Sleepwalking is not harmful in and of itself, but it can put people in potentially hazardous situations in which they are not aware and unable to recognize the dangers they are putting themselves in.
There is the potential for people to walk down the stairs or open the door to the balcony, both of which are exceedingly hazardous scenarios. In this article, you’ll find further information, as well as a description of the stage at which sleepwalking occurs.
What Stage Of Sleep Does Sleepwalking Occur?
Sleepwalking occurs during the stage of sleep known as slow-wave sleep. Sleep problems are frequently accompanied by strange activities when the patient is asleep.
As a result of the fact that these diseases straddle the line between sleep and awake, the behaviors manifest themselves during sporadic bouts of insomnia. It is possible to categorize sleeping problems according to whatever stage of the sleep cycle they manifest themselves.
Sleepwalking is a phenomenon that takes place during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, typically during stage III of the sleep cycle, which is also referred to as deep sleep.
Sleepwalking is categorized as a non-REM sleep arousal disorder, along with other sleep disorders such as sleep talking, arousal disorder, and sleep terrors.
Children frequently engage in the behavior known as sleepwalking. Children that suffer from sleepwalking are characterized by waking up and moving around while they are still asleep.
At this point in time, the child is unaware of the behaviors he is taking. Sleepwalking is another name for this peculiar phenomenon. Sleepwalking is a common condition that affects children who are either waking up from a deep sleep or shifting into a lighter stage of sleep.
While in a sleepwalking state, your child might not be able to respond to your queries, and when he comes to, he probably won’t remember having the condition at all. In some instances, youngsters are able to speak, but the sentences they use frequently do not make any sense.
The majority of people who sleepwalk are children, with the majority of cases occurring between the ages of 4 and 8 years. Adults, on the other hand, are not immune to the phenomenon of sleepwalking.
Most children begin to sleepwalk between 1 and 2 hours after falling asleep. Episodes of sleepwalking often last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes.
When a child is sleepwalking, it might be challenging to rouse them up. If the youngster is roused from sleep at this time, it is possible that they will feel sluggish and disoriented for many minutes.
This behavior is typically innocuous, and the vast majority of youngsters outgrow the problem as they get older. However, if the youngster is not safeguarded, it may pose a threat to their safety.
When a child sleepwalks, there is an increased risk of damage, and it is critical for parents to take precautions to shield their children from these dangers.
What Are Stages Of Sleep?
In 2007, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released an updated version of the classification system for sleep stages (AASM). (Source: Pubmed)
Prior to that, the vast majority of sleep specialists used the term “five sleep phases,” but in modern times, the definitions of the AASM’s four stages have become the accepted understanding of the sleep cycle.
There are four stages of sleep. The first four stages make up non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, while the fifth stage, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is when most dreaming occurs.
The initial stage, often known as the “dozing off” stage, typically only lasts between one and five minutes on average.
Although the body and brain processes begin to slow down during N1 sleep, the body has not yet reached a state of complete relaxation.
There are brief bouts of movement during this stage (twitches). During this stage, there are some subtle changes in the activity level of the brain linked with falling asleep.
It is not difficult to wake someone up while they are in this stage of sleep. Nevertheless, if they are not disturbed, they will pass on to the next stage of sleep quite fast.
An individual who sleeps without interruption throughout the night may not spend as much time in stage 1 as they did earlier in the night as they progress through subsequent sleep cycles.
During stage 2, the body enters a more subdued condition, which is characterized by a decline in temperature, relaxed muscles, and a gradual slowing of the pulse rate and breathing rate.
At the same time, there is a change in the pattern that the brain waves show, and the eye movement stops.
The overall level of brain activity decreases, but there are still brief periods of activity that are necessary for maintaining resistance to being awakened by stimuli from the outside world.
The time spent in Stage 2 sleep during the first sleep cycle can range anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes, and the length of time spent in each N2 stage can grow longer as the night progresses. The N2 stage of sleep accounts for almost half of an average person’s total time spent sleeping.
When a person is in Stage 3 sleep, also known as deep sleep, it is more difficult to awaken them. Stage 3 sleep is also known as slow-wave sleep. During N3 sleep, the body relaxes even deeper, resulting in a drop in muscle tone, pulse rate, and respiratory rate.
The activity of the brain during this time period can be characterized by a recognizable pattern of waves called delta waves. Because of this, stage 3 of sleep is sometimes referred to as delta sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS).
Stage 4 Or REM sleep
The levels of brain activity that are reached during REM sleep are quite close to those that are reached when a person is awake.
At the same moment, the body goes through atonia, which is a brief paralysis of the muscles, with two notable exceptions: the muscles that regulate breathing and the eyes.
During this period, the eyes and the muscles that control breathing remain fully functional. Even though the eyelids are closed, it is possible to observe that they are moving rapidly, which is where the name of this stage comes from.
When People Have Sleepwalking?
There are many different reasons why people may sleepwalk. It could be due to a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy. It could be caused by certain medications or medical conditions. Sometimes, sleepwalking is simply a genetic trait.
Most people who sleepwalk do not require treatment. However, if sleepwalking is caused by a sleep disorder or another medical condition, treatment may be necessary. If you are concerned about sleepwalking, talk to your doctor.
Great Home Remedies To Treat Sleepwalking
If you or someone you know is a sleepwalker, there are a few home remedies you can try to help. Here are 5 home remedies to treat sleepwalking:
1. Have Relaxing Bedtime Routine
This can include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calm music. All of these activities can help you relax and unwind after a long day.
2. Keep A Sleep Diary
Common triggers include sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, and certain medications. Once you identify a potential trigger, you can work on eliminating it from your life to help reduce the frequency of sleepwalking episodes.
3. Avoid Caffeine
Both of these substances can interfere with sleep and may trigger sleepwalking episodes. Sleep is important for our bodies to rest and rejuvenate. Sometimes, people have trouble sleeping because of things they ate or drank earlier in the day.
Caffeine and alcohol are two substances that can make it harder to sleep. Both of these substances can interfere with sleep and may trigger sleepwalking episodes. So it’s best to avoid them before bedtime.
4. See A Sleep Specialist
If home remedies don’t seem to be helping, it may be time to see a sleep specialist. They can help identify any underlying sleep disorders and create a treatment plan.
5. Have Regular Sleep Schedule
This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, including on weekends. It can be difficult to stick to a sleep schedule, but it’s important to try. A regular sleep schedule can help improve your sleep quality and overall health.
The disease usually occurs when the person is transitioning from deep sleep to the stage of preparing to wake up.
Sleepwalking mainly occurs in children between the ages of 4 and 8. But it can still happen in adults. So we all need to pay more attention to our sleep to avoid the dangers that sleepwalking brings.