Unless you live alone and are completely unaware of your sleepwalking, chances are you'll make the diagnosis of sleepwalking for yourself. If your child sleepwalks, you'll know it.
Your doctor may do a physical or psychological exam to identify any conditions that may be confused with sleepwalking, such as a seizure disorder or panic attacks. In some cases, a sleep study in an overnight sleep lab may be recommended.
To participate in a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, you'll likely spend the night in a sleep lab. Sensors that send electrical signals will be placed on various parts of your body, and a chip will be attached to your finger. In some studies, a video camera will record your sleep. Throughout the night, the sensors will record your:
- Brain waves
- Eye movements
- Leg movements
- Muscle tension
- Oxygen in your blood
Your doctor will review the information to determine whether you have any sleep disorders.
Aug. 12, 2011
- Sleepwalking. Sleepeducation.com. http://yoursleep.aasmnet.org/disorder.aspx?id=14. Accessed June 9, 2011.
- Overnight sleep study. Sleepeducation.com. http://yoursleep.aasmnet.org/Topic.aspx?id=12. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- National sleep disorders research plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/sleep/res_plan/section5/section5a.html. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Matwiyoff J, et al. Parasomnias: An overview. Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2010;131:333.
- Stores G. Aspects of parasomnias in childhood and adolescents. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2009;94:63.
- Avidan AY, et al. The parasomnias: Epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnostic approach. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2010;31:353.
- Attarian H. Treatment options for parasomnias. Neurological Clinics. 2010;28:1089.
- Harris M, et al. Treatments for somnambulism in adults: Assessing the evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2009;13:295.
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