What to do if the child is a sleepwalker
Some parents become stupor, others are horrified when they find out that the child is a sleepwalker: what to do and why it happens? There are a thousand questions in my head and it’s scary to ask someone about this. The standard situation. You calmly packed the baby by reading him a bedtime story and went to your room to rest. After 2-3 hours they heard a noise. We went out into the corridor and saw how your child with empty eyes is slipping on the threshold and is ready to leave the house? It may seem surprising to you, but this is a very real story.
This is called sleepwalking. This phenomenon is not rare. At the same time, as many as 30% of the population of the entire planet are children who walk in their sleep. Let’s figure it out together what to do if the child is a sleepwalker.
Is it a disease?
In fact, this phenomenon is not a disease, but it is called so often enough. And sleepwalking is very scary for parents. Fear is mainly due to the fact that lunatics can cripple in a dream, cripple others, leave home, get lost.
In the old days, people were afraid of the power of the moon. And so they feared people walking in a dream under the moon. They believed that this mystical power of the planet affects them. But modern doctors have found a more rational explanation for “walking.”
Children’s sleepwalking is also called – somnambulism, which is lat. translated as “movement in a dream.” And medicine has given this phenomenon an exact definition – a disorder of the phase of slow sleep. Those. when a child or adult is sleeping, the areas of the brain that are responsible for movement are inoperative. But in the case of sleepwalking, these areas remain active, and the central nervous system does not control them. Those. in principle, a person cannot control his condition and his actions. However, some of the sleepwalkers can still speak. However, all feelings (fear, face recognition, conservation instinct) are dulled.
When do the first signs appear?
The first manifestations of sleepwalking in children appear at the age of 4 to 10 years. Moreover, the period can last from 10 to 20 minutes, sometimes up to an hour or more. The active phase of somnambulism appears at 2 or 3 hours of sleep. With age, sleepwalking passes, by 15-18 years should cease completely. But there are exceptions. Of course, in the morning the sleepwalker does not remember his walks.
Most often patients with sleepwalking are children after 5 years. Very often there are problems with the violation of the deep phase of sleep in adolescents from 12 to 14 years. Most often sleepwalking is manifested during the full moon, but this dependence is not so constant. Therefore, you should not associate it, after watching a movie with mysticism. However, even studies cannot give an exact answer to the question of where this problem originates from. But it is well established that sleepwalking is a failure in the deep phase of sleep.
Sleepwalking in children: the reasons must be established
In children whose parents went to sleep, about 60-70% of the likelihood is also influenced by problems with this phase of sleep, since this problem is transmitted genetically even through generations. And it is precisely the wrong behavior of adults who were not familiar in similar ones that can lead to psychological injuries of the child. Before treating sleepwalking in children, you must first establish the causes.
Sometimes somnambulism appears as a result of the appearance of diseases or unpleasant problems in the body:
heartburn at night;
apnea syndrome (respiratory arrest during sleep in a child);
arrhythmia (heart rhythm disturbance);
epilepsy. If the child has this problem, then the first signs of somnambulism will appear, and then epileptic seizures.
However, the cause of sleepwalking in children can be:
internal feelings and anxieties that accompany the child in a long time mode;
unstable psyche in puberty;
insomnia and lack of sleep.
These are the factors that can provoke walking at night. It is worthwhile to consult a specialist at the first sign, and not wait until the cause creeps out. Try to talk with the child about his well-being, if something bothers him.
Signs and Symptoms
Most often in children, actions during the manifestation of sleepwalking are limited and similar to each other. And if the parent first sees such a picture, then it is numb with fear. But in this case, it is worthwhile to understand that it is not worth doing wrong actions. Those. do not be afraid that the child in a state of sleep gets out of bed, walks around the rooms, opens doors, moves objects, plays, dresses. Most often, the sleepwalker’s eyes are very wide open, the gaze as if through. Sometimes the eyes can be closed, but the child is very well oriented in space. Those. the baby can go around obstacles as if he sees them. But it can be the other way around, he knows that there is an obstacle, but he cannot get around it, he begins to stagnate, mumble under his breath.
After a night of hypothetical wakefulness, it is difficult for a child to believe that he walked in a dream. Well-being in most cases is good, increased emotionality or depression may occur.