Sleep walking doesn’t affect very many people and many people hold misconceptions about sleepwalking. There are many things that people who know a child or adult who has problems with sleepwalking should learn in order to be able to help them. One of the most interesting misconceptions is that people who are sleepwalking are acting out what is happening in their dream. In reality, there are four distinct stages of sleep, and only one of them involves dreaming.
Sleepwalking only happens in the first few stages of sleep so a person can’t be dreaming and sleepwalking at the same time. Sleepwalking most often occurs in children and it is rare in adults. A large percentage of children sleepwalk at some point during childhood and it isn’t something to be alarmed about. Usually they find their way back to bed on their own. The only time that sleepwalking is dangerous is when a person tries to drive, cut food or do other potentially dangerous things while asleep. This happening is extremely rare and parents who notice a sleepwalking child shouldn’t worry.
Most children who sleepwalk grow out of it fairly quickly and it is extremely rare to continue on into adulthood. The exact causes of sleepwalking aren’t known, but doctors believe that it may be genetic because sleepwalking seems to run in families. Parents who fear that their children may be in danger from sleepwalking can simply lock the child’s door and the child will most likely return to bed.
Sleepwalking isn’t generally associated with insomnia and because the cause is unknown there are really no cures. If an adult is having problems with sleepwalking that person should simply find a way to remove all dangerous situations that may arise while asleep. All objects that a person could potentially hurt themselves with should be removed and the room should be effectively locked so that the adult can’t leave while asleep. As long as these precautions are taken the problem isn’t dangerous and won’t affect a person’s quality of sleep.
So sleepwalking isn’t a dangerous thing for children or adults. People with children who sleepwalk shouldn’t wake up the children because this may disorient them or make them upset. It is okay to gently guide them back to bed but waking them up isn’t a good idea. There is nothing to worry about and parents and adults shouldn’t worry about it.