Sleep Walking Specialist

Ashwin Gowda, MD -  - Sleep Medicine Specialist

Texas Sleep Medicine

Ashwin Gowda, MD

Sleep Medicine Specialist located in South Austin, Austin, TX

Dr. Gowda and his team at Texas Sleep Medicine help adults and children from in and around Austin, Texas to control sleep walking.

Sleep Walking Q & A

What is Somnambulism/Sleep Walking?

Somnambulism, better known as sleepwalking, is a sleep disorder that causes involuntary complex body movements during a deep stage of sleep. Other than walking, patients often perform involuntary tasks such as sitting at the edge of the bed or talking, all while being unconscious. Though this disorder mainly affects children, adults can also develop this disorder if they are stressed or sleep deprived, putting a strain on healthy sleeping patterns and everyday life.

What Causes Sleep Walking?

Sleepwalking in children is linked to the brain’s inability to control sleep and wake cycles. This occurs because of an arousal caused by non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Some common causes of the sleepwalking disorder can include:

  • Lack of Sleep or Fatigue
  • Insufficient Sleep Caused by Sleep Apnea
  • Severe Anxiety
  • High Fever
  • Noisy Sleeping Environments
  • Family History of Sleepwalking
  • Medications Containing Phenothiazines, Chloral Hydrate, or Lithium

Some of the Most Common Symptoms Include:

  • Sitting Upright or on the Edge of the Bed While Asleep
  • Acting Confused or Distorted When Waking Up
  • Aggressive Behavior When Being Woken Up
  • Sleep Talking
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

How Is This Disorder Diagnosed?

The disorder can be diagnosed by administering an electroencephalogram (EEG) on a patient to analyzes abnormal sleep patterns. The EEG is placed on the scalp of the patient using wires, and a computer records brain abnormal wavelength while the patient sleeps in a controlled environment. If there are significant irregularities in brain activity during sleep, paired with physical symptoms, a patient can have an accurate diagnosis.

How Is Somnambulism Treated?

There is no direct treatment for this disorder, however, improving sleep hygiene and making recommended changes can help correct the disorder. Addressing existing conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, seizures, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia can help reduce the reoccurrence of this disorder. A doctor may recommend sleep medications or sedatives that prevent patients from performing hazardous tasks during rest.

Accepted Insurance Providers

We accept plans from the following providers, please contact our office to determine whether your specific plan is accepted. This list may be subject to change.

AARP
Aetna
Averde Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield
CareCredit
Cigna
Galaxy Healthcare PPO
GEHA
HealthSmart
Humana
Interplan Health Group PPO
Medicare
Multiplan
PHCS
Tricare
UniCare