Parasomnias are a unique group of individuals who sleep walk, sleep eat, sleep drive, and even sleep sex. Sleep walking and similar behavior affects 3.6% of the American population, or 8.5 million Americans. It is hereditary to some degree, and in contrast to the .04% of the population with narcolepsy, it is an extremely high percentage for a sleep condition. Doctors stress that parasomnia is not a manifestation of a deeper psychological issue. Psychiatrists are quick to attribute it to depression or anxiety, and not as a symptom of something new, as some doctors suggest.
While most of the information studied concerns REM sleep behavior disorders, but those suffering from non-REM sleep behavior disorders are coming forward as well and being studied. Unless living with a family or a spouse, the patients do not often know the degree of what they are doing while they sleep.
Oftentimes parasomnias are harmless to themselves and others, however the condition is totally unpredictable and patients should seek treatment. The REM sleep behavior disorders most often affect older males, who have woken up harming themselves or their spouses, or worse.