If you know someone who suffers from somnambulism you know a sleepwalker, which occurs in the deepest stage of sleep during the first few hours of sleep. That’s usually why you can’t snap sleepwalkers out of this state; they are too soundly asleep—having no recollection of events that occurred, even if pain was inflicted on them.
So what do you do if you live with a sleepwalker?
Gently guide the person back to bed and if this happens often, make sure the area around the bed is free of any obstacles or anything that can hurt the sleepwalker as they won’t wake up if any pain is inflicted upon them. A good precaution is to lock all the doors and windows before bed and hide the car keys.
If you are able to wake a sleepwalker from this state be careful because they are usually confused and groggy for a good 30 minutes and can lash out both verbally or physically. Children sleepwalk more than adults and if it does occur with adults, it is usually during the later stages of REM sleep and there could be an underlying issue (sleep disorder, side effect of medication, medical condition, etc.).
Sleep talking is also associated with sleepwalking but resist the urge to engage in conversation with a sleep talker. Sometimes it is nonsensical babble and other times it sounds like a normal conversation but most sleep talkers aren’t aware of what they are saying and won’t recall what they did say making you more frustrated.
Keeping a sleepwalking diary with details of when it occurred, how long it happened, and what happened will help you or a professional understand your issues and help create better sleep habits. Don’t have someone to take notes during your sleepwalking episodes? Some have resorted to setting up cameras to watch what they did at night the next day.
If you think you are a sleepwalker, please speak with a professional for tools to help you.