Sleepwalking is a prevalent disorder that happens in kids, but what is behind this behavior? Not only the causes of sleepwalking you may wonder if it needs therapy and how best to prevent it. Explore facts about children’s sleepwalking symptoms, causes, and best therapy options.
What is Sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking is the purposeful walking movement that takes place in a sleep-like condition. Sometimes it is called somnambulism. Sleepwalking is one of the parasomnias, a class of sleep disorders that includes abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep.
How Common Is Sleepwalking In Children?
Sleepwalking occurs to be more prevalent in children than in adults. This disease affects an estimated 1% to 15% of the overall population, more than half of which are children. It has been noted that if the baby is deprived of sleep or is tired, it is more probable that the kid will have an episode of sleepwalking.
Causes Of Sleepwalking In Children
Some causes of children’s sleepwalking include –
- Sleepwalking is the type of family disorder. If this happens to you or another family member, then there are chances that your child will follow suit.
- Sleep deprivation is one of the sleepwalking’s major causes. If your kid suffers from the absence of sleep, a sleepwalking episode is likely to occur.
- An uneven pattern of sleep may also trigger sleepwalking.
- Drugs can lead to sleepwalking. If your kid has a powerful medication, these medicines are likely to be the culprit. A couple of powerful drugs such as stimulants, antihistamines.
- Stress is the cause of several disorders, and this is also good for sleepwalking.
- Restless leg syndrome is a disorder that impacts the CNS where an abnormal moving pattern is present in the impacted region (generally the leg). Another cause for sleepwalking may be RLS.
Symptoms Of Sleepwalking In Children
The first thing you associate with when you hear the word sleepwalking is walking during sleep. Walking while sleeping, however, is not the only indication of this illness. There are endless sleepwalking signs and symptoms, and these are some of the most common signs among children:
- Sitting up, looking around.
- Speaking asleep but not reacting when you spoke to it.
- Cry while you’re asleep.
- Walking and then urinating in inappropriate areas (such as indoor wardrobes or sinks).
- A cycle of repetitive behaviors such as opening and closing windows or doors, which is mostly repetitive.
- Inability to remember the next day having an episode of sleepwalking.
- Screaming (particularly for a nightmare).
- Violent behavior such as kicking and hitting
- It’s difficult to wake the child.
Diagnosis Of Sleepwalking In Children
The sleepwalking diagnosis involves a review of the sleep patterns and the history of the child’s sleepwalking events. There is also a physical examination in which the patient is examined for nightmares, sleep seizures, and panic attacks. In some cases, nocturnal sleep study or polysomnography is performed in which the child is made to spend the night overnight in the laboratory, observing brain waves, heart rate, oxygen levels, REM, and movement of the legs.
Treatment For Sleepwalking in Children
You need to go down to the roots to treat somnambulism because this is generally caused by basic problems such as lack of sleep, stress or anxiety. So when you get to the root or cause, it becomes much easier to treat this illness. Several therapy choices can assist with this disease, but most of the time a kid stops having sleepwalking episodes once it hits the adolescent years.
In some instances, drugs and certain medicines are the causal factors for sleepwalking. Consult your doctor for an option that has no side effects of sleepwalking.
Sleepwalking may also be helped by therapy and counseling. A few stress reduction and sleep therapy sessions have helped a lot.
Many kids experience episodes of sleepwalking, and this reduces gradually once the kid reaches the adolescent years. These preventive measures can be kept in mind in order to prevent sleepwalking in the future.
- Make sure your child’s sleep was sufficient. Inadequate or interrupted sleep can lead to a sleepwalking episode most of the time.
- Note the dates when an episode of sleepwalking happens. You’ll see a repeat or pattern most of the time.
- If your kid has a history of episodes of sleepwalking, bring him or her to a therapist and apply methods of sleep relaxation or stress reduction treatment.
- Make sure the bedroom of the child is cool, dry, cozy and dark. This enables you to sleep better.
- Also, make sure that during the night when the kid is asleep there is no noise or other disturbance. If you keep the TV or radio in or near the bedroom of the child, make sure that you move it from there.
- Keep periodic and consistent sleep timing.
- Don’t let your kid sleep throughout the day for lengthy hours, particularly post three in the afternoon, as this may interrupt the night sleep pattern.
- Make sure your kid gets a healthy workout. Include a good daily exercise routine, or at least three to four times a week, if this is not the case.
- Ensure that your kid is eating healthy. If performed occasionally, indulging in junk food is okay. Do not give your baby a heavy night diet.
Sleepwalking is a disease that can be disturbing, particularly if it affects your little one. But you can assist treat it with the correct treatment and therapy. Make sure you follow the tips, therapy, and treatment to keep your kid safe.
Also Read: Breathing Exercises For Better Sleep