Study examines risks of sleepwalking

Darien, IL – Adult sleepwalking may result in violent behavior and serious health consequences, concludes a new study from Gui-de-Chauliac Hospital in Montpellier, France.

Researchers studied 100 adults who had been diagnosed with sleepwalking between June 2007 and January 2011. They determined that sleepwalkers were more likely than non-sleepwalkers to experience daytime sleepiness, fatigue, insomnia, and symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to a press release from the Academy of Sleep Medicine, which published the study.

Almost 60 percent of participants had exhibited violent sleep behaviors, including 17 percent with at least one episode involving injuries to the sleepwalker or a bed partner that needed medical care, the study abstract states. Injuries included bruises, nosebleeds and fractures.

Factors such as stressful events, sleep deprivation, and drug or alcohol intake were linked to more frequent and severe sleepwalking episodes.

Sleepwalking affects up to 4 percent of adults, according to the press release. During an episode, the brain is partially awake but the sleepwalker has no conscious awareness of his or her actions.

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