Handling A Sleep Talking Disorder

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Sleep Walking

What do you do if you walk past your child’s room and here them mumbling? Thinking they are awake it is likely your first reaction will be to throw open the door and demand they get to sleep immediately but it may not be a case of staying up late. They may be experiencing a side-effect of a common sleep disorder known as somnambulism (sleep walking). Not all sleep walking involves actual walking but many times it is accompanied by its relative—sleep talking disorder.

Who Talks In Their Sleep?

Just like sleep walking, most cases of sleep talking disorder occur in pre-teen children. It can be very frightening for the parents of children but it is a normal occurrence and not an indication of any serious medical problem or mental instability.

In most cases children outgrow the problem by the time they are in their teens although in rare instances it continues even into adulthood. Sleep talking disorder usually comes and goes and should not last longer than a week at a time. If it does last longer you should speak to your child’s physician to seek a possible medical remedy as sleep talking disorder is a sleep disruption that can and does affect daytime performance in school or in the case of an adult at work after a lengthy period of time.

What To Do About Sleep Talking Disorder

Technically there is not much you can, or even should do about sleep talking unless it lasts for a period longer than a week. Sleep talking disorder in and of itself is not inherently dangerous, although when accompanying sleep walking can put the walker at risk in a potentially dangerous situation such as where they may be exposed to open stairways, windows, or able to get outside of the house.

Rarely will the person affected by a sleep talking disorder realize they are talking in their sleep, remember any conversations, or answers given to questions. In fact, most times it will resemble mumbling rather than actual words. Do not bother trying to wake them up, it will be very difficult because most types of sleep problems occur in deep sleep and if you do manage to wake them up they will be groggy, disoriented, and possibly frightened. It is best to gently help them back to bed if they are walking, or lay them back down if they are sitting up. They’ll wake up in the morning refreshed and unaware of the turmoil they caused overnight.

The Best Sleep Walking Disorder Cure

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Sleep Walking

Right off it needs to be said that sleep walking disorder is not something that has an actual cure. The best things you can do to cure sleep walking disorder is to keep the walker calm, get them back to bed, and try to alleviate the reasons causing their nocturnal strolls.

Ways To Reduce Sleep Walking

Many of the most effective suggestions to cure sleep walking disorder involve reducing stimulants of any kind before bed. These sleep walking cures include:

Eliminating all caffeine products in the evening. This includes coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate products. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and anyone already having trouble getting a restful night sleep should consume as little as possible.
Avoid spicy or gassy foods that can upset the digestive system and make comfortable sleeping difficult.
Cut out sugar and foods containing large amounts of sugar in order to help calm the system.
Avoid heavy exercise in the evenings. While many people find exercise relaxing anything that could contribute to a rise in heart rate, or excite the body should be avoided during bouts of sleep walking.

Any sleep walking disorder cure is going to be aimed at as much relaxation as possible and that includes surroundings as well as internal stimulants.

Reduce all light in the room as much as possible.
Make sure the sleep area is noise free.
Create a comfortable and clean environment with soft clean sheets and comforters.
Don’t use loud vibrant colors to paint or decorate the bedroom. Young children are most often affected by sleep walking and their rooms are often the most likely to be painted in bold colors and decorated with lots of posters, action heroes, music heroes, sports figures and the like. Keep things peaceful and quiet even in the decorating of the room to help give them a serene place to sleep.
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature

If sleeping walking becomes a long term serious problem that endangers the walker’s health you can seek the advice of a physician for possible medication. These are usually a last resort as a cure for sleep walking disorder since most sleep walkers are children, however, if it is a choice between medication and risk to their lives it may be deemed necessary intervention.

A less intrusive cure for sleep walking disorder is hypnotism. While most people will still try everything else before attempting such a cure it is worth consideration as an alternative to medication.

How To React To A Sleep Walker

Don’t wake them up. While old superstitions about death or insanity are not a factor, waking a sleep walker is difficult because it is a condition that occurs in the deepest areas of sleep. If you do manage to wake a sleep walker up they will be very disoriented and possibly even frightened so it is best to gently lead them back to bed and tuck them back in. They will most likely not even know anything happened at all when they wake up in the morning.

Understanding And Conquering A Sleep Walking Disorder

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Sleep Walking

Sleep walking disorder is most common in preteen youngsters and happens often enough to be a common concern among parents. If you find your child wandering around in the dark rest assured it isn’t unusual and you’re not alone in your worries. Fortunately most children outgrow Sleep walking disorder by their teens.

What Is Sleep Walking Disorder?

In spite of its name sleep walking, also called somnambulism, does not just involve walking. Those who suffer from sleep walking disorder can often be found simply sitting up in bed, or worst case scenarios walking around stairways, or outside. Those affected by sleep walking disorder do not usually realize they are doing it and will often react with surprise when you tell them of their nightly wanderings. There have even been reports of people sitting up and answering questions in their sleep, laying back down, and having no recollection of the conversation when awake.

While superstition suggests it is bad to wake up a sleep walker in reality it has no effect on them other than the fact that they are often disoriented for a few minutes. Because this condition often occurs in the deepest stages of the sleep cycle then can be very difficult to wake up while sleep walking.

What Causes Sleep Walking?

There are many things that can trigger sleep walking disorder. They include general lack of sleep, sleep that gets interrupted frequently, illness, fever, some medications, general stress. In spite of many beliefs there is no connection between sleep walking and mental illness. It is a very normal response to any of the above conditions. There is no reason to worry about a sleep walker physically or mentally but great care should be taken to not allow them to harm themselves during a bout of sleep walking. If someone you live with experiences repeated sleep walking events it is a good idea to guard stairways with gates, and be sure to make doors to the outside inaccessible.

How To Help A Sleep Walker

There are several things you can do to make a sleep walker more relaxed. There is no real cure for sleep walking disorder but following the list below can lessen sleep walking events:

Avoid all caffeine based drinks including hot chocolate and sodas several hours before bedtime.
Set regular bed and naptime schedules that are appropriate for the sleep walker’s age group.
Stop all liquids several hours before bedtime.
Provide a quiet and peaceful room for your sleep walker.

The best method for dealing with a sleep walker when you find them wandering about is to lead them back to bed and tuck them in. They will usually fall right back to sleep and you can rest assured it is a temporary condition.