Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleep Deprivation Used To Diagnose Sleepwalking

Date:
March 21, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A new study found that sleep deprivation can precipitate sleepwalking in predisposed individuals and can therefore serve as a valuable tool in diagnosing this disorder. Somnambulism (sleepwalking), which usually involves misperception and unresponsiveness to the environment, mental confusion and amnesia about sleepwalking episodes, affects up to 4 percent of adults.

Somnambulism (sleepwalking), which usually involves misperception and unresponsiveness to the environment, mental confusion and amnesia about sleepwalking episodes, affects up to 4 percent of adults. There has been a sharp rise in the number of studies relating sleepwalking to aggressive and injurious behaviors, including homicides, but unlike most sleep disorders, sleepwalking is diagnosed on the basis of the patient's clinical history, since there is no proven method of confirming the diagnosis.

Although clinical reports have suggested that sleep deprivation can lead to sleepwalking in predisposed patients, small studies using this method in the laboratory have yielded mixed results. A new, larger study found that sleep deprivation can precipitate sleepwalking in predisposed individuals and can therefore serve as a valuable tool in diagnosing this disorder.

Led by Antonio Zadra of the Universitι de Montrιal, in Quebec, Canada, the study included 40 patients referred to a sleep disorder clinic for suspected sleepwalking between August 2003 and March 2007. All patients were examined and underwent one night of baseline sleep recording in the lab. The next day they went about their regular daytime activities, after which they returned to the lab in the evening, where they were constantly supervised to ensure they did not fall asleep.

Recovery sleep took place the next morning, following 25 hours of wakefulness calculated from when they had awakened the previous morning. All patients were videotaped during each sleep period and the authors evaluated behavioral movements which ranged from playing with the bed sheets to getting up from the bed, to determine if they were sleepwalking episodes. They also scored the complexity of each episode on a 3-point scale.

The results showed that while 32 behavioral episodes were recorded from 20 sleepwalkers (50%) during baseline sleep, 92 episodes were recorded from 36 patients (90%) during recovery sleep. Sleep deprivation also significantly increased the proportion of sleepwalkers experiencing at least one complex episode. "By yielding a greater number of episodes with a wider range of complexity, sleep deprivation can facilitate the video-polysomnographically-based diagnosis of somnambulism and its differentiation from other disorders," the authors state.

Sleepwalkers are thought to suffer from an inability to sustain stable slow-wave sleep (stage 3 and 4 sleep) and the study found that these patients had increased difficulty passing from slow-wave sleep to another sleep stage or arousal following sleep deprivation, which supports this view. It is also consistent with observations that other factors that deepen sleep, such as young age or fever, may help trigger sleepwalking in predisposed individuals.

The authors caution that observing behavioral events in the sleep lab following sleep deprivation is not always sufficient to confirm a diagnosis of sleepwalking in a medical-legal context. However, they note that: "Used as a diagnostic tool, sleep deprivation shows a high sensitivity for somnambulism and may be clinically useful with a wider range of somnambulistic patients than previously reported." They conclude that the study supports recommending that sleepwalkers maintain a regular sleep schedule and avoid sleep deprivation.

Journal reference: "Polysomnographic Diagnosis of Sleepwalking: Effects of Sleep Deprivation," Antonio Zadra, Mathieu Pilon, Jacques Montplaisir, Annals of Neurology, March 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Sleep Deprivation Used To Diagnose Sleepwalking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085402.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, March 21). Sleep Deprivation Used To Diagnose Sleepwalking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085402.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Sleep Deprivation Used To Diagnose Sleepwalking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319085402.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) — Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins