Featured Image Credit: @dr.karanr/TikTok
Contrary to what you may have heard on TV, a doctor has assured that you actually can wake a sleepwalker.
Sleepwalking is one of those unusual acts which can be hard to imagine if you've never witnessed it yourself. If depicted on TV it's usually in the form of someone doing something embarrassing, and even those doing the sleepwalking will probably struggle to get their heads around it, given they're unconscious at the time.
Still, it is something which very much does happen in real life, and the NHS reports that it's thought 1 in 5 children will sleepwalk at least once. But if you do spot someone wandering around while unconscious, should you wake them up?
Hear what TikToker and Doctor Karan Raj has to say on the matter below:
The doctor shared his thoughts over some brilliant TikTok footage taken of a man seemingly enjoying a tasty meal in his sleep, with a conscious person behind the camera sneakily filming him as he put a spoon into his mouth and rubbed his belly.
Not all sleepwalking acts are so harmless, though, as Dr. Raj explained that 'people who sleepwalk sometimes don't just walk around, they can drive cars, use power tools, have sex, even kill people - yeah sleepwalking murder is a real thing.'
With this in mind, the doctor said you should 'definitely' wake a sleepwalker, assuring it 'won't do them any harm'.
However, waking up to find that you're somewhere other than the location in which you fell asleep would naturally be startling, so Dr. Raj warned that 'they may be disorientated, and slightly confused and maybe even violent, so approach with caution'.
Dr. Raghu Reddy, UAMS Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine Specialist, shared Raj's view in saying 'it is not dangerous to wake up a patient from sleepwalking', though said there is 'no consensus on what is the best approach when one encounters a sleepwalking patient.'
Per UAMS Health, he continued: 'Experts who discourage it quote it is unsuccessful and leads to patient disorientation. Try to ease them back to bed without making forceful attempts. If unsuccessful, just watch closely to assure their safety and try again after some time has passed.'
The cause of sleepwalking is unknown, though it is rare in adults and seems to run in families, with people more likely to sleepwalk if they are related to others who have experienced sleepwalking or night terrors.
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