Well don’t worry – your somnambulating little cherub is not alone!
Sleepwalking – which is thought to be hereditary - is fairly common in children between the ages of 5-12 – and there’s absolutely no evidence that it’s a sign of something being emotionally or psychologically wrong.
The good news is that as most children tend to sleepwalk within an hour or two of falling asleep (during stages 3 or 4 of their first sleep cycle), it’s more than likely that you’ll still be up and about and on hand to guide them back to bed.
You should, however, take precautions so that your sleepwalking child is less likely to come to harm. Even though their eyes are open, they don’t see the same way they do when they’re awake and they often think they’re in different rooms in the house or different places altogether.
Top tips to keep your sleepwalker out of harms way:
- Try not to wake them up as this might be scary – gently guide him or her back to bed (sleepwalking occurs during deep sleep anyway, so you might struggle to wake them up at all)
- Lock doors and windows so they cannot wander out into the night.
- Think twice before installing a bunk bed
- Remove sharp or breakable thing from around their bed and keep dangerous objects out of reach
- Close the safety gate at the top of the stairs.