How is Sleepwalking in Children Diagnosed?
Usually, doctors may diagnose sleepwalking in children based on how the guardian accompanying the child describes the symptoms. Most of the time, treatment is not required. However, other diagnostic examinations should be conducted to rule out other medical conditions.
If the child’s sleepwalking stems from conditions like sleep apnea or night terrors, a sleep study may be advised by your doctor. The child will spend a night in a sleep lab. Different electrodes are attached to different parts of the body to measure their heart rate, brain waves, breathing rate, muscle tension, eye and leg movements, and oxygen level in the blood. A camera may be installed to record the actions and movements of the sleeping child.
If sleepwalking causes troubles, your doctor may perform a technique called scheduled awakening. This means keeping an eye on the child for a few nights to find out the exact hours at which they sleepwalk. Then, the doctor may wake the child up about 15 minutes before the expected time of their waking up. This will reset the child’s sleep cycle and control sleepwalking.
If the sleepwalking puts the child in dangerous situations or causes excessive fatigue, medications such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants may be prescribed.