Most of you have heard about or maybe even know someone who has experience with sleepwalking. It is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which a sleeper arises from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and attempts to perform activities that are common to their during their waking days. Some people may only wake up and use the restroom or wash their face as they might do upon waking up in the morning, while others may attempt to drive cars, cook meals, or undertake dangerous activities.
Did you know that a new study has found that nearly 30% of Americans report sleepwalking at some point during their lives and around 3.6% of US adults have reported doings so in the last year. These statistics are higher than previously thought. Previous knowledge from studies done in the 2000s suggested that approximately 2% of the population had trouble with sleep walking in the last year. This latest study not only revises these numbers but also suggests that sleepwalking may be linked with certain mental illness such as depression and some antidepressant medications. People with depression were 3.5 times more likely than non-depressed people to sleepwalk more than twice per month.
As has been previously known, this study confirms that children are more likely to sleepwalk than are adults—in fact, approximately 25% of adults said that they had sleepwalking episodes as a child that did not continue into adulthood. Most adults grow out of the disorder as they age, but for those that do not, sleepwalking can become a chronic problem. 1% of Americans sleepwalked more than twice per month while 2.6% noted that they had a sleepwalking episode at least once per year.
Have you ever had experience with sleepwalking? Are you surprised with the prevalence of sleepwalking among American adults? Do you know someone who sleepwalked as a child but later grew out of the disorder as an adult?