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Health Questions

Sleepwalking and children

Information

Question:

Is sleepwalking normal for children?

Answer:

Sleepwalking is a disturbance in which a person leaves his or her bed and walks without being aware of the event. It is usually triggered by poor sleep habits.

In children, sleepwalking starts between ages 6 and 12 and occurs more often in boys than girls. Children usually outgrow sleepwalking.

If you can, gently steer someone who is sleepwalking safely back to bed. Try to make the home safer, such as by adding gates to stairways, to prevent injury.

Trying to stick to a bedtime routine may help reduce the problem.


Review Date: 1/24/2011
Reviewed By: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital; and Neil K. Kaneshiro, Md, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MYHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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