Do you know any sleepwalkers in your personal life? Have you ever wondered what causes sleepwalking? Sleepwalking usually takes place at night. The brain has a ‘sleep centre’ that connects the brain with the rest of the body and when it malfunctions the connection is lost giving rise to sleepwalking. In this condition, the brain goes to sleep but the body is wide awake. Although, there is no pre-conceived notion as to what exactly causes sleepwalking, but there have been several researches and studies carried out to confirm the possible causes of sleepwalking. Sleeping disorders, insomnia, stress, hereditary sleepwalking, alcohol abuse and dreams are some of the most possible causes for sleep walking. Children are the ones who get affected by sleepwalking. There are very few adults who are diagnosed with this problem. Medicinal effects and genetic history fact finding has made profound revelations in sleepwalking. A sleepwalker stands up or sits up and starts walking without being aware of his/her action. Keep reading through the next section to know more about the definitive causes of sleepwalking.  

Causes of Sleepwalking 

  • Alcohol abuse is one of the most prominent causes of sleepwalking. People who are sufferers of sleepwalking should avoid consuming too much alcohol. It is also advisable not to drink after 10 at night.
  • Stress, panic and tension are the major causes of sleepwalking. Stress leads to lessening of active sleeping hours. This often results in the rise of sleepwalking. Professional stress management in this case are proved to be helpful. Counselling and relaxation techniques help immensely in providing relief.
  • Stressed out muscles in the body often leads to sleepwalking. In this case, the brain is asleep but the movement in the muscles will lead to sleepwalking. Help of a doctor or drugs like benzodiazepines can prevent muscle movement.
  • Sleepwalking usually happens with children. This is definitely a hereditarything. A child usually inherits geneticsleep disorders or body movements that trigger off sleepwalking in the child. Check out the family history which will determine someone having the disorder. A child experiencing sleepwalking below the age of 9 usually outgrows the illness. But the scenario is grim if someone has acquired sleepwalking after 9. Adult sleepwalkers are usually ones who have acquired sleepwalking after reaching the age of 9.
  • Secret wishes or desires often lead to sleepwalking. There have been records of personality disorders that have been found only when a person is in deep sleep but in active sleepwalking stage.
  • Brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease have been found to arouse sleepwalking in adults.
  • Epilepsy, seizuresand other sleep disordersgive rise to sleepwalking in adults. Adult sleepwalking calls for immediate medical help.
  • Certain medicationsmay alsolead to sleepwalking as a side effect.
  • Improper movement and insufficient amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)in the brainmay lead to body movement during sleep. GABA is the chemical messenger that prevents the body to stay active and also stops the activity of the brain’s motor system during a person’s sleep. Kids usually have low levels of GABA which results in the body remaining active during sleep.
  • Dreaming leads to sleepwalking. Interpretation of dream wakes the body during sleep.