Because sleepwalking is the most common parasomnia that a person will encounter in day-to-day or night-to-night life, as you may say, I wanted to give just a few tips on how to deal with a child or an adult who is sleepwalking. There's a common misconception of a person walking with their arms straight out and their eyes closed, sort of in a zombie state and it's really not an accurate depiction of what a sleepwalker looks like. There are also misconceptions of sleepwalkers being startled or terrified to the point of collapse or even death if they are awakened from their sleepwalk. That's not necessarily accurate either. So, just to dispel some of the inaccuracies, I wanted to give you a little more accurate information. Generally, sleepwalking occurs in both children and adults. It is more common in children but it's not uncommon for it to progress to adulthood, especially in times of stress or depression. Sleepwalkers generally have a goal in their sleep.
Cleaning is a very common behavior seen in sleepwalking. For some reason, a sleepwalker will need to get up and clean. You might find someone who appears to be very actively on their hands and knees in the kitchen scrubbing the floor or maybe doing some dishes. It might not be exactly correct behavior.
It's not uncommon for sleepwalkers to do something that atypical. An example would be, instead of putting dirty dishes into a dishwasher, they're trying to put them away into a cupboard. It's perfectly suitable to try to guide a sleepwalker back to bed. If you make a sleepwalker think that they have completed their task by saying "It looks clean now. I think that you've done a good job." or " Hey, the dishes are all set.", it will sometimes be a trigger for them, in their minds, to return to bed. Generally, a sleepwalker will return to bed once, whatever the task may be, is completed. It's totally ok to assist a sleepwalker.
It's not even necessary to wake them up; just guide them back to bed. There's no need to be worried about their embarrassment because they're, more likely than not, not going to remember a thing of what happened the night before, when the next morning comes.
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