Picture this – you have finally managed to put your little one to sleep and are now enjoying your favourite show on TV. Suddenly, you find your little one walking out of the room, looking dazed and confused. Ever faced this situation before?
It may be unnerving to hear at first, but this could be a sign that your child may actually be sleepwalking. Sleepwalking, or somnambulism, is a condition that affects children during their pre-teen years and most likely has a genetic origin.
Though it may sound concerning at first, you will be surprised to know that sleepwalking amongst children is more common than you think.
To help you understand all the aspects of sleepwalking in children, here is a detailed list of the most common symptoms and causes that can help you deal with the situation better.
Causes of Sleepwalking in Kids:
Sleepwalking affects around 15% kids, and is more common in kids than in adults. A large percentage of kids affected by this condition may have this
Alternatively, some of the most common causes that may trigger sleepwalking in kids are:
- Having a full bladder
- Anxiety and stress
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Use of certain medications
[ Read: Sleep Apnea In Children ]
Kids Sleepwalking Symptoms:
Contrary to the popular belief, your child may not always walk into another room while sleepwalking.
- One of the most common symptoms of sleepwalking is when your child suddenly gets up from sleep and sits up on the bed or starts walking. This is most commonly observed within a few hours of the child going to bed.
- Your child may appear dazed and confused, and her eyes may be open or closed while sleepwalking.
- In some cases, your child may also perform certain complex tasks such as eating or getting dressed while she is actually not awake.
- Your child may also talk, but speech will most likely be blurred and meaningless. This scenario typically lasts for around 15 minutes, and may happen only once at night. At this point of time, avoid trying to wake up your child.
[ Read: Sleep Problems In Children ]
Helping Your Child With Sleepwalking:
Children who are emotional are more likely to be affected by this condition. If you feel your child has a similar behavior pattern, there is no need to worry yet, as children simply grow out of this condition without the need of any medication or professional help.
Here are a few ways you can help your child to come out of sleepwalking:
- It is important to ensure that while sleepwalking, your child does not hurt himself.
- Try making the surroundings safer for your child, especially the child’s room, or your bedroom (if you are co-sleeping).
- If your child sleeps in a bunk bed, make sure he doesn’t sleep on the top bunk.
- Ensure the main door is always locked. Many children tend to go out of the house in their sleep.
- If your child is sleepwalking regularly, you can seek medical advice from the child’s doctor. The doctor may suggest certain treatment options based on the cause of your child’s sleepwalking habits.
- It is also a good idea to stick to regularity in terms of routines. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom right before going to bed, ensure proper mealtimes, etc.
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep during the night.
- If you do discover the child sleepwalking, do not try to interfere and wake him up.
- Ensure your child is away from all stressful situations that may have triggered the sleepwalking problem.
It can be quite daunting for a parent to hear their child is sleepwalking. Unlike what you may feel, this is a completely natural process and will most likely go away on its own. Stay positive and help your child grow through it without worrying or causing further stress to your child.
Share your stories of kids sleepwalking with us in the comment section below.
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