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

Sleepwalking and Children

Alternate Names : Somnambulism, Noctambulation

Sleepwalking and Children | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Another person can help the sleepwalker by taking the following steps.

  • Gently lead the child back to bed.
  • Protect the child from accidents or injury.
  • Install protective gates at stairs and other hazards.
  • Install door locks so that they are out of the child's reach.
  • Help the child to avoid becoming overtired or stressed.
  • The following method has been shown to reduce or stop sleepwalking. It is thought to interrupt the abnormal sleep pattern.

  • For a few nights, log the number of minutes that pass from the time the child falls asleep to the time sleepwalking starts.
  • On the next few nights, wake the child up 15 minutes before the time that the sleepwalking episode would start. This timing is based on the log from the first few nights.
  • Keep the child awake for 5 minutes.
  • Follow this plan for 7 nights in a row.
  • If sleepwalking begins again, repeat this plan for the next 7 days.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    The measures described to change sleep patterns have no known side effects.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    After treatment, the child and parents should continue to follow preventive measures to the sleepwalking from coming back.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

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    Sleepwalking and Children: Prevention & Expectations


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

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