somnambulism

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Related to somnambulists: somnambulism

sleepwalking

 
rising from bed and walking or performing other complex motor behavior during an apparent state of sleep; much mystery has been attached to this, although it is no more mysterious than dreaming. The chief difference between the two is that the sleepwalker, besides dreaming, is also using the part of the brain that stimulates walking. This usually occurs during the first third of the night and lasts for a few minutes to a half hour. The sleeper is relatively unresponsive, not easily awakened, and usually amnesic for the episode later. It is most likely to happen during periods of emotional stress and usually ceases when the source of anxiety is removed. In many cases it occurs only once or twice and does not happen again. If it recurs frequently (called sleepwalking disorder) it may stem from serious emotional distress (see sleep disorders). Called also somnambulism.
sleepwalking disorder repeated episodes of sleepwalking.

som·nam·bu·lism

(som-nam'byū-lizm),
1. A disorder of sleep involving complex motor acts that occurs primarily during the first third of the night but not during REM sleep. Synonym(s): oneirodynia activa, sleepwalking, somnambulance
2. A form of hysteria in which purposeful behavior is forgotten.
[L. somnus, sleep, + ambulo, to walk]

somnambulism

/som·nam·bu·lism/ (som-nam´bu-lizm) sleepwalking; rising out of bed and walking about or performing other complex motor behavior during an apparent state of sleep.

somnambulism

(sŏm-năm′byə-lĭz′əm)
som·nam′bu·list n.
som·nam′bu·lis′tic adj.

somnambulism

[somnam′byəliz′əm]
Etymology: L, somnus, sleep, ambulare, to walk
1 also called noctambulation, sleepwalking, somnambulance. a condition occurring during stage 3 or 4 of nonrapid eye movement sleep that is characterized by complex motor activity, usually culminating in leaving the bed and walking about. The person has no recall of the episode on awakening. The episodes, which usually last from several minutes to half an hour or longer, are seen primarily in children, are more common in boys than in girls, and are more likely to occur if the individual is fatigued or under stress or has taken a sedative or hypnotic medication at bedtime. Seizure disorders, central nervous system infections, and trauma may be predisposing factors, but the condition is more commonly related to anxiety. In adults, the condition is less common and is classified as a dissociative reaction.
2 a hypnotic state in which the person has full possession of the senses but no recollection of the episode. See also fugue.

somnambulism

Sleepwalking, see there.

som·nam·bu·lism

(son-am'byū-lizm)
1. Sleepwalking; a disorder of sleep involving complex motor acts that occur primarily during the first third of the night but not during rapid eye movement sleep.
2. A form of hysteria in which purposeful behavior is forgotten.
[L. somnus, sleep, + ambulo, to walk]

somnambulism

See SLEEPWALKING.

Somnambulism

Another term for sleepwalking.
Mentioned in: Sleep Disorders

som·nam·bu·lism

, somnambulance (son-am'byū-lizm, -lăns)
Sleep disorder involving complex motor acts.
[L. somnus, sleep, + ambulo, to walk]

somnambulism (somnam´būlizəm),

n a habitual walking in the sleep; a hypnotic state in which the subject has full possession of senses but no subsequent recollection.
References in classic literature ?
The slim one got up and walked straight at me--still knitting with down- cast eyes--and only just as I began to think of getting out of her way, as you would for a somnambulist, stood still, and looked up.
Finding the drawing-room dark, he went upstairs, and spent some time between the bedroom and the dressing-room, changing his clothes, going to and fro with the air of a thoughtful somnambulist.
He carried his head well up, but he had the expression of a somnambulist struggling with the very dream which drives him forth to wander in dangerous places.
In short, the night's work had so exhausted and worn out this actor in it, that he had become a mere somnambulist.
Director Diana Leblanc gave her Butterfly an ethereal, dream-state quality, but rather than emotional tsunamis to buoy Puccini's restrained but still ravishing score, the characters were somnambulists, plodding rather than giddily fluttering between cherry blossoms of naive love.
In the 1880s his notes frequently describe human beings as somnambulists, sleepwalkers hallucinating their idea of the world, acting automatically without realizing what their actions mean (Life and Work 190, 192).
The stream-of-consciousness technique that Calhoun at times adopts allows us to view the world through the eyes of both the healthy and the sick, and precludes simplistic judgments about the zombie-like somnambulists.