Last month, Health Talk contributor Michael Howell, M.D., assistant professor with the Department of Neurology, shared five sleep resolutions for 2013. So now that you’re following Dr. Howell’s advice and sleeping better, there is something else that affects an estimated 10 percent of Americans and often goes unreported and undiagnosed, but can have painful consequences and lead to a life-threatening disorder: sleepwalking.
Most of us know someone who occasionally sleepwalks or maybe you’ve even done it yourself. For the most part, sleepwalking is fairly mild and primarily occurs in younger people. The condition falls under the medical category of parasomnias, or abnormal behaviors occurring during or emanating out of sleep.
These mild instances of parasomnia could lead to a much more severe and life-threatening disorder called REM behavior disorder. The Parasomnia Clinic at the University of Minnesota seeks to understand, treat and prevent these conditions.