Understanding Sleepwalking Disorder

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Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by

Sleepwalking isn’t a random or innocuous habit of being dismissed. Instead, it is a problem that should be treated by mental health care because It is an ongoing pattern of behavior that leads to potentially harmful actions for the patient. It means your body organs brain everything is actually relaxed sleeping and not alert of the surrounding but you are walking aimlessly, without even knowing where you are headed to. Just thinking this seems horrible and horrific.

Often sleepwalking is referred as a habit. But it is not just a habit rather a disorder a serious one as well.

Sleepwalking has become one of the common health problems across the globe. In a typical case, sleepwalking is just a sign of a lack of energy in the body or less focus. However, in severe conditions, it became a grave health problem. In this respect, patient’s health is severely damaged, and they cannot maintain normal life activities. Such patients often wake up and find themselves tired, worn out, and energy-less. They feel like they were not sleeping rather doing heavy physical activity. Well they might not remember but they were actually doing the physical activity, they were walking in the sleep. They don’t even know how many times they roam around their house at night. This feeling of tiredness makes them feel bad and have a bad day overall. moreover, their productivity is hindered drastically not enabling them to perform in any field of life maybe they end up a failed student or yelled upon by the boss in case of the person doing a job. Therefore, the patient of sleepwalking has to consult the doctor for the proper treatment.

In technical or medical terms, sleepwalking is used for somnambulism, which means a disorder in the patient’s behavior that appears when the patient is in a deep sleep. He starts to walk or other complex activities. Sleepwalk is prevalent in children significantly below the age of 15, and its intensity varies from patient to patient. The medical researcher also called it a genetic disorder that comes in a patient from his parents. Further, it is commonly observed in patients of sleepwalking living under stressful conditions and cannot enjoy a sound sleep. 

There are various aftermaths of sleepwalking. The most common is social criticism, self-injuries i.e., bone fracture or incident of deaths. Further, it disturbs the sleep cycle, and therefore impacts daily activities and deteriorates health. While a sleepwalking person is actually totally unaware of their acts and surroundings and may end up harming themselves. May end up hurting someone else which they never would if they are conscious of their acts. Hence, there requires proper treatment when the sleepwalking disorder becomes severe. 

How Do You Recognize a Sleepwalking Condition In Somebody? There are a variety of signs that may signify the condition. They may:

  •  Feeling confused, tired, or disoriented when you first wake up
  •  Have no recollection of what happened during
  •  Although open-eyed and appearing awake, they are completely unresponsive.
  • Have a blank expression on your face, as if they don’t hear you
  • Talk but don’t understand what you’re doing
  •  Take a walk and engage in specific activities
  •  Daily sleepwalking, while it may appear to be an act, can disrupt a good night’s sleep and impair the patient’s ability to function well at work, at home, and behind the wheel the next day

Sleepwalking Disorder’s Causes

It is often not a specific issue; it can be aggravated by various factors or a combination of factors. As everything has a cause and the sufferer has to find which one of the potential causes is the reason causing them to go through the condition of a disorder. The following factors may contribute to the onset of the sleepwalking disorder. Anxiety is one of the various causes of this disorder, although anxiety is a mental health disorder itself. Drugs and alcohol abuse

Medication To Be Prescribed Ambien and other sedatives prescribed for anxiety may cause sleepwalking episodes. There is an underlying mental health issue. Stress is one of many mental health conditions that can lead to sleepwalking. When your mind is never relaxed or is at comfort due to overthinking or stress brain remains semi-active even in sleep ends up doing things unknowingly. Medical Disease or Condition. Sleepwalking can be caused by neurological disorders, seizures, and other medical problems. As there are so many potential triggers, it’s critical to work through the issue with a medical/mental health team at a Dual Diagnosis programme who can help you identify and address all potential triggering factors.

Sleepwalking Disorder Sufferers: Are They Violent?

While it is possible to commit violent acts after being partly awakened from a nap, this is not the norm.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, when violence happens while sleepwalking, it could be due to an overlap of two conditions characterized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: sleepwalking and sleep terror disorder. Sleepwalkers are rarely violent.

Zolpidem-Induced Sleepwalking

Patients who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night also seek pharmacological help to get a good night’s sleep. One of the most commonly prescribed drugs in this situation is Ambien, also known as zolpidem.However, patients may experience a variety of unexpected and unusual side effects resulting from taking the medication, making getting a good night’s sleep even more difficult. Researchers in Journal related to Health Care found that many patients experienced this disorder and engaged in various behaviors such as feeding, shopping, driving, and having sex while sleeping in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Substance Abuse and Sleepwalking Are Co-Occurring Disorders

People who suffer from mental illnesses are notorious for abusing drugs or alcohol. When this disorder coexists with drug abuse or addiction, such as the abuse of sleep medications like Ambien, treating the sleepwalking disease without also treating the substance abuse or addiction is ineffective. . What is the argument behind this? If substance abuse is too closely related to a mental health problem, there will be no way to handle the mental health consequences if the drug abuse happens. In the case of sleepwalking disorder and Ambien addiction, where sleepwalking is often caused by drug use, treating the disease without avoiding illegal substances is futile. Similarly, if a medical or mental health condition causes sleepwalking symptoms, the first treatment line should be sleep to help the patient solve the problem.

Risks of Avoiding Treatment for Sleepwalking Disorder

Patients who do not seek treatment are at risk of developing various issues. This isn’t a minor problem.

