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How can we stop our son from talking during sleep?

Q: My 16 years old son talks a lot during sleep. He narrates the same incidents that happen with him during day time. Some times he also fights with the sister in sleep. He is basically alright but a bit under weight for his age. Also during the day he is very hyperactive. He gets angry very fast. What should we do?

A:Talking in sleep is relatively common, especially in children. It is not uncommon to see content from the previous day during such sleep talking episodes. However, if he is physically moving his extremities or the whole body during sleep to a point where he might be physically hurting self or others he might need a comprehensive evaluation to further assess possibly with overnight polysomnogram (sleep study). We call such episodes during sleep (sleep talking or other verbal or physical movements without complete arousals) as PARASOMNIAS. Most of these do not require any treatment and often improve with age, however, in some severe cases they may need to be treated with medications. Often such parasomnias are not associated with any other emotional problems but it is likely that emotional disturbances may worsen such episodes. I would strongly encourage for him to be evaluated by a physician specializing in sleep medicine.


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