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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