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Why does my daughter talk in her sleep?

Q: My 7-year-old daughter has a habit of talking in her sleep. Sometimes she wakes up oblivious of the surrounding and talks about happenings in school or at home. She cries in her sleep or while getting up. The problem is more severe during the daytime nap. Can you kindly throw some light on the behaviour of my daughter?

A:All of us, children included, have dreams. Dreaming is good for health. It is a time when we sort out everything that happened to us in our waking hours. Mostly we are unaware of our dreams or we remember only traces. Some children tend to talk about whatever is going on in their dream, while others walk about. This is only a passing phase. However, it is possible that the child finds the school experience (or playing with the friends) a bit stressful. She verbalises what is going on and cries when something that happened at school, may have upset her. The school may be OK, but the child may be demanding too much of herself, being disappointed if she is not at the top. Give her a variety of play materials, storybooks and your time. Try to avoid pushing her for achievement of any kind and let her dance and sing and work out whatever she is anxious about. If you remember a well-known children's story - Heidi; set in the Swiss mountains, the 7-year-old girl, Heidi walks in her sleep. You should help your daughter relax, by shutting off the TV, by putting on soothing music and by letting her talk to you as she falls asleep. Avoid cola drinks and sugared ready-made snacks for her. Get her to help you in household tasks that you do routinely. Express your love for her with hugs and cuddles and tell her that you would like her to be happy, rather than smart.

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