Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children (cont.)
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Sleepwalking (Somnambulism) in Children
The onset of sleepwalking typically occurs in prepubertal children. Boys are more likely than girls to sleepwalk, with the highest prevalence in the preteen years (11-12 years of age). The overall incidence of sleepwalking is approximately 18%. Like night terrors, the individual is difficult to arouse during the event and does not remember the experience. Sleepwalking most commonly occurs during the first one-third of the sleep cycle. Some sleepwalkers may also mumble during sleepwalking episodes and occasionally obscene words may be uttered. Medications are rarely necessary to manage sleepwalking episodes. Ensuring a safe environment (protecting against falls and securing doors to avoid walking out of the house) and maintaining good sleep habits (avoiding sleep deprivation) are important considerations.
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