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Sleepwalking & Stress

What causes sleepwalking, and how can you treat it?

By Karen Reed

A Human Cost | The high cost of the pandemic is evident in slowed GDP growth, lost jobs, disrupted schooling, shuttered restaurants and much more. These losses can be assessed and partly recovered over time. The human cost of the pandemic however, is nearly impossible to quantify. The poor and vulnerable are experiencing a deepening of pre-existing inequities in overall well-being, and no wealth bracket is safe from the mental health ramifications.

Sleep walking, medically known as Somnambulism, is on the rise. Classified as Parasomnia — an undesirable behaviour or experience during sleep. Sleepwalking is considered a disorder of arousal, occurring during our N3 sleep, the deepest stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

Many factors can contribute to sleepwalking:

  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Stress Fever.
  • Sleep schedule disruptions.

Someone who is sleepwalking may:

  • Get out of bed and walk around Sit up in bed and open his or her eyes.
  • Have a glazed, glassy-eyed expression
  • Not respond or communicate with others.
  • Be difficult to wake up during an episode.
  • Be disoriented or confused for a short time after being awakened.
  • Not remember the episode in the morning.
  • Have problems functioning during the day because of disturbed sleep.
  • Have sleep terrors in addition to sleepwalking.


Practicing daily meditation, checking in with a therapist, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening can help manage the quality of your sleep.

Our immune systems rely on good quality sleep to restore and heal our bodies. Invest in a good quality mattress and linens and limit technology in the bedroom, keeping your space tranquil and zoned for rest.

Sleepwalking is common in young children, but warning signs can be children not growing out of it into their teens, first-time incidents in adulthood and incidents occurring 2 – 3 times a week.

As with mental health concerns, talk about what you experiencing, join online support groups and in severe cases seek CBT Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a form of talk therapy that counteracts negative thoughts and actions.

Be kind to yourselves and look after your inner dialogue and sleep patterns.

Tips and Tricks

Make the environment safe.

Establish a regular, relaxing night routine.

Put stress in its place.

Be aware of the triggers.

Avoid alcohol.

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