- Sleepwalking. Purposeful moving, usually but not always including walking, while in a deep stage of sleep. Sleepwalking occurs most frequently in children, particularly boys. Sedatives tend to exacerbate rather than cure sleepwalking. The best measures are preventative: ensure that the sleepwalker is in a safe room for walking, and cannot accidentally fall through an open window or down stairs. Some types of sleepwalking are related to seizure disorders, bipolar disorders, or other neurological conditions, but most cases are transitory and due to unknown causes.
* * *1. A disorder of sleep involving complex motor acts which occurs primarily during the first third of the night but not during rapid eye movement sleep. SYN: oneirodynia activa, sleepwalking, somnambulance. 2. A form of hysteria in which purposeful behavior is forgotten. [L. somnus, sleep, + ambulo, to walk]
* * *som·nam·bu·lism säm-'nam-byə-.liz-əm n1) an abnormal condition of sleep in which motor acts (as walking) are performed2) actions characteristic of somnambulismsom·nam·bu·lis·tic (.)säm-.nam-byə-'lis-tik adj
* * *n.sleep-walking: walking about and performing other actions in a semiautomatic way during sleep without later memory of doing so. It is common during childhood and may persist into adult life. It can also arise spontaneously or as the result of stress or hypnosis.• somnambulistic adj.
* * *som·nam·bu·lism (som-namґbu-liz-əm) [L. somn- + ambulare to walk] rising out of bed and walking about or performing other complex motor behavior during an apparent state of sleep, usually occurring in the first third of the night and lasting a few minutes to a half hour. The individual is relatively unresponsive, not alert, not easily awakened, and usually amnesic for the episode later. Called also noctambulation, sleepwalking, and somnambulance. See also sleepwalking disorder, under disorder.
Medical dictionary. 2011.