Can alcohol cause sleep walking?

Sleep Walking. There are many things that can trigger sleep walking and excess alcohol is one of the possible triggers.
Yes. In susceptible people, any short-acting sedative-hypnotic drug can cause sleepwalking. The more rapidly absorbed the drug, the greater the chance for things like sleep-walking, talking, eating, driving or even having sex while asleep. The newer "z" drug sleeping pills - ambien, sonata, (zaleplon) lunesta, commonly cause this, and alcohol will make it much worse.

Related Questions

What is sleep walking caused by?

Somnambulism. Sleep walking is "somnambulism" and is generally poorly understood...It is generally considered a "parasomnia"....A conditon of altered sleep. It is generally benign, but can pose safety issues for the sufferer...It would be wise to see your family doc for advice and possible referral to a sleep disorder clinic for evaluation and treatment.
Parasomnia. The medical term for sleepwalking is 'somnambulism'. It is one of many 'parasomnias'...Unusual or undesirable events that occur while asleep. It requires consultation with a professional trained in 'sleep medicine'. Using an oral appliance or a CPAP device may remove this behavior.

Does sleep deprivation cause sleep walking?

Possibly. Look at my health guide under sleep walking. There are several questions and answers about sleep walking. To answer your question directly, sleep deprivation can cause several things, notably psychosis, severe confusion and obviously utter exhaustion. There is where your question enters. If totally exhausted and you go to sleep there is a chance you could do some sleep walking. Not common but can.
Yes. People prone to sleep walking are more likely to do so when they are recovering (ie getting good sleep) after sleep deprivation.

Will any drugs cause sleep walking?

Some can. A number of patients I have treated engaged in sleep walking while taking ambien (zolpidem).

How do I treat sleep walking?

See my health guide. Start there then make an effort to identify any possible cause you can reasonably attach to the sleep walking and tackle that problem directly. Your primary care physician may be able to help, or seek psychiatric or neurologic consultation. I'm sure you can track it down.
Sleepwalking. Treatment needs to be individualized, but generally includes making the sleep environment safer. Also, making lifestyle changes that decrease the likelihood of episodes. Some medications used to treat depression or insomnia may cause sleepwalking. Consulting with a sleep specialist may be useful.

How do you diagnose sleep walking?

Two ways, generally. Someone tells us or we see the results of what we did when sleep walking. Some people save themselves a lot of embarrassment by waking up on their own before anyone sees them. They then go silently back to sleep and wake up the next morning with the choice to tell someone and voluntarily embarrass themselves or just be quiet. Really, no need to be embarrassed, it's involuntary.
Hx and tests. Your doctor can make a diagnosis of sleep walking based on adequate history from you and family members and your recollections/lack of, in sleep related activities. He/she can also request a sleep study on you to help in making the diagnosis.

Is it possible to stop my sleep walking?

Yes. Sleepwalking is usually harmless. However, people can get into trouble by wandering out of their home, falling, running into things. If disturbed during the incident, individuals can become agitated. Sometimes, an underlying sleep problem like sleep apnea or leg twitches (periodic limb movements) can trigger the events. There are behavioral methods in addition to medication. See a doctor.

Are there medications to treat sleep walking?

It's questionable. Some meds cause it at times - zolpidem (ambien) for instance, or other sedative hypnotic sleep meds. Many meds are tried but there is no research to suggest significant effectiveness of any medication. When it comes to night terrors, especially in children, diazepam (valium) in small doses has been used for years with reasonable effectiveness.
Sleep walking. If occasional, no treatment needed. Otherwise treating the cause is best.