Treatment for sleepwalking isn't usually necessary. 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 wake him or her, but it can be disruptive. The person may be confused and disoriented if awakened. Adults, in particular, might attack the awakener.
Treatment for adults who sleepwalk may include hypnosis. Rarely, sleepwalking may result from a drug, so a change of medication may be required.
If the sleepwalking leads to excessive daytime sleepiness or poses a risk of serious injury, your doctor may recommend medication. Sometimes use of benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants may stop sleepwalking episodes.
If the sleepwalking is associated with an underlying medical or mental health condition, treatment is aimed at the underlying problem. For example, if the sleepwalking is due to another sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep, keeps your upper airway passages open.
Aug. 12, 2011
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- 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.
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