Diagnosis

To diagnose sleepwalking, your doctor reviews your medical history and your symptoms. Your evaluation may include:

  • Physical exam. Your doctor may do a physical exam to identify any conditions that may be confused with sleepwalking, such as nighttime seizures, other sleep disorders or panic attacks.
  • Discussion of your symptoms. Unless you live alone and are unaware of your sleepwalking, you'll likely be told by others that you sleepwalk. If your sleep partner comes with you to the appointment, your doctor may ask him or her whether you appear to sleepwalk. Your doctor may also ask you and your partner to fill out a questionnaire about your sleep behaviors. Tell your doctor if you have a family history of sleepwalking.
  • Nocturnal sleep study (polysomnography). In some cases, your doctor may recommend an overnight study in a sleep lab. Sensors placed on your body will record and monitor your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements while you sleep. You may be videotaped to document your behavior during sleep cycles.