Have you heard of somnambulism?
Somnambulism, or sleepwalking, is a behaviour disorder. It is much more common among children compared with adults and usually occurs in those who are sleep-deprived. It happens during the stage of deep sleep. In an article titled ‘Sleepwalking’ by Kidshealth, it is mentioned that, “Kids tend to sleepwalk within an hour or two of falling asleep and may walk around for anywhere from a few seconds to 30 minutes.”
Sleepwalking, as the name suggests, isn’t just restricted to walking while still asleep. In some children, it can take harmful forms like wandering outside the home, or inappropriate forms like urinating in a closet.
There are several causes of sleepwalking in children. Some of the common causes of sleepwalking among children are insomnia, stress, irregular sleep schedule, full bladder. Children who experience night terrors are more likely to indulge in sleepwalking. Also, children born to parents who were sleepwalkers are more likely to sleepwalk. According to the article ‘Kids with 'Night Terrors' More Likely to Sleepwalk written by Rachael Rettner in livescience.com, “Parents who have been sleepwalkers in the past, particularly in cases where both parents have been sleepwalkers, can expect their children to sleepwalk, and thus should prepare adequately.”
Parents of sleepwalking children must take certain precautions to keep their children safe like locking the doors and windows, not allowing sleepwalking children to sleep on bunkbeds, and keeping dangerous objects out of reach. Most children outgrow the habit of sleepwalking, but if the habit becomes frequent, parents should seek medical help.
For more information, browse through the ClipBook ‘Sleepwalking child: causes and solutions’
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