Children's Hospital Colorado

Sleepwalking

What is sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking is the tendency to get out of bed and wander during deep sleep. It usually occurs within two hours of bedtime.

What causes sleepwalking?

Sleepwalking is an inherited tendency, which means the child gets it from his or her parents. The condition is caused when a child only partially wakes up during sleep. Children who sleepwalk can usually follow their parent’s instructions, but are hard to fully wake.

Occasionally sleepwalking is increased if the child has sleep deprivation, sleep apnea or is using certain medications such as Benadryl. Sleepwalking can increase if the room is hot, the child has a fever or if the child has some inflammation.

Who sleepwalks?

Children 4 to 15 years old are most likely to sleepwalk. Up to 15% of children sleepwalk. Children usually stop sleepwalking on their own during adolescence.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Robin Deterding, MD

Robin Deterding, MD

Pulmonology - Pediatric

Grace Houser, MD

Grace Houser, MD

Pulmonology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Paul Houin, MD

Paul Houin, MD

Pulmonology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Susan Hines, PNP

Susan Hines, PNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner