Sleep walking after nightmare

I have cerebellar ataxia & most nights I have a nightmare that something is wrong with my son and I get up & run down the hall to see him. Many times, I hit the wall. I’m now trying to figure out to keep myself safe. I’m afraid I’ll fall down the stairs or hit the wall hard again. I’m excited when I get up & not get hurt. Not always that lucky. Does this happen to anyone else? Any suggestions? Not sure if I need bed rails? An alarm under the bed if I get up? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

:slightly_smiling_face: In the past, I’ve had repetitive night terrors, but not sleep walking, I have an Episodic ataxia. Some specific Ataxias are linked to sleep disorders, and sleep walking. It’s possible medication may be prescribed to control this, so best to ask your Neurologist for advice :slightly_smiling_face: xB

I have slept walked my entire life. The most important thing to know about sleep walking is that you will not do anything during that level of sleep that you would not do fully awake. You are, actually, fully functional, you’re just not at the same conscious level as awake. In general, if you aren’t concerned about falling down the stairs when you’re awake it shouldn’t be a concern when sleep walking

(I personally, have even done my hair with a hot curling iron while sleep walking with no ill effects, I’ve also gone downstairs and done laundry, and a host of other highly complicated tasks).

You may want to put a baby gate at the top of the stairs. That way, if you do stumble, you have something to arrest the stumble. It will also slow you down if you decide to go downstairs in your sleep, which might be a general safety precaution.

Bed rails and things like that won’t help, you’ll simply take the down or undo them – remember, you’re conscious when you sleep walk, it’s just at a different level.

I’m unaware of an alarm like you mention, unless it’s a motion sensor like a home alarm system? That could work, or, it could go off constantly, that’s going to be trial and error.


I had a sleep study conducted initiated by night terrors and acting out dreams, but not sleep walking. I would often become quite physical in my sleep, and unintentionally abuse my bed partner. Occasionally, a potentially dangerous situation. The doctor concluded that I had REM sleep disorder (REM is rapid eye movement).
Clonazepam was prescribed to me. A very mild sedative often prescribed to patients to alleviate sleep disorders.
I had to quit taking the medication due to the fact that it seemed to make my balance worse, something you don’t need if you’re sleep walking.
Since then I have relocated my sleeping quarters to a recliner. In the recliner, I tend to sleep with my head and shoulders somewhat elevated. Mysteriously, the night terrors and dramatics have ended. A coincidence? maybe, however problem solved, and my sleep partner does not have to sleep with one eye open!
Although Clonazepam did solve the problem, my personal experience with it was less than satisfactory. Therefore I would recommend using it with caution if prescribed.

Thank you all so much for your help. I appreciate you greatly!!!