Is sleepwalking dangerous psychologically?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Somnambulism is the tendency to walk during sleep. It is a disorder of arousal that is not recognized for its pathology, but which is understood as a bad activation of the Central Nervous System. This activation happens as a result of specific sleeping patterns and individual control of the neurons during sleep time. This being said, sleepwalking is not a psychologically dangerous condition. In fact, the physio-pathology of somnambulism is ruled out by the medical community.

However, there is danger in sleepwalking, which is mainly physical. There are a lot of dangerous activities associated to somnambulism; some people go up or down stairs, while others have been reported walking toward pool areas where they could fall and drown. Anything from a fall, to crashing against walls, or doors could put someone in tremendous risk. Therefore, the best way to avoid falling under a spell of somnambulism is to develop healthy sleeping patterns, and to avoid over extension at work or school. Suffering from somnambulism does not preclude that there is mental illness; however, the potential physical dangers of sleepwalking are so real that even the military lists this condition as critical when accepting potential recruits.

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