Somnambulism - Sleep Walking

Somnambulism - Sleep Walking

Length: 859 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Somnambulism - Sleep Walking

One of the interesting sleep disorder is sleep walking. The medical, or more scientific, term for sleep walking is somnambulism. The characteristic symptoms are walking or exhibiting other activities while seemingly still asleep. (1) I became interested in researching this topic, because I sleep walk. I sleep walk only when I am under stress, which is not often. However, it is one of my primary concerns because I exhibit an extremely violent behavior. I began my research by looking for the relationship between somnambulism and the brain. I found that they are related, but the details are still under research. Then, I looked for the cause, however, since the detailed mechanism of the brain during sleep walking is not defined, a specific cause and effect was also not clearly defined. Thus, this paper will include the information that the researchers have obtained so far, the type of experiments that have been done, and the problems in obtaining more information about somnambulism.

The term somnambulism comes from the Latin words for sleep (somnus) and walking (ambulus). A typical sleepwalking episode is rather short. Sleepwalkers may simply appear awake, or exhibit complicated activity such as driving a car, while asleep. (2)

The researchers have been using a device called the Electroencephalogram (EEG) to understand sleep and sleep disorders. This device measures the electromagnetic waves that are emitted from the brain at various locations around the head. These waves are amplified and fed to a plotter, which plots the amplitude of the waves over time. This device identified four stages of sleep.(3)

The first sleep state, before the four stages, is pre-sleep. The EEG reading of an active and awake person shows mainly beta waves, which are low-amplitude, high frequency waves. Beta waves are associated with conscious thought. As a person begins to fall asleep, the EEG reading becomes punctuated with alpha waves, which are regular waves of higher amplitude. Alpha waves are associated with a relaxed mind. The first stage of sleep shows similar beta waves as the first sleep state, except at a lower frequency. As time progresses within stage 1, there is a gradual lowering of frequency and simultaneous increase of amplitude. The second stage of sleep show two characteristic waves. K-complexes consist of a single large amplitude wave, and Sleep spindles are 1-2 second bursts of very high frequency irregular waves. The third stage shows infrequent intrusion of delta waves, which have high amplitude and a low frequency.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Somnambulism - Sleep Walking." 16 Jan 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sleeping Disorders : Children And Sleep Disorders Essay

- Sleeping Disorder in the Early Years Child Psychology 105 3C Kenedi Wendt 4.21.2016 Have you or anybody you have known had a sleeping disorder. Sleep disorders are very common in young children. There are several sleeping disorders, but some that are specific in children. (Children and Sleep Disorders). Some sleep disorders that are in children are narcolepsy, enuresis, and sleepwalking. Some parents might wonder if their child is getting enough sleep at night. Sleep is vital to the children’s development....   [tags: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Sleep disorders, Narcolepsy]

Research Papers
1723 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Cognitive Behaviors That Intrude A Person 's Sleep Cycle

- Background Introduction The opening: You are sleeping soundly, dreaming of the perfect beach getaway on the coast of somewhere beautiful. Perhaps Bora Bora, or maybe even the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean is exactly where you’d like to be, but then you are suddenly awakened in the middle of the night because your spouse or your children are screaming in their sleep or they are up sleep walking. Your heart rate is high in the sky because you were frightened and wanted to make sure everything was okay....   [tags: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Insomnia, Bipolar disorder]

Research Papers
1466 words (4.2 pages)

Sleep Is Vital For Healthy Living Essay

- Sleep disorders are uncontrollable acts that a variety of people suffer from that can affect their lives drastically. There are numerous conditions under the general topic, although insomnia, night terrors, sleep walking, and narcolepsy will be focused on. Sleep in an interesting aspect of everyday life for any species, it is not a surprise that it is not always as simple as it seems. First, you need to understand why sleep is so vital for healthy living. Depending on your age and other factors the recommended number of hours of sleep is to ensure healthy living, plain and simple....   [tags: Sleep disorder, Sleep, Sleep deprivation, Insomnia]

Research Papers
1603 words (4.6 pages)

Common Sleep Disorders and Treatments Essay

- Every human being in the world loves to sleep. It is the most important thing needed in life. However, there are some people who are not able to sleep well. Some have extreme conditions to where they are diagnosed with a sleep disorder. There are people who do not really know that they have a sleep disorder without consulting with their physician. There are numerous sleep disorders in the world. The most common sleep disorders are sleep talking, sleep walking, night terrors, insomnia, nightmares, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome....   [tags: Nursing Essays]

Research Papers
964 words (2.8 pages)

Overview of Sleepwalking Essay

- Many people have heard of sleepwalking, otherwise known as “somnambulism”, and even know about symptoms that surround the disorder (National Sleep Foundation/ Sleepwalking, 2013, para 1). Some “symptoms of sleepwalking include: sleeptalking, occurring within the first few hours, little or no memory of sleepwalking, screaming, and actions of inappropriate behavior” (National Sleep Foundation/Sleepwalking, 2013, para 6). There is there more to the story than just waking up during the night and walking around in an unconscious state....   [tags: health, somnambulism]

