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Why do some people walk in their sleep?

Sleepwalking (somnambulism) is a rare sleep disorder wherein a sufferer arise from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and perform activities that are usually performed during a state of full consciousness. These activities can be as harmless as sitting up in bed or walking to the bathroom or as hazardous as strolling outdoors or driving for a few miles.  There are even reports of sleepwalkers who committed violent crimes such as homicide and did not remember anything.

This sleep disorder happens because something went wrong in the "sleep center" in the brain which controls the sleeping and the waking of the body. When you sleep, the sleep center blocks of a part of the brain so that it goes to sleep and does not perform any action and it also blocks off certain nerves that brings in the messages to the brain thereby allowing your body to go to sleep.

For sleepwalkers, the "sleep center" gets disconnected from the body. Under such conditions, while the brain goes to sleep, the body remains awake.

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