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Old 11-03-2003, 09:30 AM
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Question Sleepwalking?

I think someone in the family was sleepwalking last night! The only one I can definitely rule out is toddler DS who can't get past the baby gate at his door.
DD/7 found the throw pillows from the living room couch, and an afghan that I keep on that couch, on the floor next to her bed. AND I found the baby gate that keeps the toddler in the family room (and which we take down at night) was up, and installed BACKWARDS.

I don't know how to figure out who did this, or how to prevent a sleepwalker. I'm worried someone might hurt themselves! We have lots of stairs in our home
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:30 PM
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It sounds to me like it was your DD who was the "culprit".

When I was a child I walked AND talked in my sleep!

My mother said that worrying caused her to lose so much sleep !

Since we lived on a busy street they installed those door alarms that go off if the door is opened....even just a tad.

Is your DD under any new stress? I have heard that stress can trigger sleep walking episodes.

I would call your pediatrician's office and see what advice they can give you regarding safety issues with the stairs...especially since whomever did it can move/remove the baby gates! (my parents home is a one story)

Good Luck !
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Old 11-04-2003, 03:30 AM
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Actually the one under the most stress in the house is DH...and he is KNOWN for sleepwalking.
It could have been DH, or DS, or DD! Or even me, but I've never done it to my knowledge. I know the others all have!
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Old 11-08-2003, 07:31 AM
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I have to agree that it sounds like the 7 year old is the one. My daughter does it too and has done so for several years. The fact that she picked up the baby gate and put it in the doorway shows that she's aware on some level of her surroundings so I seriously doubt she'll fall down the stairs. However, and I hate to add to your fears, she may very well be dreaming some night of walking to school and go out the front door. I would put a dead bolt or chain on the door.

Seven year olds are under more stress than we, as adults, can imagine at times. She could be having friend problems, it could be a subject that she's having trouble with, a bully on the bus, a teacher she thinks doesn't like her, something she's having to do in gym class.... or a combination of several things. Try talking to her about her life, gently. See if she opens up.

I've found my daughter standing over my son in the middle of the night trying to "Save him" from something in her dream. I've woken up and found her standing next to my bed with strange stories... obviously fast asleep and in the middle of a dream.

Thankfully it's something that most people grow out of. Good luck.

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Old 11-08-2003, 07:31 AM
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I had a problem with my youngest sleepwalking when he was 3. He actually left the house once; I never heard the door open because I am partially deaf--and my husband was out to sea. He apparently opened the car door (left it that way), then walked next door and rang their bell. I wouldn't have known he was gone if they hadn't called. Scared me to death. I put an alarm on the front door the next morning. (I chose an alarm because a lock that the kids couldn't reach might be dangerous in the event of a fire.)

Fortunately, we didn't have stairs. But I was worried when we moved to our current house because we do here. He hasn't walked in his sleep since we've been here, though.

Keeping the baby gate in place is a really good idea.

Apparently sleepwalking runs in my family, but only one of my kids has done it.

I've heard that exercising reduces the occurance of sleepwalking because you sleep better.

I've heard lots of funny sleepwalking stories, but none where the person actually hurt themselves first-hand.
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Old 11-08-2003, 08:07 AM
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Always a good idea

One thought, we always make sure before we go to bed that the pathways are clear of obstructions. I don't want to die attempting to escape a fire because I tripped over a toy or a hubby's size 13 shoe! Nor do I want to hear someone crying (or saying other words) in the middle of the night because they stepped on something unique and sharp on the way to the bathroom.

This mean mommy will make a kid get back out of bed and clear the walkway before tucking them in. Hubby will find his shoes 'fell' down the stairs if he left them across the top.

Have you considered some simple jingle bells hanging from doorsways and doorknobs. At least just to ID the walker!

Hope no one walks out in the cold. Happens from time to time here in Minnesota with toddlers.
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:04 PM
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Ohh Barb... By younger dd is a sleep walker. She has had sleep disorders since she was a baby... It's so disconcerting!

When they are seriously acting up, the neurologist gives her a course of medication that induces a deeper sleep, and prevents the sleepwalking episodes, because as everyone with a story here has mentioned..the episodes are not as "cute" as they appear... they can indeed lead to life-threatening consequences.


