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Sleep is one such time when people usually are expected to lie down still and get rest. However, we have all heard of sleepwalking, a condition where a person walks during the sleep. Though it may sound strange, there is a deeper explanation for it both from a causative point of view and from managing it.
Things you should know?
- Sleepwalking happens when a person moves back from a deep sleep to a light sleep or awakening state.
- The person who is sleepwalking is usually not aware of it.
- Activities may range from simply getting up and sitting up in bed to walking around the room. They could also open the door and walk out to the neighbourhood. Moving furniture, changing dresses or driving a car, may also be some of the actions Most of these activities happens completely without their knowledge.
- Mostly happens in children up to the age of 12, but can be seen in adults also, where it assumes a more severe form.
- The person who is sleepwalking has a fixed stare with glassy eyes. They may appear dazed and lost when they are awakened.
- They may not respond when they are actually sleepwalking, or respond very slowly
- They can be brought back to bed and put back to sleep without being disturbed. Most children would go back to sleeping when this is done
- Though the parents can be very worried when they see children sleepwalking, reassurance is required, as it usually disappears as they cross teenage.
- There could be chances of small injury like tripping or fall during the sleepwalking episode
- Sleepwalkers may be more restless compared to other children during their waking hours
- Bedwetting is also quite common in children who sleepwalk
- Inappropriate sleep pattern with lack of sleep for prolonged periods is one of the main reasons for sleepwalking
- Excessive drinking
- Medical conditions like heart rhythm problems, acidity, gastric reflux, and seizures
- Psychiatric conditions like panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder can also lead to sleepwalking
- For a parent to see their child walking around in their sleep can be quite disturbing.
- Reassurance is required stating that it is just a temporary phase and will not stay beyond the teenage years
- Most people do not require any intervention unless accompanied by severe symptoms like going out of the house or driving
- Once established, it is advisable to avoid by not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding stress and anxiety and taking precautions like extra-secure locks to prevent sleepwalking and/or other side effects. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
The first question when you greet somebody is 'how are you' and this often refers to our state of well-being. While most answers would be great, awesome or good, we usually think of how we are doing physically. While some of us may talk about physical conditions (say things like feverish, have a cold, etc.), not many would think of talking about mental health conditions. However, mental health is very important for overall well-being.
Can you think of someone who is severely depressed or anxious all the time and have a good physical health? Chances are very bleak, and if you consider the overall health as a mix of mental and physical balance, this is not possible. Read on to understand how important mental health is and why you should start paying more attention to it.
- Improved physical health: If someone is in a stressed state, it is obvious that they would not be able to do the activities they enjoy. Being affected mentally also leads to reduced immunity and sleep disturbances, making the person prone to infections and other disorders. Stress is one of the main risk factors for chronic medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
- Improved prognosis: Most often, doctors focus on treating the physical aspects of a person’s health. However, with recent emphasis on mental health, more and more doctors are looking at wholesome measures to improve a person’s health. Results show that when a person’s mental health is also addressed, the physical ailments respond very well.
- Improved productivity: People with unattended mental health disorders often resort to absence from work and/or school, can have financial instability, be homeless and can fall repeatedly. Being mentally healthy provides overall changed perspective of life and therefore improves productivity.
- Improved personal relationships: Children of people affected with mental illness are prone to neglect, abuse, rejection, and behavioural issues. There is also social isolation, which may lead into adulthood, and these children may also have emotional health problems. Others in the close circle including spouses, siblings, parents, close friends and colleagues would be clearly affected by a person who is mentally unhealthy.
- Social effects: These people are highly prone to social crimes like rape, murder, theft, violence, etc. They may not be able to afford their treatment and/or resort to these crimes to assert themselves.
- Improved quality of life: Life expectancy is higher in people who are mentally healthy. Even with mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, this is reduced, and the chances of a happier, healthier life are reduced.
Whatever the effect, mental health needs to be addressed as equally as we do physical problems, using medications, counselling, or lifestyle changes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.