New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., shows that sleepwalking is much more prevalent than previously thought. As many as 8.5 million U.S. adults—or 3.6% of the nation’s population—are prone to nocturnal wanderings.
The research team found an association between sleepwalking and certain mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. According to the study’s findings, people who suffered from depression were 3.5 times more likely to sleepwalk and those with obsessive-compulsive disorder were four times more likely to sleepwalk than people without the disorders.
Scientists interviewed 15,929 Americans ages 18 and older from 15 states. Participants were asked questions about their sleep habits, general health, medications and mental disorders.
The study appeared in the May 15 issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.