I am a very light sleeper..so I am up at the creak of a toe on carpet... but if you have any question of who is sleepwalking in your home, I don't like the "belling the cat" approach across the doorway of each family member. Everyone will be waking up for every drink of water and trip to the toilet..saying "I't me and I'm not sleepwalking" for months on end, before another episode is likely to occur! LOLOL!!!


A motion controlled video camera set-up may work... that way it's quiet ..paired with alarms at the outside exit doors ( a definate safety precaution) and maybe an electric eye installed at an area in the upstairs hallway somewhere before anyone could reach the stairs and un-do a baby gate... That way nobody would have time to get to the stairs unnoticed, but could still access the bathroom... (Just an idea... albiet a rather hi tech idea... )

My fil does this sort of electronics installations.. it's not a hard thing to do. But some people are not too hot on technology in their homes.

I know it's freaky to think that someone in your house has been living a whole night-time life while you are snoozing away. As moms we think we have things so under our controll..right??

It weirds me out..that's for sure...

Val
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:12 PM
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Go to:

www.webmd.com

In the search line type:
sleep walking

it will take you to many links
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Old 11-08-2003, 06:50 PM
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My 7 yo dd sleep walks and also has nigth terrors. Some times these go together and sometimes not. I have found they are more often caused by times of change. Not just overwheleming change but even good things. The week or so before Christmas is hard on her at night for instance. Even though the anticipation is a good on it is still an unknowen.
I find, though it is hard, with the night terrors, if I can just make myself stay away, she hollars and crys for a while but then goes to sleep for the rest of the night or at least for a good period of time. If I go in and either wake her or interact with her she will fall back asleep and 10 minutes or so later we start over. Even if I try to lay with her it keeps going on and on. I listen for the sleep walking and then try to gently lead her back to bed with out waking her. I always give her a kiss and tell her mommy loves you.
I have been told they child will normally outgrow all of this but I keep hearing stories of older children with the same ordeals so wonder.
We did try medicating her with a strong antihistimine to make her sleepy and to try to put her under the "waking" state" to readjust her sleep cycle but it didn't help.
Smiles to you all
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Old 11-08-2003, 07:17 PM
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from webmd.com .. search.. sleepwalking

Jan. 8, 2003 -- Frequent episodes of sleepwalking and sleep terrors in children may result from allergies, swollen tonsils, and other factors that interfere with nighttime breathing -- and may be cured with surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids.


So conclude Stanford University researchers in a breakthrough study that offers new insight into these two puzzling sleep disturbances, which some experts say may occur at least once in up to 50% of children during their lifetime. Although often attributed to stress or anxiety, it's not really clear what triggers these nocturnal nuisances, how to treat them, or why they can persist for months or years.


In their study, published in the January issue of Pediatrics, the researchers found that nearly all of the 84 children with recurring sleepwalking and/or sleep terrors suffered problems that affected sleep-time breathing -- such as habitual snoring, a history of upper respiratory infection, earaches, or mouth breathing. Meanwhile, virtually none of 36 other "control" children without sleep disturbances experienced such so-called "sleep-disordered breathing."


Most of the children with sleep-disordered breathing were then treated with tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy, procedures to remove enlarged tonsils and adenoids and help improve airflow.


"They were all cured of their sleep disturbances," says Christian Guilleminault, MD, BiolD, director of clinical research at the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic. "Now, it's a matter of convincing the pediatricians and [ear nose and throat] surgeons that persistent sleepwalking and sleep terrors may be related to breathing problems -- and not just anxiety. In fact, six of the children could not get surgery because surgeons had never heard of the relationship and refused to operate on them."


While it's well documented how breathing difficulties can affect adult sleep patterns and quality, this study marks the impact they may have on children.


"To bring this into the pediatric arena, where there is less awareness of some of these relationships, is really important," says Carl E. Hunt, MD, pediatrician and director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, part of the federal National Institutes of Health. "It's also a call for parents to know that it's not normal for children to snore loudly and frequently. If your child is developing or already having recurring problems with sleepwalking or night terrors and he or she frequently snores, it certainly increases the need to be evaluated."
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