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Cause of Sleepwalking in Children

Children who are 4 years old to 8 years old are commonly affected with sleepwalking or somnambulism, even though sleepwalking can affect anyone from all age groups. For parents who can witness their child or children affected with sleepwalking can really be distressing, since parents will be worried about their child’s safety and if their child’s sleepwalking can affect the normal growth and development of their child. Sleepwalking can cause a disruption in children’s quality of sleep, which can greatly affect children’s attention span and overall level of functioning during the day. Knowing possible causative factors of children’s sleepwalking can help in alleviating the problem and keep children safe.

Causes of Sleepwalking

Cause of Sleepwalking in Children

There are a lot different causes for sleepwalking. It will be very beneficial for parents and anyone else to know what can possibly cause sleepwalking in children. Here are some of the common causes of sleepwalking in children:

  • Partial Arousal – Children who belong to the preschooler and school-age age groups have higher percentage of Slow-Wave Sleep or SWS. Children have higher percentage of SWS due to the immaturity of their brain. As the child gets older, the brain matures and there will be a decrease in SWS percentage, making them outgrow sleepwalking. Sleepwalking cases in adults are quite low when compared to sleepwalking cases in children who belong to the preschooler and school-age age groups.
  • Slow-Wave Sleep Factors – SWS can cause partial arousal that can cause a person to sleepwalk. SWS is proven to be predominant during the first 2 hours of sleep and during the first 2 hours of sleep, that is when sleepwalking occurs. There are medications that can cause increase the frequency of SWS and even deprivation of sleep can also increase frequency of SWS, thus increasing likelihood of sleepwalking.
  • Genetics – If a parent was a sleepwalker during his or her childhood years, then the parent should not be surprised if his or her child will grow to be a sleepwalker. There are some children who are really predisposed to sleepwalking due to their genetic makeup. If children are suffering from sleepwalking, it is most likely that one of the child’s parents was a sleepwalker. Parents who were sleepwalkers can help their child or children who are currently sleepwalkers in managing and coping with the sleepwalking problem, thus assuring safety of his or her child during sleepwalking episodes.