Sleepwalking, or somnambulism is a behavior disorder that takes place during the deepest stage of dreamless sleep.
Sleepwalking is very common in kids. They tend to sleepwalk within an hour or two of falling asleep. They may walk around for a few seconds to minutes. No matter what they’re doing, a sleepwalker will usually have their eyes open, with a confused, glassy stare. Even so, they’re really and truly asleep, which means they probably won’t remember anything about the incident if you ask them about it the next day.
It’s difficult to wake someone up while they are sleepwalking. When they are awakened they may feel groggy and disoriented for a few minutes.
It’s common in kids than in adults. The condition may run in families.
- lack of sleep or fatigue
- irregular sleep schedules
- illness or fever
- some medicines
What Happens During Sleepwalking?
Getting out of the bed and walking while sleeping is the commonest symptom.
Other symptoms include
- sleep talk
- be hard to wake up
- seem dazed
- be clumsy
- not respond when spoken to
- kids sit up and do repeated motions such as rubbing eyes
Doctors generally don’t do any test to diagnose the condition. They take a detailed history of the child’s sleeping habits.
Children normally outgrow the habit of sleepwalking and treatment with medicines is not necessary.
It can be managed by lifestyle modifications:
- Improving sleep hygiene to minimize fatigue
- Avoiding stress and anxiety
- modifying the environment to reduce tripping hazards
- Emptying the bladder before sleep
How to Keep a Sleepwalker Safe
Sleepwalking isn’t dangerous by itself. But it’s important to take precautions so that your sleepwalking child is less likely to fall down, run into something, and walk out the front door.
- Don’t wake up the sleepwalker because it might scare them. Instead, guide them back to bed.
- Make sure to lock the windows in your Childs room. Consider child safety locks on doors.
- Don’t let the child sleep in the bunk bed to prevent falls from height
- Move the sharp objects or breakable things from your Childs room
- Keep dangerous objects out of reach.
- Make sure to install safety gates outside your Childs room or at the top of any stairs.