Assessment and treatment of sleepwalking in clinical practice

Aust Fam Physician. 2017;46(8):590-593.


Background: Sleepwalking is a relatively common and innocuous arousal disorder during non‑rapid eye movement sleep.

Objective: This paper provides a review of the most recent science on sleepwalking to guide clinical decision-making.

Discussion: Most patients who sleepwalk do not require treatment, but comorbid sleep disorders that result in daytime tiredness, and behaviour and emotional problems require assessment and interventions. In the absence of clinical trials, tentative, low-risk treatments - scheduled waking and hypnosis - are suggested for sleepwalking that results in distress or violence towards others. People who sleepwalk and are violent may benefit from impulse-control interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Humans
  • Somnambulism / complications
  • Somnambulism / physiopathology*
  • Somnambulism / therapy*