According to a Stanford University Medical School research study, 3.6 percent of US adults engage in sleepwalking. The research also showed that sleepwalking may be associated with depression or anxiety. Sleepwalking is considered a disorder related to inappropriate arousal during nonREM sleep.
In this study directed by prominent sleep researcher Dr. Maurice Ohayon, people with depression, alcohol dependence, or obsessive compulsive disorder were more likely to have sleepwalking episodes. Nearly one-third of sleepwalkers had relatives who did the same, so there may be a genetic or familial basis to this condition.
Also, people taking over-the-counter sleeping pills reported sleepwalking episodes more frequently than others.
A website called kidshealth.org points out that sleepwalking is common in children, and usually occurs one to two hours after they have gone to bed. Most children outgrow sleepwalking by their teens. Young sleepwalkers may stumble around with their eyes open, and may even talk, but are unlikely to remember what they have done when they wake up in the morning, because they are not truly conscious. There was a report among an adult sleepwalker, however, of having sent a semi-coherent email while still asleep (Telegraph, 2008).
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