my 3 year old daughter continually wakes up at night unaware of her surroundings and is basically sleepwalking. what can i do to stop this?

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Falguni - posted on 01/15/2009

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Hi Ilaxi, I found this article on Internet may help....



My 3-year-old daughter walked in her sleep for the first time last night. Is this a symptom of being tired? Is it hereditary? Are there any other implications?

Sleepwalking, or somnambulation, is very common, occurring in up to 15 percent of children, most commonly between 3 and 10 years of age. It is one of the conditions known as parasomnias. Most children grow out of this by the age of 10, and almost all by the end of adolescence. It can be caused by fatigue, illness or stress. There is no evidence that it is hereditary.



The behavior occurs in a predictable fashion, at much the same time of the night, although most children do not sleepwalk every night. It can be associated with bedwetting or urinating in unusual places, and with talking in their sleep (somniloquy).



The most important factor is safety: they should not have access to stairs or dangerous places. If they are found, it is very difficult to wake them; they should be gently led back to bed without shouting, striking, or shaking the child.



Sometimes, scheduled awakening 15 minutes before they would have begun the behavior has been helpful, but most often it goes away on its own.

Dee - posted on 01/14/2009

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My son is a sleep walker, he is now 16 and has been sleep walking since he was old enough to start walking.  Its been challenging.  Sleep walking runs in my family so we have had a great deal of experience with it. 



Really there is nothing you can do to stop the sleep walking, some kids simply will outgrow it, but you can protect your child by doing certain things around the house.  Put a door lock at the top (out of their reach) of any doors going outside and make sure you lock them before bed.  Lock cabinets and drawers with dangerous items in them, cleaning products, sharp objects, and so on.  Put a baby monitor in your childs room at night so that you can hear when they start to stir and head them off before they wander too far.  Take the knobs off of your stove, most knobs simply pull straight off.  My son turned on the gas burners one night, if I hadn't woken up I don't know what would have happened. 



Most recently we bought our son a waterbed.  When he starts to get up during a sleep walking episode he will splash around on his waterbed, get frustrated that he cant get up right away, and fall back to sleep.  Its something that has worked really well so far.



I have to also add that talking calmly to your child will also help, it wont stop the sleep walking, but it may shorten the episode.  My son had night terrors for many years.  Hopefully you aren't having that issue.  But a calm reasuring voice of a parent can sometimes get through to kids with sleep issues.



I hope this helped a little.  Good luck!



Dee

Mindy - posted on 01/14/2009

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My daughter is 11 and has been having "night terrors" since she was a year old. She does the screaming and running also. The doctor said not to give carbs before bed. Too much energy - has to burn it off while she sleeps as well. Don't give animal crackers or cheerios - give something with peanut butter. It takes longer to metabolize. Hot dogs seem to be the absolute worse thing we can give her! If she eats hot dogs at 6pm, she's up and running by midnight! These are fewer and farther apart, but we are still very aware. My daughter has run full speed into a door frame while she was sleeping! I hope this helps!

User - posted on 01/13/2009

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My friend had this problem and she placed a baby gate in the doorway of her little boy's room. This helped and he would get back into his bed.

User - posted on 01/13/2009

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My daughter did this too. same thing usually when she has a full bladder. i stopped giving her milk in the evenings and she did this less.. She's now 10.

Valarie - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi my daughter at the same age had " night terrors' and would scream and not wake up  she was scared and so were we but after countless nights of reasurance it stop after over i year the doctors said we couldn't do anything but to stick it out!!! I know this isn't much help but just to know that your not alone sometimes helps!!!! take care and be patient!!!

[deleted account]

yes my daughter does this also wakes up yelling and doesn't know where she is. she unlocked the front door once and i found her crying outside. basically only happens when she needs to go to the toilet. so i take her and put her back to bed. Maybe just make sure they go to the toilet and don't drink anything before bed.

Trudy - posted on 01/13/2009

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My oldest did this . I was told not to wake her , but to take her by the hand and walk her back to bed. which is what I  did. I also had to put locks on the doors because she left the house one evening. I dont know how or if you can stop it . My daughter grew out of it. Just make sure she is safe.

Ivelise - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hi LLaxi,



I had the same problem with my son, my pediatrician advised me that he shouldn't be over stimulated during the day and to watch his sugar intake. I cut down on his daycare activities and noticed a diffrence. His now 5 1/2 yrs old and doing great, no more night terrors/mares or sleepwalking.

[deleted account]

My daughter used to do this.  She would Scream & Yell with her eyes open....it appeared that she was awake but she was still asleep.  The doctor said it was called "night terrors". We would calmly talk to her & wake her.   It is exhausting but it only lasted for a few years & it wasn't every night.  You may want to ask your doctor next regular vist to see if it is something else.

Piri - posted on 01/13/2009

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You can put in a bucket of water right in front of her bed so if she walks in it she would wake up. I did that few times when I was a child...it's not so fun.  I was older and  i wanted to go out on the window for a walk,  my parents told me, they got so scared that they put the buckets beside my bed, did few more times, but never since.

Kiwi - posted on 01/13/2009

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Start by putting a chain lock on all doors, make sure there is nothing that can harm the child if you don't hear them awake. Keep a baby moniter in the childs room and with you.  Have fun, there isn't much you can really do and some children don't outgrow it.  I've been sleep walking for 50yrs. and my daughter (now 30) is a sleepwalker.

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2009

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My Daughter did this as well....She would get up and walk around her room...We had to put a gate up at the top of the stairs and in her doorway so she would not wander around and get hurt. Most of the time I would just quietly guide her back to bed and sit with her a few minutes till she was settled back in. Sometimes I had to gently wake her tp get her back in bed. It is VERY common for kids to do this, they are sometimes just acting out there dreams...The majority of kids will out grow this on their own! Good Luck!

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