Parasomnia and Childhood Sleep Disorders

Many childhood sleep disorders are actually types of parasomnia. Somnambulism, night terrors, bedwetting, talking while asleep, and body rocking are much more common in children than they are in adults. Most children outgrow these problems before adolescence. Parents may note an increase in frequency or intensity when their child is ill, under stress, or taking certain medications.

Childhood sleep disorders may go hand-in-hand with other conditions. In some cases a child with a rhythmic movement disorder, such as body rocking or head banging while falling asleep or moving from one stage to another, may also suffer from headaches, ear infections or sinus problems. Neurological disorders and apnea are associated with night terrors.

Sleep-onset delay is common among children; they cannot fall asleep until long after an appropriate bedtime. Bedtime resistance, a fancy way of saying the child doesn’t want to go to bed, is also common. Children with these types of disorders often require less rest than other children their age.

What’s an Arousal Mechanism?

The arousal mechanism, in terms of slumber, has nothing to do with sexual arousal. Rather, it refers to the ability to wake up. Partial arousal is simply a state of partial wakefulness.

Sleep Deprivation and Parasomnia Activity

Fortunately, most children grow out of bedwetting and other parasomnias. And equally fortunately, most kids who suffer from parasomnias don’t experience sleep deprivation as a result. The same cannot be said of parents who must deal with their child’s night terrors, bedwetting, nocturnal wandering, or talking while asleep. If you’re feeling exhausted check out the site on sleep deprivation.