Sleepwalking is characterised by complex behaviour (walking) while asleep. Nonsensical talking may accompany this at times. The eyes are usually open with a characteristic ’glassy’ look that appears to have a ‘going through you’ kind of appearance.
It usually occurs in middle childhood and adolescence but can persist into adulthood. There appears to be a genetic tendency.
Stage 1, 2 and 3 are described as nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the last cycle which is usually associated with dreaming. There are four to five complete sleep cycles per night, each cycle consisting of all three stages and REM.
Sleepwalking usually occurs in the first or second cycle during stage 3. It is not usually seen during naps.
The person is not aware and has no memory of his or her behaviour.
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