Health News: Memories of Sleepwalking

Antonio Zadra of the University of Montreal has dispelled (or busted, if you prefer) three common myths about sleepwalking: that sleepwalkers have no memory of their actions, that their behavior is without motivation, and that sleepwalking has no daytime impact.

A few of the findings:

• Concordance of sleepwalking is five times higher in identical twins than fraternal—genetics play a big role.

• Sleepwalking is typical in children from 6 to 12. In about a quarter of the cases, the sleepwalking will continue into adulthood.

• During sleepwalking parts of the brain are asleep and parts are awake: this is why sleepwalkers can wash, open or close doors, or go down stairs. Their eyes are open and they can recognize people, but their reactions to things are nonsensical.

• Adults are more likely to remember what they did in their sleepwalking episodes than children are. A significant number of them can recall why they did what they did.

• Around 45 percent of sleepwalkers are very fatigued and drowsy during the day. If given the opportunity to nap, they fall asleep faster than normal subjects.