Also Known As: Sleepwalking, somnambulism, noctambulism
Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism or noctambulism, is asleep disorder belonging to the parasomnia family. Sleepwalkers arise from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and perform activities that are usually performed during a state of full consciousness. These activities can be as benign as sitting up in bed, walking to the bathroom, and cleaning, or as hazardous as cooking, driving, violent gestures, grabbing at hallucinated objects, or even homicide.
Although generally sleepwalking cases consist of simple, repeated behaviours, there are occasionally reports of people performing complex behaviours while asleep, although their legitimacy is often disputed.Sleepwalkers often have little or no memory of the incident, as their consciousness has altered into a state in which it is harder to recall memories. Although their eyes are open, their expression is dim and glazed over. Sleepwalking may last as little as 30 seconds or as long as 30 minutes.