How to Get Kids to Sleep
If things go bump in the night but your good silverware and heirloom jewelry are untouched, you may have a sleepwalker. Sleepwalking affects less than 15 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Kids under the age of 10 are especially susceptible but tend to outgrow it by adolescence. The classic sleepwalker rises soon after bedtime. Her eyes may be open yet glassy, and she may mumble. Don’t panic: Sleepwalking is harmless as long as the surroundings are safe. Lock windows and doors, gate the stairs, and put a bell on her door to alert you to shepherd her gently back to bed. There’s usually no need to wake a sleepwalker—that may make her disoriented, says Rosen, “although she probably won’t remember anything in the morning.”
While night terrors (which happen when your child bolts up, still asleep, but panicked, crying, or even screaming) are not directly related to sleepwalking, the two disorders are also more common in children than they are in adults; both are exacerbated by lack of sleep or stress. Stay calm and comfort your child. He should hit the pillow again soon, although this can take as long as 30 minutes.