The Link Between Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking with Mental Health

The Link Between Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking with Mental Health

Sleepwalking and sleep talking fall under the umbrella of abnormal sleep patterns, and can interfere with the mental, physical, and emotional health of an individual. Anxiety and extreme stress can impact sleeping patterns and cause a variety of health problems. Having a mental health condition such as anxiety can worsen any pre-existing sleeping disorders, just as pre-existing mental health conditions can become worse because of a sleeping disorder. Studies show that sleep disorders are also linked to heart conditions and other serious physical conditions. 

Although the odd restless night is quite common, when lack of sleep becomes a consistent pattern, and symptoms become more severe, it can deeply impact a person’s wellbeing. 

Both sleepwalking, and sleep talking can occur for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’re going to explore both sleepwalking and sleep talking and how they are linked to mental health. 

Sleepwalking typically happens during the time when an individual is in the deepest sleep. While asleep, the brain signals skeletal muscles to become temporarily paralyzed, preventing the body from moving – however with sleep disorders, this isn’t always the case. When the body is unable to perform this action, a person may walk and perform various activities while in a deep sleep. Though the person is typically very difficult to wake up, it is a myth that doing so is dangerous and it is important to try and bring the person to a conscious state. 

Sleep talking often happens during the deepest sleep period as well and is usually in addition to rapid eye movement. Sleep talking is quite common. However, if this is a regular occurrence, it is possible this is happening because the individual is suffering from depression or anxiety, nightmares, or under the influence of a substance.

Sleeping issues are very common in people who struggle with depression, PTSD, anxiety, post-traumatic brain injuries, and Schizophrenia. Other mental health disorders can affect sleep patterns as well. 

The health risks associated with sleep disorders extend beyond exhaustion. Additional health problems and mood disorders can develop over time if left untreated. 

When looking to resolve sleep disorders (including sleepwalking and sleep talking), treating the underlying existing mental health condition is often the fastest and most effective way to resolve the issue. Stress plays a large role in the development of sleep disorders, and often both conditions worsen when left untreated. If you’re looking to get assistance with your sleeping conditions reach out to Ottawa Counselling today.