Sleepwalking or somnambulism is most common among children. It occurs during slow-wave sleep when the brain is in a state of low consciousness; the individual might get up from bed and sit on the couch, go to the bathroom, or even start doing chores. One hour or so after falling asleep is the most common time, and a sleepwalking episode can last for several minutes. Having these episodes or living with someone who does can be disorienting and frightening.
Despite its name, sleepwalking involves more than just walking in your sleep. The activities can be as simple as sitting down, walking to the bathroom or even doing household chores. These activities are benign and may cause little concern. However, some activities could be hazardous, not just to the walker but other people.
Talking, shouting, and sudden bolting from the bed and running away are also common among sleepwalkers. Some even begin their daily chores without being conscious that it is still night-time. Others can eat, drive, and do household chores. Unusual behaviors can include moving furniture, urinating in the wrong places, and cooking. Some activities can indeed be hazardous to both sleepwalkers and the people around them.
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