Many parents are in a dilemma when they find out that their children talk in their sleep. Many a time it is about the events that have happened earlier in the day. Though it is entirely harmless, it may still result in a disturbed sleep for others.
Let us first understand what is meant by sleep talking. It can be best explained by saying that there is a gateway in the brain that shuts down when we sleep. As a result we don’t walk, talk, think, eat etc. This gateway is ideally closed by the time the child is about 4 years of age. However, if the gateway is partially open for some reason, then it keeps receiving inputs and you get the feeling that the mind and body are awake.
Most of the time, children who are more active or are not able to express their emotions about the things that have happened during the day, will be sleep talking. It is important to understand that sleep talking is not an abnormal medical condition and that anybody including adults can experience it.
Anyone who talks in their sleep will not remember anything later. Usually they may speak for about 30 seconds or a little more. Sometimes they may speak multiple times in the night. Many children till the age of 10 years have sleep conversations. About 5% of adults continue to sleep talk throughout their life. Some experts have also indicated that sleep talking runs in the family and might be hereditary.
Here are 10 top ways to avoid sleep talking for your children.
Reduce the intake of sugar post 7 pm
Sugar contains glucose, which gives them energy and keeps them alert. Avoid colas, caffeinated drinks or any sweets and pastries.
Talk to your child about their day
Talking to your child daily is an important part of their stress release. They should feel free to share with you any important or ordinary day to day event. You should be their first point of contact for any advice.
Normally when children are stressful, fearful or hyper-sensitive, they try to deal with their emotions alone. If they feel free to share their emotions, then they are likely to be more peaceful while going to sleep.
Try to get your child involved in an activity that they like
You need to think beyond academics. Today, there is far more academic pressure than what we had in our days. It would be good to involve your child in music or to play an instrument or dance or sport or any other activity that they may enjoy. This would help them to express themselves and release their stress.
Encourage your child to write a personal diary
Encourage your child to pen down anything that may have happened during the day. It helps to release the emotional stress, even if they are unable to share it with their parents. This helps to empty their thoughts and pen it down in their diary.
Encourage them to say a small thanksgiving prayer before retiring to bed
Help them to remove all unwanted thoughts in an imaginary waste basket and fill their minds with thankfulness and gratitude. Ask them to be thankful to God for atleast 5 things that God has done for them. This helps them to go to sleep in a peaceful manner.
Shut down all the lights and technology gadgets around them
This will help them to get undisturbed sleep.
Be a supportive parent
It is important to know that children can be sleep talking, either when they are too stressed out or too excited. You can ask them to share their stress or excitement. Do not be overtly conscious and keep reprimanding them about sleep talking, as it will add to the stress which in turn will adversely affect their sleep.
Most of the time children are sleep deprived, which also leads to sleep talking.
Your child’s introvert nature
If your child is an introvert, then they might just be expressing their thoughts more often in their sleep.
Research indicates that health issues like fever, obesity and other sleep disorders can also cause sleep talking.
These are the 10 top ways to avoid sleep talking for your children. Though it is not an abnormal medical condition, yet it would be good to ensure that your child gets a good and undisturbed sleep at night.
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