Research Papers
1392 words (4 pages)

Sleep Deprivation And Sleep Disorders Essay

- Sleep Disorders are real. Sleep deprivation in people cause a lot of problems. A leading cause of sleep deprivation in people is sleep disorders and depression. Sleep disorders are relatively silent epidemics, affecting countless people of all ages around the world. Men, women, and children- no group is spared. Some examples of sleep disorders are Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Restless Leg Syndrome, Narcolepsy, and Persistent Sleep Deprivation. Sleep disorders affect people all over the world, even when you don’t know you have one....   [tags: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Sleep apnea]

Research Papers
2081 words (5.9 pages)

Essay on Sleep, Sleep And Sleep

- We think of sleep as the period in which we rest for several hours either during the day or usually at night. This is when the body is most at rest. However, there is so much more to sleep then we could even imagine. Sleep consists of two main portions but several stages. Slow-wave sleep has a period in which we experience EEG activity and is focused mainly during the first half of our sleep, usually when we do not dream. It is supposed to be a time in which we allow our brain to rest, but not necessarily our body....   [tags: Sleep, Hippocampus, Electroencephalography]

Research Papers
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Experiences Of Walking And Jogging Course

- Experiences of Walking and Jogging Course When I discovered that exercise courses are a required part of a degree programs I was less than thrilled. I decided to take walking and jogging because I reasoned everyone can walk. I was unaware of how much adding a walking routine to my schedule would change my everyday life. Since starting this course I have noticed some health improvements, found a way to get my family involved, and learned to schedule exercise into my basic routine. One of the benefits I have noticed over time is a gradual amount of weight loss....   [tags: Obesity, Exercise, Weight loss, Sleep]

Research Papers
1143 words (3.3 pages)

The Importance of the Sleep Walking Scene in Macbeth Essay

- Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's problem plays which have puzzled the critics all over the years. It is compact and full of significant scenes, and it has two important characters, Macbeth and his wife. It is a clear study of human nature, which I personally think Shakespeare had mastered. The final act opens with the sleepwalking scene and this scene is of great significance because it reveals the true nature of lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is one of the enigmatic characters. Once she is a woman made out of steel and suddenly she collapses; she returns to be a gentle wife....   [tags: European Literature]

Research Papers
836 words (2.4 pages)

Sleep Essay

- Sleep “The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to, then forcing oneself to stay awake for days on end must surely come a close second.” -     F Scott Fitzgerald We spend one third of our lives doing it, and yet, some of us never seem to be able to get enough. People all over the world don’t receive enough sleep whether it’s from a medical condition like narcolepsy, or simply not having enough time in a day. The effects of getting a good night’s rest are essential and signs of sleep depravation are not as hard to spot as one may think....   [tags: Sleeping Health Sleep Essays]

Research Papers
2505 words (7.2 pages)

Related Searches

During the fourth stage, the delta waves predominates. These stages last about 90 minutes in total. Stages 3 and 2 occurs quickly before the entire cycle repeats with one exception. The first stage is accompanied by Rapid Eye Movement (REM).(3)

REM sleep is usually accompanied by vivid dreaming. Sleep walking occurs during stages 3 and 4, the deepest state of sleep. This observation lead to the conclusion that the sleepwalkers are not acting out their dreams. (4) The precise dysfunctional mechanism of the brain and the cause of somnambulism are not determined. First of all, to design a testable model is difficult. The second reason is that the use of EEG biofeedback has been restricted largely to drug-refractory cases of epilepsy. However, it has been used to investigate various neurological conditions such as hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and specific learning disabilities. Recently, EEG biofeedback's clinical application has broadened to include sleep disorders.(5) The research studies of the above disorders by EEG biofeedback have identified a 12-14Hz rhythm in the EEG, observed over the Rolandic(sensorimotor) cortex. It is associated with the inhibition of the motor activity, and was labeled as the SensoriMotor Rhythm (SMR). One treatment that is used on patients with sleep disorders enhances the SMR rhythm by means of biofeedback training. This results in a more normal and peaceful sleep. Patients with hyperactivity disorders also sleep walk. Treating these patients with the biofeedback training also reduces sleep walking. Hence, there might be a correlation between the mechanism of these two disorders. In the case of hyperactivity, the observable anomaly generally consists of an excessive low-frequency activity with insufficient beta activity. This activity is related to arousal.(5) Sleep walking can also be defined as the arousal during a deep sleep. If so, then the brain waves of the sleep walking state must be the same as the characteristic brain waves shown by the hyperactive patient. Various possible causes of somnambulism are known, however, none are definite. For example, stress and anxiety can cause sleep walking, however, the precise mechanism in which these two affect our bodies are not known. I think that to further study or research the dysfunctional mechanism of somnambulism, one must also consider the psychological aspect along with the brain. During my investigation on this topic, I had tremendous difficulty in finding any resources specifically about somnambulism. Also, many of the information that I have found were very indecisive and not definitive. Thus, I could not satisfy my original goal in finding the cause and the mechanism of this disorder. This is definitely a topic, which I would like to keep investigating.


1. html




Return to