Throughout most of my life, I have been known to talk quite extensively in my sleep. Sometimes, I have been able to hold entire conversations with my spouse without having any recollection whatsoever about what was being said or the topic. As many family traits are handed down from parent to child, I’ve noticed that my kids are subjected to such behaviors as well. Since my children usually take things to the extreme, unconscious or not, we’ve had to adapt many practices and changes in order to quell the ones that have a habit of adventuring out of the house while they sleep.
Sleepwalking to the Bus - As one of our teenagers has a habit of getting dressed for school and walking out the door to catch the bus at one in the morning, we’ve installed latches near the top of the door aside from the deadbolt. So far, he hasn’t made it out of the house in a sleeping state and we hope to keep it that way. It seems that once he realizes the door is locked, he stands there for a second and then walks back to his room. We haven’t been able to isolate what causes these spurts of behavior since they seem random.
No Correlations Between Activity - For the most part, our teenage boy stays in bed throughout the night. He only sleepwalks once every other week or so. One time, he came all the way into the living room stark naked while the family was visiting. Apparently, he passed out on his bed after taking a shower after a hard day of playing ball at school. At first, we assumed that maybe it was his physical exhaustion that would contribute to his exploration in the middle of the night. However, that was all thwarted as it was apparent he would walk about the house regardless of the day’s activities.
Loud Talking - Often times, my spouse and I can hear him talking loudly in his room incoherently. His bedroom is right above the family room and he can be heard conversing with someone in his sleep. Since myself and my own brother have been known to talk in our sleep, we assumed that this behavior was caused by genetics. Apparently, my own mother walked into a room once and threw her shoe into the middle of it and exclaimed, “so there” and then went back to bed. I don’t remember being as mobile, however. Maybe the need to move about while you sleep skips generations? Or perhaps I have done things in the middle of the night that I’m not aware of.
Our Daughter as Well - Our six-year old daughter is showing signs of similar behavior. The extent of her movements center around needing attention by myself or my spouse. A simple hug and she is good to go back to bed. Her thoughts are quite scrambled and she’ll try to say something only to have a bewildered look in her eyes before going back to her room.
So far, we haven’t been able to find anything that has helped. We’ve tried altering our eating habits, getting more rest and other ideas we’ve read about online or from the doctor. It seems the only thing we can really do is make the home safe for when the children do travel about. Hopefully, we can keep them indoors with the use of alarms and locks.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.