My wife has recently started sleepwalking (as far as we know around 6 months ago). It happens 2 or 3 times a month and seems to involve having a coffee and a cigarette. She has never sleepwalked before and, apart from the occasional cigarette, quit smoking 8 or 9 years ago. She gets quite stressed about things, work etc and her father passed away 2 years ago. Could these be causing it? I've read there's no cure and she thinks it'd be wasting the docs time by seeing him. I'm not too worried at the moment but am a little concerned as to what might happen when the cigarettes (which she seems to have hidden somewhere) run out as I've heard about people going outside or even driving whilst sleepwalking. Is it worth a visit to the docs?
Somnambulism or sleep walking as it popularly called occurs in about 15% of children. This does not need any therapy in children and usually resolves as the child grows. But in adults it could be associated with stress, anxiety or other sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation and stress are known to aggravate these symptoms.
So, consult your doctor, he may treat her for the anxiety episodes. And ensure to see she gets adequate sleep, this will reduce the occurrence of sleep walking episodes.
I am 26 and sleepwalk about 2x per month. I am seeking a way to prevent the episodes. My episodes usually involve making/eating food, or "getting ready" for the next day. I have noticed that the episodes do usually happen when I am particularly stressed about something (I, like your wife, have been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder. I also have been diagnosed with mild OCD, which I think may have something to do with the episodes)
My wife is nervous that I may choke or burn the house down, so she wakes me if she discovers me. This, contrary to common belief, is not dangerous to the sleepwalker. It is disorienting and confusing, but not dangerous. If I am particularly stressed, I will have my wife hide the keys to the car and place something in front of the bedroom door, so that my "escape attempt" will wake her.
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