She was told there was little they could do to help

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she was told there was little they could do to help her, as they told her the sleepwalking problem was a symptom of her poor sleep pattern. Sleepwalking and sleep talking Sleepwalking (somnambulism) and sleep talking (somniloquy) are commonly reported parasomnias. Both activities occur during deep sleep (stages 3 and 4), and are unrelated to dreaming, with people rarely recalling them upon waking. Sleepwalking most commonly occurs in children between the ages of five and twelve years; 15% of children in this age group are said to walk in their sleep at least once 57 . It is much less common in adults, occurring in about 2–5% of the adult population 58 , the majority of whom began sleepwalking when they were children. Sleep walking is more likely to occur when people have been sleep-deprived, drinking alcohol, or under stress. Sleep talking occurs in about 4% of adults, though again more frequently in children. This can range from non-verbal utterances to eloquent speeches, which occur several times during a night’s sleep. The speech may or may not be comprehensible to listeners. Sleep talking rarely presents a serious problem. In fact, it is much more likely to be problematic for the partner if they are disturbed during the night on a regular basis. Sleepwalking can become a problem when people run the risk of injury, either within the house or if they go outdoors. Some sleepwalkers conduct activities during their sleep, such as cleaning. It can also be associated with bedwetting; it is not uncommon for people to urinate in closets and cupboards during a sleepwalking episode. In extremely rare cases people conduct violent activities. In the UK, a man unknowingly strangled his wife while on a caravan holiday. He thought he was fighting off some assailants who he believed had broken into their caravan. He was acquitted on all charges on the grounds that he was not conscious and not in control of his actions. 43 42 Teeth Grinding Also known as bruxism, this is characterised by grinding one’s teeth, and is sometimes accompanied by clenching of the jaw. It can occur during day or night. During the day, it is often in reaction to certain feelings or events that may occur. During sleep, however, bruxism is characterised by automatic teeth grinding and rhythmic jaw muscle contractions. In one study, 8.2% of the general population were estimated to grind their teeth at least twice a week during sleep, and 4.4% were reported to fulfil the criteria for a full diagnosis of bruxism. It was also found to be more common in those who regularly consume large amounts of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine 54 . Importantly, bruxism can be symptomatic of underlying stress and anxiety; one study found that roughly 70% of sufferers attributed their teeth grinding to these causes 55 .
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45 There is some evidence that both periodic limb movement disorder and restless leg syndrome can be side effects of antidepressants.
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