Sleepwalking and nightmares

Sleepwalking and nightmares

Description sleepwalking and sleep disorders

Sleepwalking and nightmares are among the so-called. Parasomnias, which are nonorganic sleep disorders. The term nonorganic failure then understand diseases that do not have a specific cause in any of the body systems and their origin is unclear.


The Latin word somnambulism is composed of two parts, Somnus Sleep = and = Ambula go. It is a state of disturbance of consciousness manifested but in sleep. In this disorder Therefore combine elements of sleep and wakefulness.

It occurs most often in children (10% – 30%), in the first third of the night when the child sits down on the bed, something you mutters for themselves, and may even go beyond the room. It is very difficult to wake up, and if that happens, the child can not remember from previous behavior.They also described cases in which the victim, for example, moving furniture or can even occur to the toilet without being awakened. These episodes can be in life and irregularly repeated regularly, but most often occurs unwinding of this disorder with onset of adulthood. If this condition first appears in adulthood, it is necessary to think about the possibility of drug addiction or some neurological disorder.

Risk factors sleepwalking 

The sleepwalking are increasingly susceptible mainly people susceptible to stress or anxiety individuals. His role also genetic factors and heredity. None of these factors is not absolutely confirmed and the causes of sleepwalking are therefore still under observation and investigation.

Treatment sleepwalking and how can I help myself

If it is suspected to sleepwalking is usually disabled child sent to a sleep laboratory, where it is made known. Polysomnographic examination. It consists of several different examinations performed by sensing electrical activity during sleep. Ranks among them electroencephalogram (EEG) – sensing the electrical activity of the brain, electromyogram (EMG) – sensing the electrical activity of muscles of the chin and Electrooculogram (EOG) – sensing the movements of the eyeballs during sleep. These tests are complemented video recording during sleep and records respiratory activity during sleep. Very valuable is also called. Aktinografie testing, which is monitoring the movement of the patient during sleep.

After confirming the diagnosis of somnambulism is recommended that the patient and his surroundings several measures. These include the elimination of sharp and dangerous items around the patient’s bed. Furthermore, locking the door at night, or at least make it more difficult their passage. Short nap during the day can also be very effective as it reduces the incidence of deep sleep stages during the night when sleepwalking manifests.

Nightmares – anxiety dreams

It is a disorder where the patient has a very vivid dreams, which are accompanied by fear of death or another angst. Himself from them can arouse and content of these dreams very well remembered and their content is able to interpret immediately after waking. This disorder is most common in adults, mostly women, mostly in the second half of the night. Often these dreams are also accompanied by a variety of movements that may even lead to injury sleeping.

Child variant nightmares are nightmares (pavor nocturnus), which are described in 1-6% of all children. It is an episode of terror and panic accompanied by screaming during sleep. And especially in the first half of the night. Typically, this episode takes place so that a child of a sudden sits or stands as uncontrollable screaming, running, for example, to the door. Wake up to remember their behavior and overall is slightly confused. This sleep disorder begins most often in children around 4 years of age and gradually disappear spontaneously. If you get the first time in adulthood, it is quite likely that the next course will be chronic and severely treatable.

Risk factors nightmares

Risk factors for nightmares and nightmares are very similar to those of sleepwalking . Also, it is a particular combination of stress, anxiety, and genetic predisposition. For many individuals are night terrors and nightmares only sign of maturation of the central nervous system and thus gradually subsides spontaneously.

Treatment of nightmares

To confirm the diagnosis, it is also used in sleep laboratories and polysomnographic examination.The treatment itself then consists of preventive measures (similar as sleepwalking ) to prevent injury to the victim and then relaxation therapy, which has achieved a reduction in feelings of tension and stress, which can cause nightmares. Another option is treatment with pharmacological preparations, such as hypnotics (e.g. diazepam), anticonvulsants or anxiolytics and antidepressants.

Other names: somnambulism, sleepwalking, anxiety dreams

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