John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Sleepwalking facts
- What is sleepwalking?
- What are the causes, incidence, and risk factors of sleepwalking?
- What are associated factors to consider?
- What are symptoms of sleepwalking?
- What are the signs and tests for sleepwalking?
- What other conditions will my doctor consider before diagnosing sleepwalking?
- What is the treatment for sleepwalking?
- What is the prognosis of sleepwalking?
- What are the complications of sleepwalking?
- When should you call your health care professional about sleepwalking?
- How can I prevent sleepwalking?
- Find a local Sleep Specialist in your town
What is the prognosis of sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking may or may not reduce with age, as described above. It usually does not indicate a serious disorder, although it can be a symptom of other disorders.
What are the complications of sleepwalking?
A common complication is injury sustained during sleepwalking activities.
When should you call your health care professional about sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking usually does not require a visit to your healthcare professional. However, the condition should be discussed with your healthcare professional if sleepwalking:
- is accompanied by other symptoms,
- is frequent or persistent, or
- includes potentially dangerous activities (such as driving).
- If you have any history of strange activity or sleepwalking while taking medications for insomnia like zolpidem (Ambien), you should also speak to your physician.
How can I prevent sleepwalking?
- Avoid the use of alcohol or central nervous system depressants if prone to sleepwalking.
- Avoid fatigue or insomnia, because this can instigate an episode of sleepwalking.
- Avoid or minimize stress, anxiety, and conflict, which can worsen the condition.
Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine
National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)
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