Sleep Walking In Children
Sleepwalking is also known as somnambulism and is seen in both children and in adults but more number of cases are seen in children. Sleepwalking in children is caused due to poor sleep/wake cycle, stress, deficiency of magnesium in the body, night time asthma, fever and sleep apnea – situations in which breathing is stopped temporarily and it is causing sleepwalking in children. In normal situations the entire brain wakes up at the same time but in sleepwalkers only a portion of the brain wakes up at a time. Parents of children who walk in their sleep need not worry because sleepwalking tends to decrease as the child grows.
Sleepwalking in children is caused due to a delay in the maturation and sleepwalking increases in children to 45% if either of the parents is affected with it and it increases to 60% if both the parents are affected. Use of hypnotics or neuroleptics can even cause sleepwalking to occur. About 18% of the population suffers from sleepwalking and medical reports suggest that sleepwalking is more prevalent in boys than girls. Sleepwalking in children can be controlled by using various drugs like Benzodiazepine, clonazepam and tricyclic antidepressants. By locking the doors and windows, and keeping dangerous items put away, you can prevent harmful injuries.
To treat the sleepwalking in children, doctors advise parents to record the timings when children begin sleepwalking. Then wake the children 5-10 minutes before they would normally start sleepwalking and it is considered as one of the method of countering the problem. Sleepwalking in children does not lead to any danger situations and in very rare cases sleepwalking continues with the child even after he has grown up. For such children, medical attention is required. Psychiatric disorders such as panic attacks, multiple personal disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, etc are some of the causes of sleepwalking.