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Defining Sleepwalking

Defining Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is known as somnambulism. It's classified as an abnormal behavior during sleep that's disruptive.

The handbook for mental health professionals, the DSM-IV, defines sleepwalking by the following criteria:

  • You leave your bed while sleeping.
  • Others find it difficult to wake you during an episode of sleepwalking.
  • You can't remember what happened while you were sleepwalking.
  • When you do wake up from an episode, you're confused.
  • You don't suffer from dementia or another physical disorder.
  • It impairs your work or social life.

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In the arts, sleepwalking is linked to blood, danger, the occult, and loss of control.

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People used to think that sleepwalkers acted out their dreams. However, sleepwalking occurs during the deepest stages of sleep when you are not dreaming.

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Sleepwalking isn't the only parasomnia.

  • There is sleep sex - sexual behavior during sleep.
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During the first third of sleep, your body is in non-REM - your deepest stage of sleep. Your brain quiets down and you aren't dreaming. Your body is active, and you tend to toss and turn.

People usually sleepwalk during the first third of their sleep pattern. Sleepwalking episodes can last...

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