Cait,11, was trying to fall asleep when her 8-year-old brother, Doug, came into her room. He looked around a bit, but seemed really out of it.
Then Doug went back into the hallway and stood there staring up at the hall light.
Little brothers can be weird, but this was really strange. Cait didn't know what to do. Just then, Cait's father appeared and explained that Doug was sleepwalking.
What Is Sleepwalking?
Not all sleep is the same every night. We experience some deep, quiet sleep and some active sleep, which is when dreams happen. You might think sleepwalking would happen during active sleep, but a person isn't physically active during active sleep. Sleepwalking usually happens in the first few hours of sleep in the stage called slow-wave or deep sleep.
Not all sleepwalkers actually walk. Some simply sit up or stand in bed or act like they're awake (but dazed) when, in fact, they're asleep! Most, however, do get up and move around for a few seconds or for as long as half an hour.
Sleepwalkers' eyes are open, but they don't see the same way they do when they're awake and often think they're in different rooms of the house or different places altogether. Sleepwalkers tend to go back to bed on their own and they won't remember it in the morning.
Researchers estimate that up to 15% of kids sleepwalk regularly. Sleepwalking may run in families and sometimes occurs when a person is sick, has a fever, is not getting enough sleep, or is stressed.
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