Sleep Disorders: Sleep Walking

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  • Sleep Disorders: Sleep walking
    • Common in childhood. Affecting 20% of children.
    • Sleep walking only occurs during SWS.
    • Not conscious and have no memory of what happened whilst sleep walking.
    • Incomplete arousal
      • EEG recordings made during sleep walking show a mixture of delta waves (typical of SWS) and beta waves which are characteristic of the awake state.
      • Likely that sleep walking occurs when a person is woken up but the arousal of the brain is incomplete.
    • Various factors
      • These increase the likelihood of sleep walking
      • These various factors include: sleep deprivation, alcohol, and stress.
      • Hormonal changes in women during menstruation can also trigger sleep walking.
    • Why children?
      • may happen because children have more SWS than adults.
      • Oliviero suggested that the system that normally inhibits motor activity in SWS is not sufficiently developed in children.
      • Was demonstrated in a study where they found the sleep walkers showed signs of immaturity in the relevant neural circuits.
        • Oliviero suggested that the system that normally inhibits motor activity in SWS is not sufficiently developed in children.
    • There is strong evidence to to suggest that Sleep Walking has a genetic basis.
      • Broughton found that the prevalence of SW in first degree relatives of an affected subject is at least 10 times greater than in the general population.
        • This shows that Sleep Walking may have a genetic link.

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