What is sleepwalking?

“sleep is a condition in which some areas of the brain in sleep mode, other areas of the brain is to walk in the awake mode,” explains Esther Werth, Somnologin at the University hospital of Zurich, in conversation with a VIEW. In medicine we call it a dissociative state.

What happens during sleep change in the brain?

According to Werth, the brain during sleep was transformed into a state of deep sleep and wakefulness. “You can interpret it as an incomplete Wake up.”

Werth says: “In one night, we go through different sleep types (REM and Non-REM sleep) and deep Sleep (light sleep, deep sleep).” Sleep is a phenomenon of deep sleep was a convert. Because this would occur especially in the first half of the night, will often then converts geschlaf. “Episodes can start to Sit up in bed,” says Werth. Partially Affected also speak.

there are two different stages of sleep: REM sleep and NREM sleep. For NREM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep. In light sleep we are at the onset of Sleep. Then the body goes into deep sleep: blood pressure and pulse decrease. The brain activity depending on the state, a different pattern of activity.

After the deep sleep, the REM begins to sleep. In this Phase, our eyes move quickly back and forth, hence the Name REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Pulse and brain activity increase, and have almost as high values as in the waking state. The muscles remain relaxed, and we are dreaming is usually very strong. After about 90 minutes, such a NREM is completed-REM-cycle and starts all over again.

“The sleepwalkers can get up, go out and more or less targeted actions to perform,” says the sleep expert. Often the sleep return to walking independently back to bed and know in the morning, nothing of his nightly excursions.

Why the phenomenon?

“In the age of the child is sleepwalking often. It is believed a disturbance in the brain development, but mostly grows,” explains Werth. In addition, there is a genetic predisposition, i.e., if one of the parents have converts or both parents earlier geschlaf, then do the children often.

Werth, but warns: “is sleepwalking for the first time in adults, then this may be an expression of an emerging brain change and should be clarified medically.” In the case of persons who already have converts as a child geschlaf, can occur convert, according to the sleep expert also in adult age sudden episodes of sleep. “Lack of sleep, Stress, alcohol, or other factors can promote these episodes.”

What is the sleep walking can you do about it?

It is important to reduce the trigger factors, that is factors such as lack of sleep or Stress. “Come in sleep, walk, still, then this is another important step to reduce the risk of injury.” This includes the protection of the environment, to reduce accidents count, according to Werth. “For the environment, backup can complete, doors, lock Windows, and remove hazardous objects.”

If the sleepwalking is very common, the risk of injury is high and the behavior adjustments seem a little, then also medication according to sleep expert sometimes used, but this is rather rare.

What can you do with the bed partner or the bed partner?

“bed partner or bed partner should not Wake the sleep walking Person abruptly, but only if necessary about steering back to the bed to accompany,” says Werth. If the bed partner or the bed partner, even I afraid to be hurt, I recommend to sleep in separate beds.

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