Sleepwalking

      REM (rapid eye movement) is the part of your sleep where  your eyes move quickly beneath your eyelids. In addition, you become physically paralyzed so you don't act out your dreams. This is the part of sleep where you have most your dreams. There is a mechanism that our body adapts to so that we are not moved to act out our dreams.Sleepwalkers have a glitch with this mechanism in their body, which is why they move around while they are dreaming. If this happens to you, you have what is called "sleep paralysis". It can be a sleep disorder unto itself or it could be a symptom of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy happens when the brain cannot normally regulate cycles of sleep and wake. This can cause daytime excessive sleepiness (ES) that results in falling asleep suddenly. (More about it here.) You also well get "hypnologic hallucinations" during these episodes where you think you see someone or something in the room. This is terrifying seeing as you are unable to move or speak. Usually there is a buzzing noise that gets louder and louder, too. During these episodes all you want to do is to fully wake up and usually after a minute you are able to do it usually by managing a small sound like a moan.

     Sleep disorders such as sleepwalking happen when normal physiological systems are active at inappropriate times. People do not yet understand why the brain issues commands to the muscles during certain phases of sleep, but we do know that these commands are usually overpowered by other neurological mechanisms. At times this suppression can be incomplete—because of genetic or environmental factors or physical immaturity—and actions that normally occur during wakefulness appear in sleep.

        People can perform a variety of activities while asleep, from simply sitting up in bed to more complecated behavior such as housecleaning or driving a car. Individuals in this trance-like state are difficult to wakeup, and if awoken they are often confused and unaware of the events that have taken place. Sleepwalking most often occurs during childhood, perhaps because children spend more time in the “deep sleep” phase of slumber. Physical activity only happens during the non–rapid eye movement (NREM) cycle of deep sleep, which precedes the dreaming state of REM sleep.

       Recently a team proposed a possible physiological mechanism underlying sleepwalking. During normal sleep the chemical messenger gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) acts as an self-consciousness  that gags the activity of the brain’s motor system. In children the neurons that release this neurotransmitter are still developing and have not yet fully formed a network of connections to keep motor activity under control. As a result, many kids have lacking  amounts of GABA, leaving their motor neurons capable of commanding the body to move even during sleep. In some, this self-conscious system may remain underdeveloped—or be rendered less effective by environmental factors—and sleepwalking can persist into adulthood.

      Sleepwalking runs in families, indicating that there is a genetic component. The identical twin of a person who sleepwalks often, for example, typically shares this nocturnal habit. Studies have also shown that frequent sleepwalking is associated with sleep deprivation, fever, stress and intake of drugs, especially sedatives, hypnotics, antipsychotics, stimulants and antihistamines.

      Sleep is not always as quiet and peaceful as we'd like it to be. Some people have a tendency to talk or laugh out loud during sleep, while others get right up out of bed and wander.
      Somnambulism, or sleepwalking, occurs during partial awakening from deep sleep. Sometimes sleepwalkers carry out complex actions; at other times they simply pace or sit on the edge of the bed performing repetitive behaviors. They can be difficult to awaken and typically have no memory of the episode in the morning. There have been reports of somnambulists committing murder, although this is extremely rare. Fortunately, episodes of sleepwalking are usually brief and kind, with few people risked themselves or others. Scientists used to believe that sleepwalkers were acting out their dreams, but experts have determined that sleepwalking does not occur during dreaming.
      Somniloquy, or talking in one's sleep, is nothing to worry about. People are more likely to talk in their sleep during times of stress or illness. Talking can occur during any or all stages of sleep. When awakened, people who talk in their sleep rarely remember what they said. Only occasionally can someone who talks in his or her sleep hear and respond to what someone else says.

FUN FACTS!!!

       Sleep walking can lead to murder/suicide.

      Sleep walking can lead to good things.

      Some people act out their dreams.

      Sleepwalking can be caused by sleep deprivation, fever, stress, and drugs. It is also caused by lack of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid {GABA}

      If you have depression, you are 3% more likely to sleep walk.

      A lady drove 190 miles while sleepwalking and didn’t kill herself or anyone.

      Sleep paralysis is when you cannot move a muscle but you are awake. You can experience hallucinations while being in sleep paralysis. The Chinese call it Gui Ya, which means ghost pressure and they believe that a ghost will sit on a sleeping person. Europeans think you are abducted by a witch and they assault you to take a ride on their broomstick. In India, it is called Kokma, and they believe there is a ghost baby who would jump on you and attack your throat. 4 million Americans believe it to be an alien abduction in your sleep. Your muscles become paralyzed by chemicals named Glycine and GABA. It occurs when you fall asleep too quickly, fall asleep on your back, you are stressed out, or your sleep patterns are out of order.


WRITTEN BY: Yireen