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Old 06-16-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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Catching & protecting my sleep walker

So, for the last 2-3 months my 10 year old daughter has developed quite the affliction with sleep walking. She's always done it off and off, but the last couple of months have been 4+ nights per week of it. Fortunately, she does it within an hour to two after going to bed and we've been up each time.

My concern is that she's fully able to navigate doors, stairs, toilet, fridge, etc. She usually simply comes to find us, we send her to pee and then take her back to bed (we made the mistake of "sending" her back to bed once and found her asleep in my office/desk chair). Lately, though- she hasn't been coming directly to us.

In our house, her door is across the hallway from ours. We close it every night and can hear it when she opens it. 2 nights ago wife checked on her after hearing it and daughter was coming back from the kitchen (never did figure out why). Last night, I checked on her and daughter was reaching up inside a linen closet to turn on the light (it has no light and fortunately nothing heavy fell as she rifled around it).

In the camper, she's 3 rooms away. I am also concerned that in her sleepwalking will lead her to an outside door (we have the 1/2 bath off of the bunkhouse with its own door). Part of me wants to flip the big grab handle over that door, but when I worry about fire safety and blocking an exit. But, we still have the main door to the camper to worry about - I'm almost thinking of hanging something jingly from the door at night so that it makes noise when it is opened.

Anyway, thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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For starters, I think the bell on the door sounds like a good idea. I'm sure others with more experience in this area will have some even better ideas. I'm betting this type of issue is more widespread than we know.

Also, if you haven't already, maybe talk to a pediatrician about dealing with the cause of the issue, rather than just treating the symptoms.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:08 PM   #3
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As I recall I have heard that the late night need to visit the restroom leads to a lot of sleep walking. Maybe try restricting fluids after dinner.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Arefbee View Post
As I recall I have heard that the late night need to visit the restroom leads to a lot of sleep walking. Maybe try restricting fluids after dinner.
I've heard similar. Basically the sleepwalker is trying to go to the bathroom, but often not finding the right location. In e-dad's case, the time they caught her in the closet she might have been trying to find the bathroom light switch. (If it's a bathroom thing.)

Note: I only know about this from my own research about bedwetting crossing into this territory. Sometimes just reducing fluids isn't enough if the person isn't producing the right hormones that tell the body to shut down urine production at night.

But that's all up to e-dad to work out with his family. Our concern is the question he raised, about the best way to detect his sleepwalker might be leaving the trailer.

In that case, I'd probably look at a portable door alarm. (Something like those found here: Door & Window Alarms - Security Systems - Home Security & Video Surveillance - Electrical¬*at The Home Depot

Though I'd also take the time to research the least audible one. Some of those at 120-130 db might be a little traumatic to the sleepwalker.

Edit: Being curious, I started clicking through a couple of these. This one might work for you: http://www.homedepot.com/p/SkyLink-D...c202Z12kyZ12kz

It looks like it can be set to either alarm or just chirp, so on chirp it won't be loud, and the siren unit can be placed in the master with just the sensor on a door. It also says it's expandable so you'd be able to sensor both of your outside doors.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
In the camper, she's 3 rooms away. I am also concerned that in her sleepwalking will lead her to an outside door (we have the 1/2 bath off of the bunkhouse with its own door). Part of me wants to flip the big grab handle over that door, but when I worry about fire safety and blocking an exit.
Anyway, thoughts? Ideas?
I can't help with anything else, but with this I have some insight. I use the door handle trick on our main door when I'm outside and I don't want the DD's following me out. At 1 year and the other almost 3 years old they can both open the door but certainly cannot navigate the stairs. So, if I'm outside and DW and DD's are inside the bar is generally across the door, whether its the screen door or the main door. Before I felt comfortable with the main door, I closed DW in and put the handle over the door. With some effort she was able to open the door with the handle across it. We both felt comfortable enough that she could open the door every time with the bar across it. For me it was surprisingly easy to open the door with the bar on it, but it's enough now that neither of the girls can open it.
I guess all that was to say that even with the bar over the door, you can open it, it will just need to be a deliberate move. Now it might be possible if your daughter is sleeping she can open it, might just want to test and see how much pressure yours takes.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Helmsley, thanks for the info. We tend to flip the door handle over the screen door to keep our 1 year old in. We try to lock the door from the inside to keep him from falling out again (first and only time was when the 10 year old went out and didn't close the door behind her the whole way, he leaned on it and out he went).

I'll test the door with the handle over it.

I did like the remote alarm that Kaadk posted- that's quite like what I'm hoping for. Something to alarm both doors that makes some noise up in the bedroom where we are. Hopefully we could calm its noise a whole bunch as it just has to wake one of us up.
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