Sleep talking and sleep walking are a part of a sleep disorder called Parasomnia. However, children talking and walking in their sleep is not considered to be a serious sleep disorder, nor is it considered to be the result of a physical or psychological problem. But both can occur when a child has been asleep for one to three hours. Here is a little more information on sleep talking and sleep walking in children, to maybe give one a better idea of how to handle it.
For children, sleep talking actually occurs more than sleep walking. But sleep talking and sleep walking can also happen together. Children may experience one or more types of Parasomnia, as it does run in some families.
When handling sleep talking and sleep walking in children, parents and guardians should be concerned with their little one’s safety. When the child is sleep walking, they are not capable of the judgment they would have when they are awake. In addition, they do not make much noise when sleep walking, which can make it difficult to know when the child is sleep walking or not. This makes it harder to protect them when sleep walking. Here are a few sleep walking safety tips to keep in mind for your child.
1. Be prepared. If you know your child is a sleep walker, than you need to be prepared, because anything can happen.
2. Check your child’s room for any safety hazards. If your child is a sleep walker, then it is probably not a good idea to have them sleeping in a bunk bed or any kind of bed that is high off of the floor. Everything should be picked up and put away before bedtime, this includes toys, shoes, school supplies, and anything else that has any potential of hurting your child. Put outlet covers on any empty electrical sockets and keep the windows closed and locked.
3. Keep the bedroom door locked, so that your child does not wander around the house.
4. On the chance that your child does end up wandering around the house, it may be a good idea to keep an alarm system for the doors and windows. You can even look into seeing if there is any kind of alarm system to keep by the child’s bed. This way, you can be aware that your child is walking in his or her sleep.
By the time your child hits their adolescence, the sleep walking should reduce or stop. So this will not be a huge cause of concern as long as the proper safety precautions are taken.
Now sleep talking is a more common Parasomnia. Some children may be speak clearly in their sleep while other may mumble or make noises. If children are simply talking, it may be best to just leave them alone, as this episode will end shortly. However, if the child is speaking loudly and sounds upset or scared, then it is a good idea for parents to try and comfort their children without waking them (however, if it is from a nightmare, parents may end up waking their children up).
Sleep talking and sleep walking in children is not uncommon among children. Many children do one or the other, or both. As long as you know how to keep your child safe and handle it, you and your child can get through this period smoothly.