Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why you shouldn't wake a sleepwalker

This article discusses sleep walking and why waking a sleep walker is not a good idea.

It’s a common belief that waking a sleepwalker can trigger a heart attack or cause them to go into shock – it won’t. The real problem is they’re likely to injure you.
“You shouldn’t touch or shout at an adult sleepwalker to wake them,” says Dr Zenobia Zaiwalla, a consultant neurophysiologist at John Radcliffe Hospital’s Sleep Disorder Centre in Oxford.
“But, not because it can harm their brain or anything like that.
“Trying to wake a sleepwalker can alarm them, causing them to perceive you as a threat and lash out. The primitive part of the brain has been woken out of deep sleep, but the more conscious part stays asleep. This leads to people physically carrying out what’s being processed in their brain.
“Unless they’re somewhere where they might injure themselves, sleepwalking isn’t going to do any harm.
“You should go along with whatever they’re doing, speak to them gently and persuade them to go back to bed, avoiding physical contact.
“It’s different for children. If you put them back to bed without waking them, they’re more likely to have another incident because they spend longer in deep sleep. Instead, guide them to bed, then wake them.”
Read more here

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