Sleepwalking (synonym: descent, somnambulism) is a disorder in which patients, while in a state of deep sleep, perform a series of sequential actions.
When sleepwalking patients get up at night, walk around the rooms, move furniture, close and open doors, leave the house. Sometimes they move very quickly in places that are life-threatening, such as climbing high fire escapes, walking on roofs. After a few minutes, less hours, snowmobiling, the patients themselves go to bed or somewhere on the floor and fall asleep, and when they wake up, they do not remember what happened.
Sleepwalking is most common in childhood and adolescence. Often it occurs in children with somatic diseases, after mental trauma. In these cases, sleepwalking is usually combined with nighttime fears and bedwetting.
Often the state of the night walk, apparently very similar to sleepwalking, are found in children and adolescents with epilepsy . In these cases, patients during sleep have a state of twilight stupefaction in the form of ambulatory automatism [see Consciousness (disorders)]. In contrast to sleepwalking, in which the patient can be awakened by the sound of a voice, it is impossible to wake the patient in the twilight stupefaction that occurs during sleep.
Sleepwalking can be created artificially with the help of hypnosis . In these cases, the patient's behavior depends on the suggestion of the hypnotist. When diagnosing sleepwalking, refer the patient to a psychiatrist. If the patient is found during his wanderings, he must be carefully stopped, awakened and, having put to bed, wait for the onset of sleep.