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.

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