Study: Sleepwalking people feel no pain

Study: Sleepwalking People Feel No Pain

Sleepwalking can be dangerous, but many sleepwalkers don't feel pain and even stay asleep after they've been injured.

A new study published in the journal SLEEP found that 79 percent of sleepwalkers who experienced at least one recent injurious incident were unaware of the pain during the episode and thus were able to stay asleep after the injury occurred.

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The study included 100 known sleepwalkers and 100 members of a control group -- both men and women were involved.

Out of the sleepwalkers' group, 47 reported at least one episode of sleepwalking that caused injury but only 10 of those injured reported waking immediately from the pain it caused.

The other 37 experienced no hurt during the sleepwalking episode, but felt it later in the night or the morning.

For instance, one patient jumped out of a third floor window and didn't realize their severe injuries until waking up later in the night.

Another patient climbed and fell off his roof while asleep—breaking his leg in the process—but didn't realize it until the next morning.

Psychiatrist, sleep medicine specialist and principal investigator, Dr. Regis Lopez, summed up the significance of the findings, saying, "We report here, for the first time, an analgesia phenomenon associated with sleepwalking."

According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleepwalking is thought to affect some four percent of adults.

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