Do You Have a Sleepwalker?

A pediatric parasomnia is a childhood condition that disrupts sleep. Parasomnias are actually much more common in children than they are in adults, and most children grow out of them over time. The most common parasomnia other than nightmares is sleepwalking. Although it can be distressing to see your child walking around confusedly in the middle of the night, there is usually little to worry about.

Common Conditions Involving Sleep

Parasomnias, such as sleepwalking, usually run in families. However, some of them can be caused by brain disorders, sleep disorders, irregular sleep schedules, and general anxiety. Most of the time, children who sleepwalk do not need any treatments as this condition usually goes away on its own by the teenage years.

If your child sleepwalks, you may see him wandering around the house and even participating in seemingly complex activities. Other children may seem clumsy and dazed as they walk. You will know that your child is still asleep because he will not respond to you when you talk to him. Despite popular beliefs, it is not dangerous to wake up someone who is sleepwalking. However, you may find that it is difficult to get your child back to sleep if you awaken him. Instead, you may be able to direct your child back to bed.

What to do if Your Child has these Conditions

While sleepwalking itself is not usually dangerous, it can lead to dangerous consequences if your child is not in a safe location as he walks. For this reason, you may need to invest in extra locks on doors leading out of your home and will want to lock bedroom windows and remove dangerous items from your child’s room.

Similarly, if your child talks in his sleep, there is most likely little for you to worry about unless it happens frequently or goes on for years. Frequent sleep talking could point to high amounts of stress and anxiety in your child, which may need to be treated so that it does not negatively impact other areas of his life.