Sleep-Walking, or Somnambulism remarkable disorder, proceeding from an inflamed or disturbed imagination ; and in which the patient's eyes are widely open; though he can discern no object: at the same time, he has the power of recollection ; directs his walks to some particular spot; and, after arriving at the end of his nocturnal journey, he retires to bed, apparently composed; and sleeps calmly during the remainder of the night.
Dr. Cullen considers this affection as an active species of the Nightmare (oneirodynia activa), and consequently as originating from the same source.
The causes, however, which have generally been supposed to induce somnambulism, are: a very plethoric state of the. blood, especially that towards the head; a disturbed ima gination, in co ms ; or particular causes that harass the mind during sleep and. according to Levade, con-is of the brain.
cure- Where plethora is the cause, the first passages ought to be cleared by a powerful cathartic; and some blood should then be taken, either from the arm or from the foot; after which, alterative powders, consisting of nitre, cinnabar, and crabs-eyes, in due proportions, have been prescribed with advantage. - Eleclricity, and frequent bathing, have occasionally proved of service; and it will farther be advisable, to place a vessel of water, or wet cloths, contiguous to the bed-side, so that the patient, by the sudden stimulus on the soles of his feet, be immediately aw ened. - Should these remedies fail of success, it has been strongly recommended, by medical writers, to watch the patient, and to chas-him, as often as he is about to renew 1 is nocturnal rambles; yet we do not approve of such coercive measures.