Sleep Walking Lady MacBeth by Johann Heinrich Füssli

Interruptions as a whole are never fun to deal with. We’ve all been interrupted at some point in our lives whether it was while cooking dinner, working, or simply taking some quiet time out of the day. An interruption to your schedule can be a domino effect to the rest of your day. It can make you late for an appointment or it may reduce the amount of time you have to devote to another activity. When it comes to our bodies, interruptions can cause a vast range of consequences. For example, consider sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea brings about an interruption to the normal sleeping pattern. This happens because the condition will cause the apneic (a person who suffers from sleep apnea) to stop breathing at various times during the night. This stop can last for up to 30 seconds, if not longer. Though it doesn’t seem like a long time, after occurring hundreds of times in one night, the time adds up quickly. This interruption to the breathing pattern causes a vast range of symptoms from headaches in the morning, restlessness, snoring, and a dry mouth. Internally while the breathing pattern is halted, the organs are deprived of oxygen which has proven to cause future health problems.

At the same time, this interruption also causes other interruptions, especially in the brain. The brain is the body’s main control system. It works alongside with all of the other bodily systems to ensure they are working properly by sending out the needed signals. However, when breathing is interrupted, it can cause an interruption in the sleeping pattern, which can then cause the brain to send signals that cause parasomnic conditions such as sleepwalking.

Even though it may seem like a stretch, sleepwalking may be a symptom of sleep apnea. Of course this requires proper testing and diagnosis of both somnambulism and sleep apnea to connect the two. Anyone who experiences sleepwalking or symptoms of sleep apnea should definitely get tested and diagnosed accordingly.