Sleep talking and sleepwalking in children are the common sleep disorders. This type of sleep disorders are also called as Parasomnias.
Sleepwalking is called as Somnambulism and sleep talking is called as Somniloquy.
These sleep disorders are not considered to be as serious and are not result of any physical or psychological problem.
Somnambulism is most common in children between the ages of 4 to 12 years. The cause is still not known why children walk and talk in their sleep.
Sleep talking and sleepwalking in children occur during child’s deep sleep, approximately one to three hours after falling asleep. During sleepwalking a child partly but not completely awakens during the night.
Sleep talking occurs more frequently than sleepwalking in children. They can occur together also. The child may walk or do other things without any memory of doing so.
Symptoms of sleep talking and sleepwalking in children:
- During sleep talking stage the child may use obscene words that would not be used when awaken.
- Children who talk in their sleep may speak very clearly and be easily understood, while some children may mumble, make noise or be incoherent.
- The child may fall and injure themselves.
- Sleepwalking in children may cause your child to urinate in an inappropriate place.
- Your child may sit up in the bed and he does certain movements like rubbing his eye or fumbling with clothes repeatedly.
- Your child possibly will get out of the bed and walk around the room.
- Your child movements are clumsy during this state.
- When you talk to your child he usually won’t answer you.
- Loss of memory or amnesia takes place during this stage.
- Sleepwalking in children occurs in the first third of the sleep episode.
The main fear that every parent has for their sleepwalking in children is their safety. Sleepwalking in children cause loss of judgment capabilities they normally do during walking hours, which makes the possibility of injury when sleepwalking great.
It may be difficult for you to protect your sleepwalking child, since they don’t make much noise.
What can be done to reduce sleepwalking in children?
- You should completely evaluate your child’s bedroom for any potential hazards.
- Don’t use bunk beds or any beds that are too high off the floor for a sleepwalker.
- Shut your child’s bedroom doors and lock the windows. This helps the child to stay in his room and does not wander around the house.
- It is a good idea for a parent to use alarm system for doors, windows and even for your sleepwalking children’s bed.
- If your child speaks loudly and seems upset, it might be a good idea for you to go into your child’s bedroom and comfort him without walking.
- Hypnosis has been found to be helpful for sleepwalking child.
- Remove anything from the bedroom that can be harmful for your child.
- Avoid fluids before bedtime.
- Give a small dose of diazepam or lorazepam which can eliminate the sleep talking and sleepwalking in children.
- When you find sleepwalking in your children you should gently guide them to go to bed.