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What are symptoms of sleepwalking?

Following are examples of symptoms of sleepwalking.

  • Episodes range from quiet walking around the room to agitated running or attempts to "escape." The person sleepwalking may appear clumsy and dazed in his or her behavior.
  • Typically, the eyes are open with a glassy, staring appearance as the person quietly roams around the house. They do not, however, walk with their arms extended in front of them as is inaccurately depicted in movies.
  • On questioning the person sleepwalking, responses are slow with simple thoughts, contain nonsense phraseology or absent responses. If the person is returned to bed without awakening, they usually do not remember the event.
  • Older children, who may awaken more easily at the end of an episode, often are embarrassed by the behavior (especially if it was inappropriate). In lieu of walking, some children perform repeated behaviors (such as straightening their pajamas). Bedwetting may also occur.
  • Sleepwalking is not associated with previous sleep problems, sleeping alone in a room or with others, fear of the dark (achluophobia), or anger outbursts.
  • Some studies suggest that children who sleepwalk may have been more restless sleepers between the ages of four and five, and more restless with more frequent awakenings during the first year of life.
Return to Sleepwalking

See what others are saying

Comment from: peapod402001, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 23

My husband has been sleep-walking for at least 20 years. We hadn't realized that that was what it was until recently. He'll go to sleep, and within minutes he's up and heading to the bathroom. He smokes, yes, he has the patch, but rips it off during his sleep walking moments. He's fallen several times. It's difficult for me to know and help him each time, because I have had to sleep in another room. His snoring/apnea/restless legs, etc., keep me awake. He's tried sleeping pills, anti-depressants, and whatever else they use. Nothing has worked. He is unable to get a good night's sleep. When I am able to hear him wake up, (because the dogs wake me up), I go in and check on him and try to gently wake him or lead him back to the bed. Sometimes, I just stay in there with him, (if it's on a weekend, because I work 40 hours). I can tell when he's sleep walking/standing, because, he'll giggle at me when I talk to him. If he was awake, he'd be upset with himself.

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Comment from: anita, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I was sleeping in my room, then I woke up and I felt my muscles tense. Then I blacked out and found myself a bit of distance away from my room when I woke up again; and I fainted 3 times.

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Comment from: Sbryant, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

All I remember every night is, I don't know where I am or what's going on. Then I find myself in a panic in the house some were. This has been going on since I was 5. I am a twin, but my twin sister does not have this problem. I wish someone could help me with this, I'm tired of being tired.

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