The main causes and treatment of sleepwalking
All of us at least once heard about the lunatics. But few know that sleepwalking is a disease, and quite serious and sometimes dangerous. And what are the causes of this disease, and how to get rid of it?
What it is?
Sleepwalking (often called somnambulism) is a condition in which a person in a dream speaks, walks or performs some rash actions.
At the same time, the feelings of a lunatic persist: his eyes are open, he sees everything, hears and feels. But since the brain, in fact, does not fully work, all actions are unconscious. But why is this happening? In general, a person, plunging into a state of sleep, is in several of its phases.
After falling asleep, the phase of superficial sleep begins. There are no dreams at this stage, but muscle activity persists. A person can make movements, roll over, change a pose and so on. Then comes the phase of deep sleep. There are also phases of slow and fast sleep.
In the first case, the whole body is completely relaxed.In fast sleep, the sleeper sees dreams, his eyeballs move quickly, as if he is watching some dynamic events. Scientists have found that attacks of sleepwalking usually fall in the phase of deep slow sleep.
If everyone else at this stage, the whole body is completely relaxed, and the brain is almost off, then the lunatics continue to work some parts of the brain, and muscle activity remains.
It is known that about 3-6% of the population suffers with sleepwalking.
Most often this condition is diagnosed in children 6-10 years old, and the first minor manifestations can occur already in 3-4 years. In most cases, seizures go to 14-16 years, but some manifestations are observed in adulthood.
What are the causes of sleepwalking in children and adults? It is believed that this disease is hereditary and in most cases is transmitted from generation to generation. But even if there is a predisposition, manifestations can be completely absent, since a definite push is needed.
We list the main factors whose influence may trigger the development of sleepwalking:
- Stresses, experiences.Often, manifestations occur after some disturbing events.
- Drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
- Head injuries of varying severity. Even concussion can lead to undesirable consequences.
- Extreme fatigue, fatigue.
- Violation of wakefulness and sleep. So, if a person does not regularly get enough sleep, the work of his brain can be disrupted, which will provoke an attack of sleepwalking.
- Some congenital pathologies of the brain structure.
- Acute infections affecting the tissue or lining of the brain.
- Helminthic invasions (toxic substances secreted by worms can get into the brain with blood).
- Some somatic or chronic diseases, such as epilepsy.
- Neurosis, depression.
- Acceptance of some medications.
Let's list the manifestations of sleepwalking:
- Talk in a dream. Often a person utters unintelligible phrases and words that may seem nonsense. But if you ask a lunatic about something, he may well keep up the conversation.
- Sleeping in an unusual position, for example, sitting or even standing, leaning against a support.
- Sleep with open eyes. But at the same time the look is unfocused and distant.The sleeper seems to be looking through objects.
- Moves in a dream. It all depends on the degree of the disease. So, with a sleepy lunatic form, the sleeper may just sit up in bed, then lie down again. In severe somnambulism, a person can get up, walk around a room or apartment, take some objects and even leave the room. There are cases when lunatics dressed, took the keys to the car, started it and went somewhere. And this is extremely dangerous, because the feeling of fear in this state is dulled, and the sleeper simply does not know what he is doing.
- Externally, a person may be completely unlike a sleeper. Some lunatics perform familiar actions, so it may seem that the sleeper just woke up and decided, for example, to drink or eat. But in some cases, actions can be regarded as inadequate and even crazy.
- It is noteworthy that in the morning after waking up, a lunatic will remember absolutely nothing at all about his nightly adventures, he will think that he slept sweetly in his bed all night.
The duration of the attack can be different. Some sleepwalkers "walk in a dream" not for long and only have time to get out of bed or just sit in it, after which they fall asleep.But others can "wander" for several hours.
Attack of sleepwalking: what can and cannot be done?
What to do if you were close to a lunatic during an attack? First of all, ensure its safety. Close the front door, remove all cutting, piercing and other potentially dangerous items. You can go to the sleeper, gently turn to him by name, take him by the hand and take him to bed, and then lay him down and calm him down. As a rule, most lunatics dutifully fall asleep.
What not to do? Do not try to wake the sleepwalker, especially sharply or roughly. He is in a phase of deep sleep, and a sharp awakening can greatly scare him. So no sharp action, shouting or trying to push the sleeper!
How to cure sleepwalking? There is no specific treatment, it is necessary to eliminate the main cause of this condition. To get started is to contact a neurologist and talk about the night "adventures." The doctor will ask about when the attacks started, what preceded their beginning, how the lunatic behaves.
It will require the help of a loved one, because only he can describe the behavior of the sleeper during the attack.A specialist may prescribe some diagnostic procedures, such as brain Doppler imaging or magnetic resonance imaging. If any serious violation or disease is detected, treatment should be started immediately.
How to get rid of somnambulism symptoms and negate the manifestations of this disease? Some measures will help to significantly improve the condition. Some tips:
- It is extremely important to comply with sleep and wakefulness. It is necessary to give enough time to sleep (an adult needs at least 8-9 hours a day, a child is about 12), and also try to sleep and wake up at one time.
- Do not overdo it. If you feel very tired, take a break.
- Try to avoid stress.
- In some cases, you may need to take sedatives.
- Can be prescribed and sleeping pills.
- Before going to bed, ventilate the room and block the windows with thick curtains.
- Do not drink toning drinks at night (strong tea, coffee).
- Do not eat before bedtime. You can drink a glass of milk, yogurt or kefir.
- You need to sleep in silence.
- You can try before bed to listen to pleasant relaxing music.The child should sing a lullaby or tell a fairy tale.
- At bedtime, the bladder should be emptied. Drink at night a lot of fluid should not be.
- Will help to relax the massage.
- You can take a bath before going to bed.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed to a minimum, but rather give it up completely.
- It is worth paying attention to aromatherapy. Thus, the essential oils of neroli, patchouli, bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, jasmine, marjoram, lemon balm have a soothing effect. But you should consult with your doctor in advance.
- Try to come up with some kind of relaxing and sleep-setting ritual. So, you can walk, then drink a glass of kefir, then view your favorite photos, and then go to bed.
And remember that sleepwalking is not a sentence or a stigma. This state can and should be fought. And the above tips will help you deal with this problem.
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