Is sleepwalking bad? Top 5 home remedies for sleepwalking
Is sleepwalking bad? You may think sleepwalking happens only in childhood and is brought on by bad dreams, but it affects people of all ages – and most people that do it are actually perfectly healthy.
However, sleepwalking does pose some risks, like self-injury. In this article, we look at a few home remedies for sleepwalking that can help prevent you from wandering off into the night.
What is sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking, or somnambulism as it is known scientifically is a sleep behaviour disorder. It occurs during your deepest sleep stage and results in walking or performing other complex behaviours while you’re still asleep. It’s more common in kids than adults and can be brought on by chronic sleep deprivation or poor sleep hygiene habits.
Is sleepwalking bad?
Sleepwalking has a reputation in popular culture as some strange phenomenon that takes over one’s body. But in reality, sleepwalking is caused by poor sleep or an erratic sleep schedule. As long as it isn’t a result of an underlying medical condition, sleepwalking can be harmless.
The risk, however, is in the actions that are played out while you’re sleepwalking. As you are mostly unaware of your surroundings and have no idea what you are doing (you’re asleep after all), sleepwalking could put you at risk of getting hurt or even hurting others.
Sleepwalking is a leading cause of sleep-related self-injury. Sometimes, sleepwalkers can stroll out of the house, climb out of windows, or even attempt a midnight road trip. There are also reports that sleepwalking can incur sleep-related violence towards bed partners. If you end up being the person to wake a sleepwalker, you might find they are often dazed, disorientated and can occasionally become hostile as they start to come out of their sleep state.
5 home remedies for sleepwalking
Poor sleep hygiene, such as keeping an inconsistent sleep schedule or drinking caffeine or other stimulating beverages before bed, can contribute to sleeping problems such as sleepwalking. To improve the quality of your sleep, and prevent sleepwalking, keep a strict sleep hygiene routine by following these five tips:
1. Get enough sleep
Getting more quality sleep positively affects your overall health, and can greatly limit your chances of sleep disruptions. Sleepwalking often rears its head in the face of sleep deprivation, so it’s important to maintain a regular 7-9 hour sleep cycle with limited disruptions.
2. Keep a healthy sleep environment
Make your room a sleep sanctuary. To prepare for a night of undisturbed sleep, block out any outside light with dark blinds or curtains, and keep your bedroom temperature comfortable. If you live somewhere noisy, consider wearing earplugs.
Put away all electronic distractions so that you won’t be exposed to any blue light, and ensure your mattress is comfortable to help facilitate deeper and more restful sleep.
3. Relax before bed
For some of us, stress and anxiety during the day can lead to sleep disturbances at night, which could include sleepwalking. Use your bedtime routine as an opportunity to de-stress and indulge in relaxing activities, like taking a bath, drinking tea, meditating or journaling.
If you can put aside the stress of your day, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and prevent stressful thoughts from waking you in the night.
4. Keep an active lifestyle
Regular exercise is not only great for your overall wellbeing but can be beneficial to your sleep too. People who exercise more tend to sleep better, have more energy during the day and have an overall better quality of sleep.
5. Make sure your home is safe for sleepwalkers
Sleepwalk-proof your home to keep yourself and others safe. Start by attaching a bell to your bedroom door to act as an alarm and signal that you’re walking about. Keep windows and doors locked and bolted. Put sharp objects away and remove tripping hazards from the floors.
Lastly, hang onto (or hide) your car keys, just to prevent any impromptu road trips!