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Parasomnias, also called disorders of arousal during sleep, are a group of conditions characterized by unusual behaviors that may not be noticed during sleep or recalled when awakened. They are most common in children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old.
Some of these behaviors can be harmless and require no treatment. These include sleep talking and auditory sensations like a loud bang. Others may be relieved by good sleep habits, behavioral treatments or medicines.
Parasomnia symptoms may include:
Education, reassurance and good sleep habits can help with parasomnias, which usually decrease with age.
A sleep team that includes a psychologist certified in behavioral sleep medicine and a pediatric doctor certified in sleep medicine can evaluate complex parasomnias and develop a treatment plan for your child. The sleep team at Riley at IU Health may use the following tools and tests to diagnose parasomnias:
Depending on the type of behavior, parasomnias may benefit from therapies, medicines or a combination of both. These include:
Use these resources to learn more about parasomnias.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.