risks of sleepwalking in children

What is sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking episodes occur during deep sleep. In this, the child might get out of bed and start walking as he does when awake, but will not respond to anything happening around.

It is quite common among kids, nearly 7-15% of kids sleepwalk, and it is not usually a sign of anything serious psychologically or emotionally.

Children who fall under the age of 4-12 years are more likely to sleepwalk; both girls, as well as boys, sleepwalk.

When it happens?

It usually happens in the first few hours of the night. During sleepwalk episodes, the child’s mind is asleep but his body is awake.

Signs of sleepwalking

Here are the signs that tell your kid is sleepwalking.
·         Move about in his/her bed
·         Sleep talking
·         Try to make a conversation, which doesn’t make any sense
·         Get out of bed and walk around the whole house
·         Perform certain tasks, such as getting dressed or setting the table
·         Open eyes, with a glassy stare
·         Get upset but forget it in the morning
·         Go out of the house and wander around outside.

Occurrence of sleepwalking

Sleepwalking usually occurs once or twice a month or for a couple of times each night.
It follows in some families and can happen along with sleep talking and nightmares.

Causes of sleepwalking

Usually, it is associated with age and development, but some things can increase the occurrence of sleepwalking:

·         Lack of sleep
·         Fever or illness
·         Family history of sleepwalking
·         Medical conditions such as epilepsy or obstructive sleep apnea
·         Stress or depression.

Treatment & management

As such there is no medication required to treat sleepwalking, usually, children grow out of it as teenagers.

Here are few tips to manage this condition:
·         Create a safe environment around your child.
·         Make sure your kid is having adequate sleep.
·         Try to keep a regular bedtime.

Risks of sleepwalking

In most of the cases, sleepwalkers have mild symptoms such as simply sit up in bed or start speaking while asleep. But people who actually get up from their bed and walk around during a deep sleep can find themselves in trouble. Sleepwalkers are known to leave their homes and walk outside on the roads, while some have even tried to drive while sleeping. To reduce the risk, it is essential to create a safe sleep environment. Sharp objects should be away from the bed area.


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