If your child is going to have a night terror or sleepwalking episode, it is more likely to occur within the first few hours after falling asleep during a partial waking from deep (slow-wave) NREM sleep. If you have been awaked by your child during a night or sleepwalking episode, you will likely not forget it.
If your child have a night terror is a scary experience. He try sit up abruptly in bed, let out a loud panicky scream, act in confused and frightening way, begin to sweat with his heart racing, and look terrified. It can be equally scary to watch your child sleepwalking.
Although he will not look terrified, he might walk into a dangerous situation, inside the house or outside are left wondering what might have happened to him if you not woken up. To make matters worse, in both situations, if try to soothe your child by talking to him or hugging him, he likely to look right through you, like you are not his parent, even get more agitated in his night terror or walking behavior.
Among sleep experts, these arousals are known as partial arousal parasomnias. Our focus in this article is on the thr common partial arousal parasomnias: confusional arousals, terrors, and sleepwalking. A parasomnia is a movement (sleepwalking, for example) or experience (nightmare, for example) that occurs during slee Parasomnias can be part of normal sleep (dreams, for examample) or abnormal (sleepwalking, for example).
Partial arousal parasomnia is an abnormal phenomenon that occurs during deep (slow-wave) NREM sleep, when your child is partially aroused from this sleep state. The majority of deep sleep is in the first third of the night. Young children have more deep slow-wave sleep than school-age children.
This deep sleep can be good for your young child (significant growth occurs during this time) or problematic during this deep sleep your child may be partially aroused and have a night terror or sleepwalking episode). Because preschool children spend more time during sleep in this slow-wave sleep, they are more likely to have these types of arousals than older children.
Partial arousal parasomnias occur during an arousal from slow-wave sleep when your child is partially awake and partially asleep sort of stuck between the two. During a partial arousal parasomnia, your child is able to carry out some activities normally associated with the waking state, like sitting up, crying out, and walking, but he is also partially asleep, so his speech will not make sense.
In these partial arousals, it is difficult to wake up fully. If you try to talk to your child or comfort him, he will not understand what you are saying, and this interaction may actually make him more agitated. He will not have normal judgment, so there is the potential to injure himself. Your child will not remember this episode in the morning.