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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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