Rather, the Following Dangers Necessitate Immediate Medical Attention:

  • Sleepwalking has the potential to cause an accident or injury. Some patients may use knives, move heavy furniture in an unsafe manner, drive, or engage in other potentially dangerous activities.
  •  There was an accident or an injury the next day. It is the biggest hindrance to having a good night’s sleep Sleep deprivation can lead to problems the next day due to a lack of care or attention, especially if the pain is severe.
  • Treatment for underlying conditions is missing. Delaying treatment if sleepwalking is caused by untreated mental health, medical, or drug abuse illness may lengthen the time it takes to recover from these life-altering or life-threatening diseases.

Sleep Disruption is a Continuous Problem

It’s also important not to minimize the severity of the problem. Patients who abuse or become addicted to Ambien usually started taking it to treat a sleep disorder. This will not improve if they stop taking the medication. Getting support for all conditions that are causes of substance use – including sleep disturbance – is critical during recovery for drug use and dependency. Another mental health condition may be to blame for the sleep disturbances in some cases. Bipolar disorder and other mental disorders may cause sleep disturbances due to anxiety, depression, and depressive episodes. Detecting some of these problems during the initial assessment process will help patients receive treatment for their sleep disorder’s underlying cause, whether it is a mental health issue or a substance abuse problem.

Self-Healing Through Lifestyle Changes

The ability to resist the urge to relapse, learn how to fall and stay asleep, and improve treatment of other mental health symptoms improves when you make these lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes can help the patient reduce overall stress and anxiety, increase physical well-being, and cope better with acute stressors.

Options Include:

  • Good food is essential. Consumption well does not always imply weight loss, but losing weight will help relieve sleep disruption. Getting the right mix of nutrients and vitamins, on the other hand, will boost one’s mood, increase stamina, and make it easier to decrease sleep. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding saturated fats and sugars will improve your mood and energy levels.
  • Exercise regularly. Patients do not need to train for a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. Running, swimming, biking, dance, and even gardening will help you lose weight, increase your heart rate, and improve your mood.

• Drink a lot of water. Each day, an 8-ounce glass should be eaten. Hydration improves vitality and helps in the digestion of nutrients derived from food.

One caveat : while all of the above will help patients improve their mood and overall health, they should be avoided in the hours before bedtime. It will be more challenging to fall asleep after a vigorous workout and a big meal. At the same time, it is essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day; drinking too much right before bedtime may cause sleep problems because patients may need more.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Everyone would be doing it if addressing a mental health disorder or drug abuse problem was as easy as making a few lifestyle changes.  Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse and any underlying mental health conditions that cause sleepwalking are medical and mental health problems that require extensive treatment. When coping with a sleepwalking condition, how will Dual Diagnosis rehab support you or a loved one?

Evaluation: Whatever the root cause of the sleepwalking disorder is, a Dual Diagnosis rehab programme starts with a comprehensive assessment to identify all possible causes and be prepared to treat those issues medically and therapeutically if necessary.

Personalized treatment: Based on the assessment results, the patient’s symptoms, and the patient’s recovery goals, a specific treatment plan may emerge to provide targeted treatment.

Integrated care: Addressing all of the underlying causes of symptoms, such as drug abuse and sleepwalking, and a few others, improves the patient’s chances of maintaining a stable base in rehabilitation and encouraging them to continue healing after they return home. Rehabilitation services that treat multiple mental diseases simultaneously are well-suited to provide this level of care.

Follow up: The patient is not given a treatment plan during therapy and is left to figure things out independently. Instead, they’ll have daily check-ins to ensure that treatment is working and to update or change medications and treatments as needed.

Aftercare Support: Care must begin after a patient’s stay in a Dual Diagnosis recovery facility is over to provide continued help as they return to independent living. After the program, alumni associations, referrals, and other long-term support options for the patient should be incorporated into a long-term recovery plan.

General Consequences of Sleepwalking Disorder

There are various consequences of the sleepwalking disorder. Patients of sleepwalking face problems that range from regular social life disturbance to life-threatening injuries. For example, damage can occur and cause a bone fracture or bleeding if a patient falls after a collision with something while running or sleeping during sleep. A person can also touch sharp objects or electric wires during sleepwalking, which proves life-threatening for him. Moreover, in severe cases, patients can start driving a car during sleep and met an accident.  Likewise, it is not normal behavior and, therefore, often brings embarrassment for the patient of sleepwalking problem.  For example, sometimes, a patient can face embarrassment due to some immoral acts of the sexually explicit activity or urination at the wrong place. Further, the sleepwalking patient can face embarrassment due to the use of unethical words in sleeping. 

Further, research tells that sleepwalking disorder can also cause the problem of insomnia or daytime sleeping. However, this is not a hundred percent proven fact because insomnia has many other causes, and it may vary from person to person. Similarly, not every person is affected by insomnia is suffering from the sleepwalking disorder. By and more significantly, sleepwalking disturbs the patient’s body health and concerns the person’s social life. It has multi-pronged impacts on the patient, and in severe cases, disorder’s patient has to consult the doctor.

Find the Help that You and Your Family Requires: Contact Us

It’s tough enough to find a Dual Diagnosis recovery program. Finding one who is ideally qualified to help you or a loved one get the best possible treatment to solve a sleepwalking condition and Other mental health and substance abuse issues are much more challenging to deal with, especially when you’re in a crisis. For immediate help, call the phone number listed above.

You Will be Contacted by An Admissions Coordinator Who Will be Able to Assist you with the Following:

  • Answer your questions about the disorder and the substance abuse problems that go along with it.
  • Discuss your Dual Diagnosis treatment options with you.
  • Match you with the program that can best help you or a loved one achieve their personal recovery goals through targeted therapy.
  • Assist you with enrollment and admissions in the early stages

If you or a loved one has co-occurring disorders such as sleepwalking disorder and substance use disorder, don’t wait to reach out and get the help you need. We are available around the clock throughout the week to help you. Get help today for sleepwalking illness.