Sleepwalking - Definition

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Definition

Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder, also called somnambulism or noctambulism, belonging to the parasomnia group of disorders that manifest during what is known as the slow wave sleep stage.


Sleepwalkers walk and talk whilst unconscious, and are therefore unaware of what they are doing or saying. This condition is caused by an active awake motor function while associative functions remain unconscious. The sleepwalker has no recollection of this experience, which usually only lasts a few minutes, and primarily affects children.


When a sleepwalker is found still asleep, he or she should be gently accompanied back to bed.