Also known as: parasomnia

What is a Parasomnia?

Parasomnia refers to a wide variety of behaviors that occur during sleep.

What are the types of parasomnia?

  • Confusional arousal occurs most often in babies and toddlers. The episodes begin with a child crying and flaying around in bed. The child appears as if he/she is awake and may seem upset. The child is reluctant to being consoled and difficult to awaken. The episode usually ends with the child returning to a deep sleep.
  • Sleepwalking is most commonly exhibited in older children. Sleepwalking can range from simply getting out of bed and walking around the room to complex activities, including going to another part of the house.
  • Sleep terrors occur with a loud scream and cause behavior suggesting extreme terror including rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, and agitation. During a sleep terror, the child may jump out of bed and run around the room or even out of the house. Children who experience sleep terrors are unaware of their actions and do not remember the incidents in the morning.

How are parasomnias treated?

Treatment of parasomnias may include medication or behavior modification techniques.

Reviewed by: Mercedes Bello, MD

This page was last updated on: January 28, 2021 04:19 PM

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