Childhood Sleep Problems - Sleepwalking and Bedwetting
Recent studies have indicated that bedwetting, sleep walking and other childhood sleep disorders could carry into adolescence.
Parasomnia is a grouping of nighttime issues that includes night terrors, sleep walking, bedwetting, and, more seriously, narcolepsy. Though most children outgrow issues of parasomnia by adolescence, it is possible for the issues to continue. A recent study done at the University of Arizona indicated that 29% of bedwetters and 27% of sleepwalkers had persisting issues for five years. Thankfully, most sufferers did see the problems go away before adulthood.
Though many parasomniacs carry their problems along, researchers found that there were few new cases developed past early childhood. Those who suffer into adolescence are more at risk than young children, particularly the sleepwalkers. This is because sleepwalkers reenact their daily routines, and when those routines involve leaving for school and driving a car, parents must become more vigilant. If you are uncomfortable leading your child back towards his bed without rousing him, simply watch to ensure his safety. It is generally safer to watch the child than to wake him or her up, but if he does need to be roused simply shout his name loudly from another room. Waking alone is much less uncomfortable and confusing for a somnambulant child or teen.
Night terrors and sleep talking were the parasomniac activity that carried on in greatest numbers; 22.3% of sleep talkers carried on into adulthood. Thankfully, this minor problem does not require any sort of treatment. Night terrors are exceptionally bad nightmares in which the child will sit up in bed and possibly scream, though usually does not rouse from sleep.
The twelve disorders classified as parasomnias are also called sleep enuresis.