If you have concerns about safety or underlying conditions, you may want to see your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist.
What you can do
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
- Keep a sleep diary for two weeks before the appointment to help your doctor understand what's causing the sleepwalking. In the morning, record as much as you know of bedtime rituals, quality of sleep, and so on. At the end of the day, record behaviors that may affect sleep, such as sleep schedule disruptions, caffeine intake and any medications taken.
- Make a list of any symptoms experienced, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
- Make a list of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or other supplements currently being taken, and the dosages.
- Bring a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember what the doctor says.
- Prepare questions to ask your doctor to help you make the most of your time together.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing the symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests are needed?
- Is the condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What's the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- Are there any restrictions that need to be followed?
- Is referral to a specialist needed?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
July 31, 2014
- When did you begin experiencing or noticing symptoms?
- Have you or your child had sleep problems in the past?
- Does anyone else in your family have sleep problems?
- What problems have you noticed related to the sleepwalking, such as awakening in unusual locations of the house?
- Sleep-wake disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Carter KA, et al. Common sleep disorders in children. American Family Physician. 2014;89:368.
- Sleep-wake disorders. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed April 30, 2014.
- National sleep disorders research plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/sleep/res_plan/section5/section5f.html. Accessed April 30, 2014.
- Sleepwalking. National Sleep Foundation. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking/page/0%2C1/. Accessed April 30, 2014.
- Kotagal S. Sleepwalking and other parasomnias in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 30, 2014.
- Labelle MA, et al. Psychopathologic correlates of adult sleepwalking. Sleep Medicine. 2013;14:1348.
- Ebrahim IO. The nonrapid eye movement parasomnias: Recent advances and forensic aspects. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. 2013;19:609.
- Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 7, 2014.
- Sibler MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 16, 2014.
- Sateia M. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. http://www.aasmnet.org/EBooks/ICSD3. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Kotagal S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 19, 2014.