They are intense episodic physical manifestations that occur in a dream or are exacerbated during sleep. Mostly, parasomnic disorders are found in children, but can also be detected in adults. Parasomnias include night fears, somnambulism, and bruxism.
On the night terrors (nightmares) described in detail in the chapter about the features of sleep disorders in children, because at this age they are most often found.
Somnambulism (sleepwalking, sleepwalking) usually occurs in the first third of the night and is manifested in the fact that people perform various actions while remaining asleep. They walk, open doors, climb stairs, go out into the street. Sleepwalking in children is considered not a very serious disorder and goes away with age. It is observed, according to various sources, in about 1–15% of children, more often in boys. The first episode can occur after the child began to walk. Sleeping is most common at the age of 4-8 years, and usually goes to teenage. Often, other family members in their childhood also went to sleep.
In adults, the occurrence of sleepwalking is most often associated with stress or psychological problems. As a treatment, along with the correction of stress, apply courses of drugs prescribed by a doctor. Somnambulism of older people requires particularly careful examination to exclude diseases of the nervous system, the side effects of certain drugs that they have to take.
Close people should take some precautions to prevent injury to the somnambulist:
– remove dangerous sharp and cutting objects from the environment;
– close windows and doors to locks;
– move the bedroom to the first floor;
– you can not wake the sleeper, but should be carefully carried back to bed and put.
Parents know better that not always with sleepwalking children leave their bed. They can just sit on the edge of the bed, legs dangling, repeat the same movements. Therefore, attentive parents must pay attention to such sleep disorders.
More often somnambulists walk with open eyes and do not stumble on oncoming obstacles. It is dangerous that they can go out the window or fall down the stairs. If you turn to them, there will be no answer, the look will remain indifferent, as if they are looking through you. After walking this way, the somnambulists go back to bed on their own and continue to sleep. It is impossible to wake up, to raise panic, because they will lose their orientation, like a suddenly awakened person among deep sleep. Finding themselves out of bed, they are frightened, embarrassed and may fall by surprise, causing harm to themselves. Therefore, it is better not to wake them up, and gently hold in bed. Usually somnambulists do not remember the night episodes of walking in a dream, sometimes they have vague memories. Unconscious movements last from a few seconds to minutes, usually no more than 6 minutes. Overnight,As a rule, one episode occurs.
In the treatment of sleepwalking, sleep hygiene is very important. It is necessary to go to bed at the same time, especially for children and adults, to get enough sleep and to exclude working night shifts. The main thing is to take precautions against possible injuries and falls: remove dangerous items from the bedroom, lock the windows and doors, hang the bell on the children’s door, so that his call will wake the parents while the child is sleeping.
Of the drugs (for adult patients), one of the benzodiazepine-type hypnotic drugs and other drugs that suppress deep sleep, as well as psychotherapeutic treatment, are used. The methods of treatment are extremely individual: from the lack of treatment, since in most children sleepwalking goes without a trace and independently, to complex treatment programs.
Bruxism – teeth grinding in a dream usually occurs once a second and lasts for 5 seconds or longer. During the night the episodes are repeated. Bruxism is most common in children, but in adults, its prevalence reaches 10–20% of cases. With age, this phenomenon passes.
Teeth grinding in a dream is a family problem. Usually those people who have bruxism do not know about it. Sometimes they pay attention to pain in the jaws or often wake up and feel sleepy during the day. The dentist will pay attention to the whiteness of the teeth and ask if there are any gnashing of teeth in a dream.
It is believed that bruxism is caused by improper tooth arrangement and jaw structure. Dentists treat it with special dental units, sometimes in combination with muscle relaxation exercises and methods of biocorrection.
Those who grind their teeth, most often do so due to psychological stress. Teeth clenching is an ancient instinctive reaction to stress or anger. But bruxism itself can cause unpleasant consequences: headaches, wear of teeth, soreness of the muscles of the neck and back, nightly awakenings, drowsiness during the day.