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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Sleepwalking and Children
      Category : Health Centers > Sleep Disorders

Sleepwalking and Children

Alternate Names : Somnambulism, Noctambulation

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder in which sleeping and waking states are combined. The child partially wakes from deep sleep and carries out some type of activity. Often this is walking, but other detailed activities may be performed. A child has no memory of the event afterward.

What is going on in the body?

Sleepwalking is one type of fairly common, related sleep disorders in children. This group includes:

  • night terrors
  • primary nocturnal enuresis, which means bedwetting that is not related to a physical problem
  • sleeptalking
  • Sleepwalking is often combined with sleeptalking. Episodes occur at a certain point in the sleep cycle. This is usually 70 to 120 minutes after sleep begins.

    What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Fifteen percent of healthy children between the ages of 5 and 15 years sleepwalk. Sleepwalking is more common in boys than in girls. It is more likely to occur if a child has had night terrors as a preschooler. A child is also at higher risk if others in the family have had sleep disorders. Being overly tired or stressed may also affect the child's sleep pattern.


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    Sleepwalking and Children: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: John Wegmann, MD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/16/02

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