Treatment

Treatment for occasional sleepwalking usually isn't necessary. In children who sleepwalk, it typically goes away by the teen years.

If sleepwalking leads to the potential for injury, is disruptive to family members, or results in embarrassment or sleep disruption for the person who sleepwalks, treatment may be needed. Treatment generally focuses on promoting safety and eliminating causes or triggers.

Treatment may include:

  • Treating any underlying condition, if the sleepwalking is associated with sleep deprivation or an underlying sleep disorder or medical condition
  • Adjusting medication, if it's thought that the sleepwalking results from a drug
  • Anticipatory awakenings — waking the person who is sleepwalking about 15 minutes before he or she usually sleepwalks, then staying awake for a few minutes before falling asleep again
  • Medication — such as benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants
  • Learning self-hypnosis — when done by a trained professional who is familiar with parasomnias, people who are receptive to suggestions during hypnosis may benefit by achieving a deep state of relaxation through which a change in unwanted activities during sleep is promoted
  • Therapy or counseling — a mental health professional can help with suggestions for improving sleep, stress-reduction techniques, self-hypnosis and relaxation
July 21, 2017
References
  1. Non-rapid eye movement sleep arousal disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed May 9, 2017.
  2. Sleepwalking. National Sleep Foundation. https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  3. Sleepwalking. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/condition/sleepwalking/. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  4. Parasomnias. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/sleep-and-wakefulness-disorders/parasomnias. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  5. Sateia M. Sleepwalking. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. http://www.aasmnet.org/EBooks/ICSD3. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  6. Kotagal S. Sleepwalking and other parasomnias in children. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  7. Foldvary-Schaefer N. Disorders of arousal from non-rapid eye movement sleep in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  8. AskMayoExpert. Parasomnias. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  9. Cochen De Cock V. Sleepwalking. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 2016;18:6.
  10. Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 18, 2017.