Sleep Walking !?!

Updated on September 23, 2006
S.M. asks from Franklinton, NC
11 answers

Grand daughter, only child, turning 8 next month, has just begun to Sleep Walk! She runs out into the living room with a sense of urgency, stops in the middle of the room, and then runs back into her room and goes back to bed. She's totally asleep the whole time. Last night, her daddy asked, "What are you doing?" and she said "I have to do my homework!"

Why is she doing it? We haven't changed anything at home. She's in 3rd grade, likes both her teachers, and does very well. (Reading at 5th grade level!) She KNOWS she is loved very much, and considers herself a Princess.

Most of all, what should WE do to keep her safe? We can't stay up all night to guard the door!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you ALL! I read all the links you sent, and her daddy called his step dad, who is also a psychiatrist. He said that she's an ultra-sensitive child who appears to take Life too seriously. We have since worked with her about which things she is allowed to worry about, and which things to let the grown-ups handle. We took away ALL her videos that had "monsters" in them, because she was dreaming that Monsters were eating everyone and leaving her all alone in the house. Daddy was also forced to leave his job, that kept him away on overnights. Now we have less income, but a happier child. No incedents of midnight strolling in the last 2 weeks! Bless you ALL for your input!

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answers from Charlotte on

It sounds as if she could be feeling anxious or maybe a little overwhelmed at moving up a grade and having her work and responsibilities increase. I used to sleep walk or wake up thinking I was in a classroom doing work. I was in 8th grade then and it just so happens at that age I wasn't aware that I was having overwhelming feelings and if someone would have asked me I still don't think I would have known there was a problem. I can look back now and say as an adult that moving into 8th grade for me was a challenge because there came more homework, more class work, and the work was a little more challenging. Whether she is doing well in school and she loves school there can still be subconscious thoughts of needing to get things done and do well.

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answers from Norfolk on

Don't worry! I am a sleep walker and so is my 3 year old daughter. It has nothing to do with changes and you don't have to watch guard. All she is doing is repeating her day in her sleep. To curb this alittle all you must do is 30 minutes before bedtime she must relax. Sit her down. Read a story. Anything that will slow her mind down because it still thinks she is awake. You will start to see that she will calm down and this will slow down, if not stop the sleepwalking.

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answers from Birmingham on

Here are a few links I found on the subject. When I was a child I used to sleepwalk. I would go around my grandparents house and unlock doors & windows -sometimes open them!
My grandfather would go around and close & lock everything and I would go back to bed.
My sleepwalking was due to stress.
The best you can do it get as much information you can on the subject and then discuss it with her doctor if you feel it is serious.

*on a side note**When reading your profile it sure sounds like this child has a wonderful family/home life full of people that love her so much! Imagine thinking you are a Princess at 8 years old and having Grandma in parents in the same house all together! I am sure she is very happy!!

Good luck!


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answers from Spartanburg on

Our daughter used to sleep walk and it is was just a stage for her, we put a chain lock on the door because we were worried that she would get the door unlocked and get outside, and with the chain lock at least the door wouldn't open enough for her to get out. I don't know what causes sleep walking, she might be having a dream about something and believes it to be really happening and gets out of bed, I would just talk to her about it when she is awake and let her know that she does it. There are a lot of people both children and adults who sleepwalk without causing harm to themselves or others. I would definitely either change the locks to key lock or get a chain for the door so that you feel better about it and if she gets up in the middle of the night you know she won't be leaving the house. also just keep anything that she might bump into or get hurt on up and out of the way to prevent injury. She will probably stop, but if you are too concerned go see her doctor he can help you.

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answers from Spartanburg on

Hi S.,
the fact that she responded to her Daddy: "I have to do my homework" makes me think that she is feeling a little pressure in that regard. Also, the fact that she refers to herself as a princess, makes me think that she has an "image" to correspond to. Are you or anybody else in the family giving her the impression that you like her better (or you love her more) if she is good at what she does, or if she behaves well?
People think that girls thinking of themselves as princesses is something cute, but it really is bad for the child to be stereotyped that way. They want to please you, therefore they would do anything to look the part, if you know what I mean.
And if they don't do well, they might feel like failures. So be aware of this danger. She is not a princess, she is (thank God) a regular girl!
The sleep walking will go away as soon as the reason of her anxiety will be solved. Just try to identify it. Good luck.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Greensboro on

it is normal just don't shake them or wake them bc it will cause problems. just watch them and try to put them in bed



answers from Mobile on

My son sometimes sleepwalks. though with him it is just to the bathroom and back to bed. But when he was younger I read abook on sleep problems in children. I don't remeber the name of it, but you can look in your local book store for one. Any way, it did talk about sleepwalking. As I recall, it said that all you can really do is try to make it safe for them when they do it. Put a chain on the outside doors where they can't reach so they can't go outside. As behaviors arise just try to protect her. Put baby locks on cabinats and drawers. Good luck.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

My nephew sleep walks when he is overly tired. Maybe she isn't resting properly even though she is in her bed. I would get as much info as I can and see my dr. about it. Until then try putting a gate at her door so that she can't get out of the house if you guys were sleeping when she gets up.
Hope it helps



answers from Mobile on

Hi S.
My husband has been sleep walking since he was a toddler. His mom put bells on his door and the all doors that lead outside. If he did try to get up and leave his room or the house the bells would ring and wake her up. She would then just lead him back to his bed and he would go to sleep.

My husband is 28 and he still sleep walks almost every night. It is frustrating for him because it interupts his sleep and he is very tierd when he wakes up in the morning.

If I were you I would mention it to the dr. at her next appointment. Maybe they can give you some other suggestions on what causes the sleep walking.

Try the bells, they worked!
Good luck,



answers from Richmond on

Hi S....

my daughter is six and sleep walks during her "night terrors". Of course I called the doctor and they suggested the same things that I saw when I googled it. check out this website and I'm sure you'll feel alot better after you read up on it. I certainly did...
I know it is scary when it happens and you get very concerned. When I researched it, they said the child doesn't even recall doing it and not to even discuss it, of course I did before I found out that information, and she knew nothing of what I was talking about. So therfore, i reccomend the same to you. just keep her safe and as i had to do, make sure she can't get out the doors.

Good Luck and Keep us posted!



answers from Raleigh on

My daughter now 21, use to sleep walk all the time, she would do similar things like your grandaughter. I was also conserned and when at the Drs expressed this to him, he told me alot of children sleepwalk. He advised me not to wake her up and direct her back to bed. We made sure when she did sleep walk that she would be safe. She grew out of it buy the time she was 10-11. Perhaps there is some information on line where you could get some advise.

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