Sleepwalking Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Sleepwalking Children Causes, Sleepwalking Causes, Sleep Walk Causes, Sleep Problems Causes, Somnambulism Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Sleepwalking Disorder?

The causes for sleepwalking disorder may involve variable factors such as:

Environmental Factors 4

  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Chaotic sleep schedules
  • Alcohol intoxication


  • Sedative or hypnotics that promote sleep and relaxation
  • Neuroleptics that are used to treat psychosis
  • Stimulants that increase activity
  • Antihistamines that treats allergic symptoms

Medical Conditions

  • Fever
  • Nighttime asthma
  • Arrhythmia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Nighttime seizures
  • Psychiatric disorders such as panic attack, post traumatic stress disorder and multiple personality disorder.


  • The disorder is highly prevalent in twins and those with first degree relatives having sleepwalking problems. These families are also known to be deep sleepers.

The cause sleepwalking disorder in children is often unknown, but the condition may be related to fatigue, stress, anxiety and sleep loss. Sleepwalking in adults is usually associated with mind disorders and can be caused by a reaction to alcohol or drugs as well as other medical conditions. Sleepwalking in the elderly may be a symptom of an organic brain syndrome or disorder in the REM behavior. 5

Could You Have Sleepwalking Disorder?

Sleepwalking Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Narcolepsy – Dyssomnia, Chronic Sleep Disorder, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Insomnia
Nightmare Disorder – Parasomnia Disorder, Temporary Inability to Regain Consciousness, Moaning, Screaming, Gasping
Parasomnia NOS – Abnormal Sleep Behavior Involving Movements, Emotions and Perceptions, Sleep Arousal, Sleepwalking, Night Terrors
Sleep Terror Disorder – Night Terror, Parasomnia, Extreme Terror, Gasping, Moaning