Stanford, Calif. – Findings from a new Stanford University study expose the prevalence of sleepwalking in adults.
Researchers say they found more than eight million adults in the United States, or 3.6% of the population, experience sleepwalking. This study was the first one conducted in three decades on sleepwalking prevalence.
The findings show that nocturnal wandering was increased when an adult used over-the-counter sleep aids, or experienced an underlying psychiatric condition such as depression or anxiety.
As part of the study, nearly one out of three Americans says they've been caught sleepwalking at least once. The majority of these instances were reported during childhood.
Doctors say sleepwalking is generally harmless, though it can lead to injuries if sleepwalkers fall or run into obstacles.
The study was published May 15 in the journal Neurology.