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VERIFY: Should you wake a sleepwalker?

All week on Daybreak, we're answering your most pressing health questions. Today, we're verifying whether you should wake a sleepwalker.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- In today's Verify: do you wake a sleepwalker?

We went to CHKD Pediatric Sleep Neurologist, Dr. Michael Strunc.

"Actually you don't [want to] wake a sleepwalker," said Dr. Strunc. "It's better to direct them to get where they need to go safely. "

He says sometimes people think that sleepwalking is a result of vivid dreams, but not the case.

"When people sleepwalk, they're in deep sleep. If you try to wake them, you're waking them out of deep sleep," he explained. "It's often quite difficult and then they might be combative."

The condition is hereditary. Dr. Strunc said the person was born without a neurological switch.

"It skips a switch. They go into deep sleep and inappropriately, part of their brain tries to wake up and they walk or talk but they're not dreaming."

There is no medication for this. It is most common in preschoolers and they do outgrow it.

"Just like you would for any pre-schooler, keep their bedroom a safe place," Dr. Strunc said.


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