What Causes Sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnose your symptoms now!
  • have a doctor review your case (optional)
  • learn what you should be doing right now
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose sleepwalking, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "sleepwalking" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Heartburn
  • Panic Attacks
  • Alcohol Consequences
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Drug Side-Effects
  • Stress
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Seizure Disorder

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
having asthma
excellent HDL cholesterol level
low lymphocyte count
absent sexual desire
recent onset hoarse voice
regular nightmares
magnesium-based antacid use
a high-stress lifestyle
severe eyelid twitch
coffee consumption
an average-stress lifestyle
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of sleepwalking:
Cause Probability Status
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 95% Confirm
Alcohol Consequences 28% Unlikely
Drug Side-Effects 13% Unlikely
Seizure Disorder 0% Ruled out
Stress 0% Ruled out
Panic Attacks 0% Ruled out
Heartburn 0% Ruled out
Dissociative Identity Disorder 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate sleeping-related problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you experienced Sleepwalking? These are episodes where you perform activities in your sleep (not necessarily just walking) and have no knowledge at the time that you are doing them.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, never
→ Yes, episode(s) in the past but not currently
→ Occasionally / a few episodes per year on average
→ Frequently / several episodes per month on average
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no history of sleepwalking, past sleepwalking, regular sleepwalking or frequent sleepwalking, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
(Prescription) Drug Side-Effects

Sleepwalking can be caused by hypnotics, sedatives, neuroleptics, stimulants or antihistamines.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease is thought to trigger sleepwalking in those without a previous history of sleepwalking.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
We use cookies for traffic analysis, advertising, and to provide the best user experience