Sleepwalking (also known as somnambulism) occurs during slow-wave sleep, typically within the first third of the sleep period. Sleepwalking is linked to non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep instability, particularly an abnormality in slow-wave sleep regulation. This entry discusses the prevalence of sleepwalking and its treatment.


Sleepwalking involves a series of complex motor behaviors, resulting in walking during altered consciousness. Approximately 10% to 20% of children and 1% to 4% of adults experience sleepwalking. It is most prevalent in children between 5 and 10 years of age. Events range from simple, such as walking, to complex, such as unlocking doors, putting on makeup, or even driving. Episodes generally last from a few seconds to half an hour, and patient recall of these events is generally vague ...

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