Photo by Luc De Leeuw via Flickr Creative Commons
A sleepwalking 13-year-old fell from the third-story window of a Compton townhouse early Friday morning. The teen suffered a broken arm when he hit the ground.
The incident, occurring shortly before 2:30 a.m. in the 500 block of North Willowbrook Avenue, prompted a response from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Compton Fire Department.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sleepwalking, though possible at any age, happens most often in children 5 to 12 years old and "appears to run in families." Notes the NLM, "the main complication is getting injured while sleepwalking."
Sleepwalking (somnambulism) most often occurs during deep, non-REM sleep (stage 3 or stage 4 sleep) early in the night. Fatigue, lack of sleep, and anxiety are all associated with sleepwalking. The cause of sleepwalking in children is usually unknown. In the elderly, sleepwalking may be a symptom of an organic brain syndrome or REM behavior disorders. In adults, sleepwalking may occur with:
- Alcohol, sedatives, or other medication
- Medical conditions, such as partial complex seizures
- Mental disorders