If slumbering occurs infrequently and no pathological changes in the body have been identified, treatment consists of modifying the lifestyle, namely minimizing the impact of risk factors:
- regular, long (7-8 hours) night sleep,
- before bedtime - a relaxing ritual (for example, you can take a warm bath with relaxing oils, listen to soft music, have a soothing massage, drink mint tea, etc.),
- exclude watching TV and computer work no less than 2 hours before bedtime,
- eliminate the use of alcohol
- to avoid stress at work and in everyday life, and if they happen, try not to carry them into the house, but, so to speak, leave them behind the door,
- if a child suffers with sleepwalking, then they should ensure that they follow the daily regimen, ensure that he sleeps enough to sleep, restrict watching TV and playing at the computer, do not play active games before going to bed, but play calm games (for example, board games) , read a book or listen to pleasant music.
In the case when the cause of the drift is any medications taken by the patient, they should be canceled or at least reduced dosage.
If sleepwalking occurs on the background of epilepsy, the patient will be prescribed antiepileptic drugs, and when the neurosis becomes the cause, tranquilizers and anti-depressants will be prescribed.
When the non-neurological nature of the disease is treated, the disease that has become the cause (antiarrhythmics is prescribed for arrhythmias, adequate glucose-lowering therapy, and so on for diabetes mellitus).
If, even against the background of the treatment of background diseases, the sleep episodes do not stop, disrupting the patient's daily activity, and there is a risk of injury at this time, the patient may be prescribed medications that affect sleep phases. They are prescribed in low doses, the duration of treatment is from 3 to 6 weeks.
Waking up a somnambulist during the period of convergence should not be - it can scare him, triggering the development of other mental disorders. You should calmly take him by the arm or by the shoulders and, speaking in a low voice, take him into the room and put him to bed.
Sometimes psychiatrists and psychotherapists use hypnosis as a treatment for sleepwalking.
How to avoid injury
Above, we have already written that lunatics can cause harm to their health and the health of those around them while they are sleeping. To avoid this, follow the following measures:
- Do not leave the patient for the night alone in the room (if you are nearby, you will notice the beginning of the episode in time and put the patient in bed),
- remove bunk beds, arranging a sleeping place for the patient on the first floor,
- during sleep, remove all light sources (floor lamps, night lamps, close the curtains so that moonlight does not pass through the window),
- block the bedroom doors and windows before bedtime, and if this is not possible, install lattices on the windows (patients may confuse the window with the door and try to “get out” through it),
- possibly “smooth” the sharp corners of the furniture,
- before going to bed, to remove from under the feet objects that the patient may stumble over, sharp and fragile objects that he may be injured,
- turn off electrical appliances before bedtime, do not leave electrical wires under your feet,
- hide the keys to the front door and the car,
- in severe cases, you can even tie the patient to the bed, but sometimes the lunatics somehow untied themselves in a dream,
- You can also put a basin with cold water in front of the patient’s bed or lay a cloth dipped in cold water - when he gets up, the person will dip his legs into the water and wake up from it.
In conclusion, I would like to repeat that in the overwhelming majority of cases, sleepwalking is not dangerous and ends with recovery even without treatment, but sometimes it accompanies the course of quite serious diseases. Therefore, in order not to miss these most serious diseases and prevent human injury during sleep, you should not “wait for the weather at the sea” or treat a sleepwalk yourself: the right decision would be to seek help from a doctor.
Channel One, the program “Live Healthy” with Elena Malysheva on “Sleepwalking: Symptoms and Treatment”:
The transfer of "duty doctor" about sleepwalking:
The National Geografic TV Channel, the documentary "Sleepwalking. Myths and reality ":