A new study has suggested that sleepwalking may induce violent behaviors and affect the quality of life among adults.
"We found a higher frequency of daytime sleepiness, fatigue, insomnia, depressive and anxiety symptoms and altered quality of life in patients with sleepwalking compared to the control group," said Yves Dauvilliers, MD, PhD, the study's principal investigator and lead author.
"What would usually be considered a benign condition, adult sleepwalking is a potentially serious condition and the consequences of sleepwalking episodes should not be ignored."
Results show that 22.8 percent of sleepwalkers presented with nightly episodes and 43.5 percent presented with weekly episodes. Additionally, a positive history of violent sleep related behaviors was found in 58 percent, including 17 percent who experienced at least one episode involving injuries to the sleepwalker or bed partner that required medical care.
Reported injuries included bruises, nose bleeds and fractures, and one participant had sustained multiple fractures and serious head trauma after jumping out of a third-floor window.
"Sleepwalking is an underdiagnosed condition that may be clearly associated with daytime consequences and mood disturbances leading to a major impact on quality of life," said Dauvilliers. "The burden of sleepwalking in adults needs to be highlighted and emphasized."
The study has been published in the March issue of the journal SLEEP.