Sleepwalking Dangers

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Story Updated: Mar 11, 2013

Researchers say it's time to take sleepwalking seriously.

A new report finds that when left untreated, sleepwalking can cause injury, fatigue and even violent behavior.

This French study followed 100 adult sleepwalkers, who were around 30 years old. All were videotaped during one night in a sleep lab, had a clinical exam and answered questions about their sleep habits.

Results showed that 22-point-8 percent of participants had nightly episodes of sleepwalking while more than 43-percent reported sleepwalking at least once a week.

Family history of sleepwalking was reported in more than 56 percent of the people and violent sleep related behaviors in nearly 58-percent-some causing injuries requiring medical care.

Patients with violent behaviors had more night terrors and higher alcohol intake, which may have been contributing factors.

The researchers say their findings provide strong evidence that sleepwalking should not be considered a benign condition.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com