Sleepwalking usually occurs during slow wave (deep or non-rapid eye movement) cycles of sleep and in the first third or half of the night. (It rarely occurs during daytime naps.) Frequency of episodes varies. Episodes are quite rare for some sleepwalkers, while others may have multiple episodes in one night.
Sleepwalking may begin as soon as a child is able to walk.
During sleepwalking, the eyes are usually wide open but have a glassy appearance.
Some things a sleepwalker may do:
Children often simply walk toward a light or a parent's bedroom.
A sleepwalker can be hard to wake and should instead be gently redirected to bed.
Sleepwalking can also disrupt the sleep of a bed partner. In some cases, a sleepwalker's behavior can injure the partner, though this is more often associated with REM-sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
The sleepwalker will typically have little or no memory of the events, though some sleepwalkers may have greater recall.
Children who sleepwalk are more likely to also have sleep terrors, which have behaviors that can overlap with sleepwalking.