Every parent has fears about sleep walking. They’ve heard stories about children leaving the house in the middle of the night, ending up in unfamiliar territory. This phenomenon, technically referred to as somnambulism, is characterized by open eyes, lack of memory of previous nights movements, and a dazed blank look on the sleep walkers face. An average episode can range anywhere from thirty seconds to thirty minutes. Episodes occur in individuals of all ages, though they are most frequent between the ages of four to eight. A parent need not worry about sleepwalking if they follow the four following tips.
The first strategy for minimizing the dangers of sleep walking is awareness. A parent should be aware of their child’s tendency to sleep walk. Sleep walking is more common amongst children if the parents of a child have a history of sleep walking. A parent should ask their own moms and dads whether they exhibited any symptoms of sleep walking. Knowing your child’s genetic predisposition to somnambulism is the first step to making the home safer for a potential sleep walker.
Every parent should also evaluate their child’s sleep. Sleepwalking in children most often occurs very early in the sleep cycle, about one to three hours. A parent should spend a couple of nights monitoring their children during that time. Not seeing any signs of sleepwalking, however, is not an indication that an episode can not occur. If a parent discovers that their child is prone to episodes of sleep walking, they must now take steps to minimize the possible dangers the child may encounter.
Their is no cure for sleep-walking, so it is important to concentrate on minimizing the harm of the event. To do so, a parent should remove dangerous items, such as needles or razors, from rooms accessible to a child. A parent must also consider messes on the floor that a child can trip on and cause injury. They should also lock the doors every night, and, if plausible, install an coded alarm system. Making the night time environment for a child is important in eliminating the dangers of sleep walking.
The last thing a parent should consider is possible diseases or disorders. Sleepwalking is many times part of a larger picture. If an frequently experiences this phenomenon, it could indicate a mental disorder or be a precursor to seizures. In children sleepwalking is generally attributed to fatigue or anxiety. If episodes occur frequently, however, it could be an indication of a reaction to medication or a disorder of some type. It is important not to overlook episodes of sleepwalking and to seek medical advice if the occur frequently.
Web MD Sleep Disorders
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