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Monday, June 01, 2015
Sleep terrors and sleep walking
A study finds a link between sleep terrors and sleep walking.
According to a Canadian study, about a third of toddlers who experienced sleep terrors became sleepwalkers later in their childhood.
"It was thought for a long time that these were related to stress and psychological unrest,” said Dr. Heidi Connolly, chief of Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Really, what the issue is, is that these things cause sleep deprivation. And then, if you're more sleep- deprived, you're more likely to engage in sleep walking or night terrors."
Dr. Connolly suggests that parents make sure their kids are on a consistent sleep schedule seven days a week.
"And then, in terms of safety issues, you want to avoid obvious things like sleeping on the top bunk, having stray objects on the floor or on staircases. One thing people sometimes forget is (not to) put a gate at the top of the stairs because it's easy for children to fall over that gate and instead of going down feet and fanny first, they're going down head first because they're falling over the gate."
Serious injuries are not the norm, but Dr. Connolly said there was a recent incident that did turn tragic. "This winter there was a news report of a toddler who was sleepwalking in Canada and froze to death; so there are some really important safety concerns when it comes to sleepwalking."
The Canadian sleep study followed nearly 2,000 children for 12 years.