Sleep walking, medically known as somnambulism or noctambulism, is a disorder in which a person gets up and walks around at night or performs other activities when he is asleep. It usually occurs early in the night during a period of deep sleep. Homeopathic remedies for sleepwalking work gradually to reduce the episodes of sleepwalking.
Though it can occur in people of any age group but tend to be more common in children as compared to adults. Children usually outgrow it by puberty but in some children it can continue in adulthood.
The exact cause behind it is still not clear yet. But it is related to genetics as it tends to run in families. A person having someone in the family who has sleepwalking is at risk to develop the same. Having a history of sleepwalking in one or both parents raises the risk much more.
Next, there are few factors that are linked with this condition. These include sleep deprivation, interrupted sleep, changed sleep schedule, sudden/abrupt waking from sleep, stress, anxiety, excessive tiredness, use of some medicines (like sedatives, hypnotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines), use of alcohol, use of recreational drugs and fever.
Some of the medical conditions can also trigger it. The medical conditions firstly include GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease which refers to frequent back flow of the stomach acid into the food pipe that mainly causes heartburn felt as a burning sensation behind the sternum).
Next medical condition is OSA (obstructive sleep apnea – a serious sleep disorder in which breathing stops momentarily many times during sleep. OSA happens from relaxation of throat muscles during sleep that block the airway and causes obstruction for air to enter lungs).
Next condition that is related to this RLS (Restless legs syndrome – a condition in which a person desires to move the legs from discomforting sensations in the lower limbs). Other medical conditions that are associated with this includes night time asthma, heart rhythm problems, migraine headaches, tourette syndrome (a condition in which involuntary multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic arise. Tics refers to habitual, spasmodic contractions / movements of muscles occurring quickly that can’t be easily controlled), night time seizures (fits), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Lastly, some psychological disorders are linked with this. These include (like PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and schizophrenia). PTSD is a psychological disorder that develop after some traumatic event in life for eg, child abuse, sexual assault etc. Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder in which hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking and behaviour occurs. Delay in the maturity of the CNS central nervous system is also linked with sleep walking problems. Other than these, the rate of sleepwalking is higher in children who have complaints of bedwetting and night terror.
In case of women hormonal changes play a role in sleepwalking (the chances are more in them before the onset menstrual cycle).
Sleepwalking most commonly occurs in the early part of night in the first few hours of sleep. In this a person may just sit up in bed and look around. He may be confused and disoriented with this. In other cases the person gets out of bed and starts to walk around. While sleep walking a person’s eyes are open, have glassy eye expressions but he doesn’t recognise people around him and when asked something responds partially or may even doesn’t respond at all . Sometimes he may say senseless things at that time. There is difficulty in arousing them during an episode. They may even violently attack the person trying to awake them. Some people with sleep walking may wake screaming and frightened if they have an attending complaint of night terrors. Sometimes they may start doing some work like start eating, getting dressed, open cupboards etc.
They may even walk out of the house. Some may even start to drive a car. An episode of sleepwalking usually lasts for some minutes, mostly less than 10 minutes but it can in some cases last may last longer than this time. People having it may get out of bed, walk about and then again come back to bed and sleep again. In the morning they don’t remember anything about night’s occurrence of sleep walking. They may feel excessively sleepy during the day from disturbed night sleep. Persons having this complaint can injure them while walking as from bumping in a door / furniture or falling from stairs.
Homeopathic Remedies for Sleepwalking
There is great scope to treat complaints of sleepwalking in homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines for treating this complaint are of natural origin that are very effective and safe for use. These medicines are deep acting medicines that have the ability to treat this complaint from its root. The best suitable medicine to treat a case of sleepwalking is selected after detailed case study in every individual case based on the symptom presentation. Following are some of the leading medicines for treating this condition. One should consider taking any of these after consulting a homeopathic physician who can best judge the medicine required after case analysis and avoid self prescribing.
This medicine is very useful in persons who rise at night during sleep and sit about. They may have anxious dreams while weeping during sleep. Another complaint of talking in sleep may also be present in them. Their sleep is also disturbed. On awakening in the morning they feel unrefreshed. A violent headache may also be complained about in the morning. During the day there is excessive drowsiness and frequent yawning.
It is another valuable medicine for these cases of sleepwalking. In cases needing it there is restlessness and disturbed sleep at night. There are frightful and horrible dreams in those requiring it. Along with this there is frequent waking with fright. During sleep there may be crying, moaning and jerking of limbs. There is a feeling in the morning as if sleep is not completed with sleepiness all the day.
It is very effective medicine to treat somnambulism in children. Those needing it are restless in sleep and may be mumbling, crying, moaning or talking in sleep. They also have night terrors and awakens with fright even from sound sleep at night. In the morning they feel sleepy, and are difficult to awake with excessive yawning. Excessive tiredness may also be present where it is required.
It is another good medicine for somnambulism. The person needing it gets up from sleep at night, walks and afterwards lies down. Their sleep is restless with crowded dreams and frequent waking. They may be talking loudly in sleep. They can also have complaints of nightmares. Snoring, jerking of limbs are some other complaints that they may have during sleep. In the morning they feel unrefreshed and don’t wish to leave bed. Other than above it is a specific medicine when sleepwalking occurs at new and full moon.
It is very beneficial medicine for somnambulism in children. Children who need it may also have complaints of night terrors. They get awake from sleep with screaming and recognise no one. They also have restless sleep. Grinding of teeth, crying and moaning can also be present in them during sleep. In the morning they may wake with a severe headache.
Stramonium is a useful medicine when there is complaint of sleepwalking. Persons who need it get up at night especially after midnight with confusion. They may seem frightened and have eyes staring at a point. They sit up in bed or walk about at night. Other attending symptoms that attend it are restless sleep, tossing in bed, snoring. Screaming, starting or laughing can also be present during sleep.
This medicine is prepared from fresh root of plant Artemisia Vulgaris also commonly known as wormwood. This plant belongs to family compositae. It is well indicated for cases in which a person wakes at night from sleep and starts doing his daily work. In the morning he remembers nothing about it. Other than this it is a leading medicine for epilepsy treatment. Epilepsy after grief, fright or blow on head are well treated with this medicine.
It is also a significant medicine for cases of somnambulism. People needing it may have nightmares, horrible, frightful dreams that wake them up. They have sleepwalking and in the morning they feel that their sleep is not completed.
This medicine works well in cases of sleepwalking arising in persons from suppressed emotions. Persons needing it have disturbed sleep with frequent waking. They may have loud screaming in their sleep. They can have frightening dreams while talking and crying. They sometimes have disturbed sleep from painful cramps in legs. They have unrefreshing sleep with drowsiness and sleepiness in daytime.
This medicine is prepared from plant Ignatia Amara of family loganiaceae. It is prominently indicated where sleepwalking occur in persons who had wounded pride (being disrespected). They sleep walks but doesn’t remember nothing about it. They may also have history of sleep deprivation from cares, worries, some grief, depression with anxious thoughts. They may have very light sleep and hears even distant noises. They can be very restless and snoring at night.