So, is it possible to remember what happened while you were sleepwalking? There is no straightforward answer to this question. Mostly, it depends upon the age of the affected person. Usually, adult sleepwalkers will most likely remember the details of their actions during sleepwalking. Contrarily, according to the studies, child sleepwalkers won’t be able to recall any of the occurrences.
As a sleep specialist, I receive numerous questions related to sleepwalking. Therefore, I decided to compile a whole post explaining this odd phenomenon in detail.
What Is Sleep Walking?
Okay, So, first of all, sleepwalking is something not to be embarrassed about. Many sleepwalkers, when awakened during the process, feel tremendous embarrassment. Sleepwalking is a natural phenomenon, and people of all ages may experience this.
So, what basically is sleepwalking? It is when you, during your sleep-wake and start roaming around. The intensity, conditions, and actions of sleepwalkers can differ a lot. In most cases, the sleepwalker stands up during their sleep and starts walking in the house. Usually, people take a round of their room, return to bed, and sleep again.
In other cases, some people affected by this condition have reported walking in the whole house. When the intensity is low, the sleepwalker will sit on their bed, look around for a few moments and go back to sleep.
You will witness this phenomenon mainly during the first half of the night. In most cases, children and adults sleepwalk during the first half of the night, typically after 1 to 2 hours of falling asleep.
Sleepwalking Mainly Affects Kids, Truth Or False?
You might have heard that sleepwalking is more common among children as compared to adults. Well, this is true. According to the studies, the age of most sleepwalkers lies between 6 years to 12 years. If you have a kid that is younger than 12 years and often sleepwalks, there are 90% chances that the condition will go away on its own once they reach puberty.
Why is this more common in children than adults? Researchers say that it is because children’s brains are not mature enough to differentiate between wakefulness and sleep.
Here are some common symptoms of sleepwalking in children:
- Slow response to questions or no response at all
- Walking quietly around the room
- Running or trying to escape the room or house
- A glassy stare in the eyes
- Talking illogical things
What Causes Sleepwalking
Now to the main part, what triggers sleepwalking? There could be numerous explanations for the occurrence of this condition. Down below is the list of most common factors that cause sleepwalking:
- Lack Of Mental Maturity – No, you don’t have to worry about this. Our brains become mature with time. Sleepwalking is common in children because their brains are not mature enough to differentiate between proper consciousness and sleeping.
- Genetics – The chances of you sleepwalking depends upon the fact if either or both of your parents were sleepwalkers or not. Similarly, the sleepwalking condition’s chances are higher in identical twins.
- Sleep Deprivation – If you are an adult who sleepwalks then it is most probably because you are sleep-deprived. People who don’t get enough sleep are susceptible to sleepwalking at a higher rate.
- Fever – Another lesser-known reason behind sleepwalking is fever. There are several reports that state the chances of sleepwalking during a fever are significantly higher as compared to a healthy person.
- Interrupted Sleep – Another common factor that triggers sleepwalking in predisposed persons is interrupted sleep. The chances of sleepwalking due to interruption in sleep are higher in children than in adults.
Can You Remember What Happens When You Wake Up?
The answer to this question depends upon the age of the sleepwalker. A child sleepwalker may not remember anything about the whole scene. It is because their brain is not psychologically grown enough to remember the details.
On the other hand, most adult sleepers often remember what happened during their sleepwalking session. Some people have reported saying that they even know what they were feeling or thinking at that time.
It busts the myth that sleepwalking is automatic. Sleepwalkers have been seen to be presenting reasons behind their actions during the process. Therefore, it is safe to say that some kind of motive is involved during sleepwalking.
Check if they are responding to your questions logically or not. See if their eyes seem normal or if they are dazed. If they are not behaving appropriately, then they are most probably sleepwalking. If they are talking illogically and it is difficult to wake them up, these are also the symptoms of sleepwalking.
Yes, taking medicines like antihistamines(anti-allergic), sedative-hypnotics(relaxing drugs), and neuroleptics along with stimulants can trigger sleepwalking in both children and adults.
Fortunately, if the case doesn’t involve self-damage or destruction of the property, medical assistance isn’t required. Simply find out the cause behind your sleepwalking session and work on resolving it. Once you get rid of causes like sleep deprivation, stress, and interruption of sleep, sleepwalking will be gone for good.
Sleepwalking Wrapped Up
Sleepwalking is a natural phenomenon. Around 18% of the whole population has sleepwalked at least once in their life. But can you remember sleepwalking after you wake up? Yes, if you are an adult, there are high chances that you will remember sleepwalking after you wake up. On the flip side, if you take a child sleepwalker under consideration, they won’t remember many details.
We also discussed different sleepwalking symptoms and the causes behind the phenomenon.