and some drugs which can inhibit sleep wake cycle.
Sometimes sleepwalking is related with underlying medical condition such as:
Sleep disordered breathing
A group of disorders which characterized by abnormal breathing patterns while sleeping, narcolepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disease, migraines, travel, hyperthyroidism and head injury.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Diagnosis of sleepwalking can be made by the patient himself unless and until he/she is living alone.
Diagnosis of sleepwalking starts with physical examination and history of illness. Mental assessment is also done by doctor. Some sleep studies are made to confirm the diagnosis of sleepwalking.
There will be a need to sleep in the lab overnight. Sensors are attached on the scalp, temples, chest and legs. The sensors are connected to the computer by the means of wires. A video camera is placed to record movements of patient.
Polysomnography records brain waves, oxygen content, heart rate and breathing. As well as eye and leg movements in this study are recorded.
Technologists monitor sleep throughout the night. Doctor will confirm the diagnosis of sleepwalking once he/she will analyze the report.
Treatment for occasional sleepwalking is not recommended. Children who sleepwalk will lose this ability till they reach teenage.
Treatment is recommended only in severe cases of sleepwalking which accompanies by harm or injury, embarrassment or if there is distress for others.
Treatment of sleepwalking usually includes treating underlying condition - if sleepwalking is the result of underlying pathology it’s better to treat the pathology.
Benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants sleepwalking leads to potential for injury, is disruptive to family members, or results in embarrassment or sleep disruption for the person who sleepwalks.
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