Sleepwalking is when a person is able to perform complicated
actions while in a deep sleep. It occurs when a person is in
a mixed state of sleep, both awake and asleep. They are awake
enough to act out the behavior but still asleep and not aware
or able to remember the behavior. Sleepwalkers can be difficult
to arouse. Since many will be disoriented and agitated if awoken,
the sleepwalker should be directed back to bed to lie down.
Sleepwalking tends to be more prevalent in children and boys
are more likely than girls to be a "sleepwalker".
This sleep disorder may run in families.
A person experiencing a night terror "awakes" from
sleep in a terrified state. The person having the night terror
will have signs of intense fear, such as wide eyes and rapid
breathing. Episodes usually occur during the first hour of
falling asleep, the point at which deep sleep begins. They
appear to be awake but are unable to communicate and act confused
and agitated. Night terrors last about 15 minutes, after which
the person falls back to sleep. The following morning the
person is usually unable to recall the event from that night.
Night terrors tend to run in families and are more common
Confusional arousal occurs when a person is awakened from
a deep sleep during the first part of the night. It involves
an exaggerated slowness upon awaking. The person reacts slowly
to commands and may have difficulty understanding questions
asked. It is also know as excessive sleep inertia.
Sleep talking is a sleep-wake transitional disorder. Although
it may disturb sleep partners or family members, it is usually
harmless. A person who sleeps talks usually has no recollection
of the event. Sleep talking can be caused by fever, emotional
stress, or other sleep disorders.
Nightmares are vivid nighttime events causing fear and anxiety.
Usually the person having the nightmare is awakened from REM
sleep and can recall the nightmare in great detail. It is
not uncommon for the person to have difficulty returning back
to sleep. Many factors cause nightmares including: illness,
anxiety, loss of a loved one and medication reactions
There are two kinds of enuresis-primary and secondary. In
primary enuresis, a person has been unable to have urinary
control from infancy onward. In secondary enuresis, a person
has a relapse after previously being able to have urinary
control. It can be caused by medical conditions including:
diabetes, urinary tract infections, infection or sleep apnea
or by psychiatric disorders.
This disorder occurs right before a person falls asleep and
is more common in very young children. The child may lie flat,
and then forcefully hit their head on a pillow. It is also
known as "head banging" and can also involve movements
such as rocking on the hands and knees.