Are you or your child/teen sleep walking?
Sleep Walking (Sonambulism) is very common in children. It is considered a Parasomnia and it occurs in many children and adults. A parasomnia is described as “an unpleasant or undesirable behavioral or experiential phenomena that occurs predominantly during the sleep period” (Mahowald, Chokroverty, Kader, & Schenck, 1997, p. 67). Simply stated, parasomnias like sleep walking are unusual movements or behaviors during sleep, many of which occur when the child or adult is transitioning from the deepest sleep level of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. It is believed that the parasomnia occurs when the person gets “stuck” between level 4 of NREM sleep (slow wave or deep sleep) and REM (dream state) sleep. As a result, the brain is not transitioning smoothly from one sleep stage to another. Sleep walking can occur about once every 60-to-90 minutes and last for 15-to-20 minutes. However, sleep walking often occurs in the first third of the night and about 60-90 minutes after the child falls asleep.
If you or your child/adolescent is struggling with Sleep Walking, you can click the "Parent Screen Your Child" button above (even for adults) to obtain more information and interventions for this problem and screen for other common sleep disorders that can be related to sleep walking. This screening will give you intervention ideas to protect your or your child when s/he sleep walks or information and treatment possibilities if your you or your child score high on another major pediatric sleep disorder.
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