Issue Navigator

Volume 14 No. 02
Earn CME
Accepted Papers

Case Reports

Adult-Onset Sleepwalking Secondary to Hyperthyroidism: Polygraphic Evidence

Loretta Giuliano, MD, MSc1; Daniela Fatuzzo, MD1; Greta Mainieri, MD1; Sandro La Vignera, MD2; Vito Sofia, MD1; Mario Zappia, MD1
1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies “G.F. Ingrassia”, Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 2Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Sleepwalking is a disorder characterized by complex motor behaviors arising from slow wave sleep usually occurring in children. The adult onset of sleepwalking suggests the presence of an external precipitating factor leading to the occurrence of the disorder. Hyperthyroidism has been reported to be the possible cause of sleepwalking in a few cases. We present the case of a 36-year-old man who reported a sudden appearance of nocturnal episodes of sleepwalking. He underwent a complete video polysomnography (VPSG), which showed a polygraphic pattern arising from stage N3 sleep related to the presence of simple motor behaviors. Routine blood tests showed a mild hyperthyroidism. After 4 months of thyrostatic treatment, the patient reported no more sleepwalking events. A VPSG performed at the last follow-up showed the absence of pathological electroclinical events arising from stage N3 sleep. Therefore, we hypothesize that there is a link between sleepwalking and thyroid dysfunction in our patient.


Giuliano L, Fatuzzo D, Mainieri G, La Vignera S, Sofia V, Zappia M. Adult-onset sleepwalking secondary to hyperthyroidism: polygraphic evidence. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(2):285–287.

Please login to continue reading the full article

Subscribers to JCSM get full access to current and past issues of the JCSM.

Login to JCSM

Not a subscriber?

Join the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and receive a subscription to JCSM with your membership

Subscribe to JCSM:  $75/volume year for individuals or $140/volume year for institutions to access all current articles and archives published in JCSM.

Download this article*:   $20 to access a PDF version of a specific article from the current issue of JCSM.

*Purchase of an electronic download of JCSM provides permission to access and print the issue/article for personal scholarly, research and educational use. Please note: access to the article is from the computer on which the article is purchased ONLY. Purchase of the article does not permit distribution, electronic or otherwise, of the article without the written permission of the AASM. Further, purchase does not permit the posting of article text on an online forum or website.