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Sleepwalkers Should Take A Nap

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Research into sleepwalking shows that it may result when parts of your brain are asleep but other parts remain awake. As a result, sleepwalkers are usually sleepier during the day and many need extra rest to function at their best.

“There are increasing signs that even in normal subjects (who don’t sleepwalk) the brain does not fall asleep in a single block all at once,” says researcher Antonio Zadra of the University of Montreal. “Sleep may occur in a localized manner. Parts of the brain can fall asleep before others.”

Zadra also notes that sleepwalkers, especially adult sleepwalkers, often remember their actions: “In children and adolescents, amnesia is more frequent, probably due to neurophysiological reasons. In adults, a high proportion of sleepwalkers occasionally remember what they did during their sleepwalking episodes. Some even remember what they were thinking and the emotions they felt.”

He also points out that after they awake, sleepwalkers frequently recognize that their actions while sleeping were not rational: “For example, a man once took his dog that had been sleeping at the foot of his bed to the bathtub to douse it with water. He thought his dog was on fire! There was neither the logic nor the judgment typical of wakefulness. But the behavior was not automatic in the sense that a motivation accompanied and explained the action.”

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