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Why Is It Bad To Wake Up A Sleepwalker?

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Is It Bad To Wake Up A Sleepwalker?

Sleepwalking is surprisingly common, as 30% of children experience at least one episode of sleepwalking from 5 to 12 years of age. Almost 2-3% of adults also sleepwalk occasionally, which means that one in every 200-300 adults is a sleepwalker. A person may sleepwalk about 2 to 3 hours after going to bed, and it tends to run in families. While stress is the most common cause of sleepwalking, other reasons may include alcohol intake, drug intake, sleep deprivation etc. If you have a sleepwalker in your family, people must have suggested you not to wake him up while he is sleepwalking. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are going to discuss about why is it bad to wake up a sleepwalker.

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What’s the myth about waking up a sleepwalker?

It is a pure myth that waking up a sleepwalker can cause him shock, heart attack, brain damage or something as serious as that. While it is not that dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker, waking him up during deep sleep may distress or confuse him for some time, which may not be good for his mental health and stability.

What happens when you wake up a sleepwalker?

Waking up a sleepwalker does not potentially cause any serious harm to anyone, but there are chances that the sleepwalker or the person waking up may get hurt. A person usually sleepwalks during stage 3 of his sleep, which is also termed as a slow wave sleep. This is a very deep stage of sleep. While waking up a person from stage 3 sleep is quite difficult, doing so may leave the person in a cognitive impairment state for as much as 30 minutes. According to sleep experts, when a person is forcefully brought out of a deep stage of sleep, he may become confused, agitated and startled. He may not even recognize you immediately, and may strike you, push you or lash out. Even if the person does not react with so much aggression, the awareness of walking in sleep may ruin their self-confidence, and this may negatively affect their social image. Sleep experts suggest that instead of waking up a sleepwalker, you should gently guide him by the arm to go back and lie on bed.

So, what you should do when you find someone sleepwalking?

When a sleepwalker walks past across you, he may not even notice you, even if you shout out to wake him up. Even if you successfully wake him up, he may be left disoriented and sometimes distressed. Just think of the utter bewilderment you experience when you are awakened by an alarm when you were in a very deep stage of sleep. Waking up a sleepwalker will not give him a heart attack or send him into coma, but the best thing you can do is to not wake him up at all. Lead him gently back to bed, so that he does not trip over and hurt himself.

For more sleep-related articles, find out what the way we sleep say about us and how to stop sleep paralysis.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Is It Bad To Wake Up A Sleepwalker?, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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Why Is It Bad To Wake Up A Sleepwalker?
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