Treatment for occasional sleepwalking usually isn't necessary. In children who sleepwalk, it typically goes away by the teen years.
If you notice your child or anyone else in your household sleepwalking, gently lead him or her back to bed. It's not dangerous to the sleepwalker to be awakened, but it can be disruptive — the person may become confused and disoriented, and possibly agitated.
Treatment may be needed if there are negative consequences for the sleepwalking, such as risk of injury or embarrassment, or if there's distress for others.
Treatment may include:
July 31, 2014
- Treating the underlying condition, if the sleepwalking is associated with sleep deprivation or an underlying sleep disturbance, medical condition or a mental health disorder
- A change of medication, if it's thought that the sleepwalking results from a drug
- Anticipatory awakenings ― waking the sleepwalker about 15 minutes before the person usually sleepwalks, then staying awake for five minutes before falling asleep again
- Medication, such as benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants, if the sleepwalking leads to the potential for injury, is disruptive to family members, or results in embarrassment or sleep disruption for the person who sleepwalks
- Learning self-hypnosis
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- 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.
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- 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.
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