What is Sleepwalking and Sleep Terrors?

What is Sleepwalking and Sleep Terrors

Sleep walking and terrors are abnormal sleep behaviours or movements. They are relatively common in children as well as young adults, but will get better with age. In severe cases, however, further assessment and treatment may be necessary. These conditions are less common in adults.


This condition normally manifests as continuous violent movements during deep sleep (REM). It can sometimes hurt both the person and their bed partner. The patients often know that they have been dreaming when the violent movements occur. This disorder normally shows up later in life, with some patients even developing Parkinson’s disease.

Sleep terrors start in children, between ages three and 12. They normally stop during adolescence. The terrors in adults most commonly occur between ages 20 and 30, but the severity and frequency vary from person to person.

Meanwhile, studies show that sleepwalking occurs frequently in 3 out of 100 children, while only seldom for approximately five in 100. Three or four in 100 adults reported having sleepwalked at least once in their lives, and four in 1000 are still sleepwalking.

Diagnosis and treatment

A sleep study may be needed to exclude other sleep disorders that may seem similar to sleepwalking or sleep terrors. The treatment plan typically involves taking certain medications that are usually effective.