Sleep Apnea Causes Sleep Walking and Hallucinations?

Most of us think of sleep walking or sleep eating as strange, but separate and distinct from obstructive sleep apnea, but a recent study showed that in a group of people with obstructive sleep apnea, almost 10% had one or more of the parasomnias (sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep hallucinations and paralysis, etc.). This is not too surprising since having apneas can cause confusion in the transitions from one sleep stage to another. Another study from 2005 showed that in young men who sleep walked, the majority had a sleep-breathing disorder. When they were treated with either CPAP or surgery, the sleepwalking was completely controlled.

Do you ever sleep walk or eat at night without knowing it? Do you ever feel like you’re paralyzed and you can’t breathe as you’re about to fall asleep or when you’re about to wake up?

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4 thoughts on “Sleep Apnea Causes Sleep Walking and Hallucinations?

  1. My son is 19. We went to an ENT this week and the dr. recommended septoplasty because of his deviated septum. He’s also having enlarged tonsils remoeved at the same time. He’s broke his nose when he was approx 15 years old and it was repaired but the surgeon then told us he’d probably have to have surgery again. Well, he just wandered into a neighbor’s house after drinking and yes, smoking marijuana, and passing out in a passenger seat of a car. The car was not moving. The kids involved just sat in it to smoke. The other people in the car went back into the house and left him in he car sleeping. A couple of hours later, he was arrested for burglary. He had wandered into the neighbor’s house. He doesn’t remember anything; slept through a house alarm and only woke when the homeowner grabbed him. The only thing we can tie this to is sleepwalking. The dr. says this is certainly possible but is not recommending the sleep study because he clearly needs the nose repaired and the tonsils out.

  2. It’s certainly possible that it was from sleepwalking, but he was also smoking marijuana. I agree that his obvious breathing problems should be dealt with first and then see what happens. If he continues to sleep walk, then talk to a sleep doctor about an evaluation and a possible sleep study.

  3. I have a long history of sleep walking and I also suffer from chronic migraine. I was just recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. Could the three be related?