Mikey North health: ‘I’m a really bad sleepwalker’ – common triggers of the condition

By | June 17, 2019

Mikey North, 32, is no stranger to eventful storylines. His character Gary Windass has been a roguish presence on the cobbled streets of Coronation street, getting into one scrap after another. Last year North shared his own eventful story. Speaking with Rochelle Humes on the Lorraine show, he revealed he suffers from a sleep disorder that has caused him to leave his house in a slumber. Commenting on his condition, he said: “I’ve been known to try and let myself in next door in my pants.”

Sleepwalking is when someone walks or carries out complex activities while not fully awake. It is most likely to occur during a period of deep sleep. This peaks during the early part of the night, so sleepwalking tends to occur in the first few hours after falling asleep, according to the NHS.

It affects people in different ways. Some episodes of sleepwalking may involve just sitting up in bed and looking around, briefly appearing confused, while in others they may get out of bed and walk about, open cupboards, get dressed or eat, and may appear agitated.

In extreme episodes, the person may walk out of the house and carry out complex activities, such as driving a car, or as North divulged: “I’ve woken up on the street with my duvet.”

The eyes are usually open while someone is sleepwalking, although the person will look straight through people and not recognise them. They can often move well around familiar objects.

“If you talk to a person who is sleepwalking, they may partially respond or say things that do not make sense,” said the NHS.

Sleepwalking is when someone walks or carries out complex activities while not fully awake. It is most likely to occur during a period of deep sleep. This peaks during the early part of the night, so sleepwalking tends to occur in the first few hours after falling asleep, according to the NHS.

It affects people in different ways. Some episodes of sleepwalking may involve just sitting up in bed and looking around, briefly appearing confused, while in others they may get out of bed and walk about, open cupboards, get dressed or eat, and may appear agitated.

In extreme episodes, the person may walk out of the house and carry out complex activities, such as driving a car, or as North divulged: “I’ve woken up on the street with my duvet.”

The eyes are usually open while someone is sleepwalking, although the person will look straight through people and not recognise them. They can often move well around familiar objects.

“If you talk to a person who is sleepwalking, they may partially respond or say things that do not make sense,” said the NHS.

Most sleepwalking episodes last less than 10 minutes, but they can be longer. At the end of each episode, the person may wake up, or return to bed and go to sleep.

They won’t normally have any memory of it in the morning or may have patchy memory. If woken while sleepwalking, the person may feel confused and not remember what happened.

It is not clear what causes people to sleep walk, but there are a number of triggers that can increase the risk or worsen the condition, including:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Infection with a fever, especially in children
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • Taking recreational drugs
  • Certain types of medication, such as some sedatives
  • Being startled by a sudden noise or touch, causing abrupt waking from deep sleep
  • Waking up suddenly from deep sleep because you need to go to the toilet

Other sleep disorders that can cause you to frequently wake up suddenly during the night, such as obstructive sleep apnoea and restless legs syndrome, can also trigger a sleepwalking episode.

There is no specific treatment for sleep walking, but taking measures to have a more restful night’s sleep may solve the problem, according National Sleep Foundation. Other treatment options may include:

  • Hypnosis – there are many cases in which sleepwalking patients have successfully treated their symptoms with hypnosis alone, says the health body. Also, pharmacological therapies such as sedative-hypnotics or antidepressants have been helpful in reducing the incidence of sleepwalking in some people.
  • Creating a safe sleeping environment is also critical to avoiding injuries, it said: “For example, if your child sleepwalks, don’t let him or her sleep in a bunk bed. Also, remove any sharp or breakable objects from the area near the bed, install gates on stairways, and lock the doors and windows in your home.”
  • Medication may also be an effective remedy.

According to the NHS, “Medication is not usually used to treat sleepwalking. However, medicines such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants are sometimes used if you sleepwalk often or there’s a risk you could seriously injure yourself or others. These medications can help you sleep and may reduce the frequency of sleepwalking episodes.”

Daily Express :: Health Feed