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Old 11-08-2003, 07:18 PM
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and.. page 2

Guilleminault tells WebMD that he first noticed a relationship between breathing problems and the baffling sleep disturbances in 1996, while conducting another study. "We did a very large survey on sleep disturbances and we noticed that frequent, recurrent sleepwalking and sleep terrors were much more common in those with abnormal breathing," he says. "But when we published the paper in Pediatrics, we didn't emphasize that finding enough. It was nagging at us, so we wanted to test it."


The new finding might not only bring answers to medical experts, but relief to parents. Sleep terrors can be particularly frightening, since these episodes often include screaming and crying, yet children are unresponsive to efforts to comfort them. Unlike nightmares, terrors are usually not remembered. Both sleep terrors and sleepwalking occur in the deepest stage or "slow-wave" sleep - usually within three hours after falling asleep; nightmares typically happen closer to waking.


"It certainly makes sense," says J. Catesby Ware, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School. "The thing that we do know about sleep terrors in children is that there must be something to produce a partial arousal from sleep. If someone placed a pillow on your face while you were sleeping, you would wake up because a cessation of breathing -- even partial -- produces an arousal."


These "arousals" prevent children from transitioning from slow-wave sleep to a lighter sleep stage. External factors like noise and light also cause arousals, along with physiologic conditions such as being "overtired" from lack of sleep and anxiety. "Normally, when we sleep, there's a very sharp distinction between awake and the different stages of sleep. With some of these disorders, the boundaries between those states are blurred," explains Hunt. "That is why with these conditions there are some behaviors that are typically awake-related occurring during sleep."


Guilleminault isn't suggesting that surgery be done to prevent these sleep disturbances in all children. "When they occur once in great while, or even in occasional bursts and then they disappear, that is perfectly normal and probably not because of breathing difficulties," he says. "The children in our study had persistent sleepwalking and terrors - occurring once or several times a week, every few weeks or so. And parents of children who have frequent episodes like that should probably have their breathing patterns evaluated."


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SOURCES: Pediatrics, January 2003 • Christian Guilleminault, MD, BiolD, director of clinical research, Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic; professor of psychiatry and behavior science, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif. • Carl E. Hunt, MD, director, National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, Bethesda, Md. • J. Catesby Ware, PhD, chief, division of Sleep Medicine and director Sleep Disorders Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk.
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Old 11-09-2003, 09:39 AM
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Thank you Jeannie
Alot of this sure describes my daughter. Her terrors occur at least once a week for weeks on end and then we will have a couple of weks off and start over.
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:42 PM
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Denise... perhaps going to a sleep clinic at a University hospital...or as for a referral from your family doc. There may be help for her. I'd print out the articles and bring them to the Doc's... I'd also call the University of AZ Medical school in Tucson for some help.....just a suggestion....*s* Good luck.!
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Old 11-30-2003, 03:27 PM
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Wow, all this has been very interesting.....
It probably was DD sleepwalking. Hasn't happened again, though, so that is good.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:07 PM
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Barbszy, has there been any more sleepwalking incidents since this was first posted?
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:12 PM
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That is some very enlightening information you shared Jeannie!
My middle DN has been sleep walking since he was very young, and he does have brething problems like his DU. My SIL doesn't take advice from anyone (even if they did the research for her), so I can't exactly share this with her, and I don't think my IL's have mentioned it to their pediatritician, even though I did once ask what the ped's thought of giving the DN an allergy / cold med with a "D" ecogestion in it, no answer. I know some Ped's who will suggest a "D" to children age 10 and older if their breathing habits are disruptive, but I was unaware that the breathing issue could be the underlying issue with his Sleepwalking. And YES, he has walked down the stairs, and out the front door several times since they moved into the two story home. Beofre that, he would walk out his room, and straight out the front door. His folks put slide locks at the top of all the (hard) exiting doors, and there is an alarm on all the windows, and back (sliding) door, as his parents are deep sleepers. We even suggested to DN's mom once to try a warm/cold humidifier for his room as it helps his DU, to no avail.
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