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What do you do with a sleepwalking child?


Q: ” Does anyone have any ideas of what to do to help a child who sleepwalks? I’m scared of stairs, electrics, tripping over chords … the lot! My nights are not fun at all, never mind his!”

A: ” My brother did that when he was around 8 or 9yrs old. The phase didn’t last long though. We, as kids back then all thought it was funny. quite cruel, now that I look back. He was always embarrassed and became so aware that I think subconsciously he cured himself.”

” My son used to. Caught him weeing in the laundry basket and, on another occasion, on the dining room table trying to climb into the hamster cage! My husband did when he was younger too. His Dad found him in the garden with his pillow slung over his shoulder. Said he was taking the garbage out. Fortunately, they both outgrew it!”

” I just gently guide them back to their beds. Don’t wake them. Keep the outside doors locked and keys somewhere else. Sometimes night terrors too, but all age appropriate and outgrown.”

” I find the higher stress day we have, the worse our sleep walking is. My daughter doesn’t do it often but when it does happen it follows on from something and she is usually trying to get something done. I’ve removed knives, keys, teddies, clothing, all manner of things from her hands in the middle of the night. Have also had her trying to leave home. We make sure everything is locked. She has no access to stairs and when she is wandering around I tell her quite firmly we will sort it in the morning and let’s go back to bed.”

” Have had it a few times – most important they say is to not wake them, guide them to bed maybe but yes keep doors closed and keys out of sight to ensure they don’t go out side they can do this.”

” Had the same experience throughout school. It’s rooted in anxiety… so rescue drops and calming techniques before bedtime. Maybe a breathing technique after a story and a gentle back rub.”

” My daughter does. My husband and I did as kids too…. I don’t get stressed about it. Just double lock the front door so she can’t get out! Definitely the busier and more stressed life is the more she sleep walks. We grew out of it so I am sure she will too!”

” Sadly not everyone outgrows it, I still sleepwalk and both my children do, my boy is the worst of the lot, I found him once sitting in front of an open freezer saying the ten times table.”

” My husband, when he was at college in the States, was under a huge amount of stress and used to sleepwalk around his dorm. Once he woke up outside a girl’s door who he didn’t know. He was terrified that he would get into trouble and be accused of pestering or stalking girls. He actually saw a psychiatrist about it and at the time was prescribed a mild sedative to make him sleep longer. When he left college he stopped, but when he is under stress he still does it, now. But we figure it’s not worth staying on sedatives in case he does. These days we just make sure the house is secure and doors are all securely locked!”

” I sent my 17 year-old, in his matrix year, to a hypnotist. He said it didn’t help at all, and that he noticed no difference, but he stopped sleepwalking after that year entirely. we thought his sleepwalking had a huge amount to do with anxiety and stress. I think the hypnosis really helped with relaxation.”

” My brother did this as a child. My Mom put a wet towel on the floor in front of his bed and this would wake him when he stepped on it and he would get back into bed. He quickly stopped….. (he made front page news when he broke his foot after having jumped from the first floor window ledge at boarding school. They had attended a gymnastics display that evening and he was dreaming that it was part of his routine)”

” My son always has and STILL does… and he is nearly 13!  We leave lights on and ensure everything is safe for his midnight walkabouts…”

” My son slept walked and still does in his 40’s if under stress. I tried the wet towel next to his bed but he asked me not to as he said he got such a fright, so I stopped it. One just learns to live with it, but have to say, he did do some weird things. The most upsetting and terrifying for all of us was if he also had a night terror! we never found a way to stop him doing it.”

” I used to as a child – I once walked out the front door, out the gate, down the road to our neighbours and asked for the cricket score! I still sleep talk but luckily no more midnight walks. Both are definitely exacerbated by too little sleep, so the more tired I was the more I’d sleep walk.”

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