Saturday, August 20, 2011

What is Happening?

When Hanna was still waking up regularly at night and I would have to get out of bed and go to her, I would occasionally find Hallie curled up in a tight ball, asleep.  The strange part was that she would be asleep on the floor, in the middle of the hallway, sometimes right in front of our door.

Now, Devin and I don't lock our door at night. Hallie frequently comes in when she is sick, or even just when she has to go potty. She'll wake me up, I'll say, "Ok, go use the potty then get back in bed." She says "ok", she goes into our bathroom, does her business, flushes and then goes back to bed. I tell her good night as she goes out the door.  So I know that she knows she can come into our room if she needs something. So why in the world do I find her on the floor in the hallway?

One time I was in a deep sleep, but was suddenly jolted straight out of it.  I don't know if Hallie made a noise or if my subconscious just became aware of her presence, but one night I woke up to find her standing two inches from my face at the side of the bed, just staring at me.  I think I screamed, and jumped two feet in the air.  My socks might have flown straight off my feet.  I tried to calm down, and said, "Hallie, do you need something?" She didn't answer.  "Hallie, go back to bed."  She turned around, and walked back to her room. I presume. I wonder now if she didn't just go lay down in the hallway, curl up on the floor, and fall asleep.

One time I was awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of her crying.  It was not her normal cry, and I lay in bed for a minute just listening to it.  Then I got up to see what she needed.  Imagine my surprise when I found her sitting, head in her hands, at the top of the stairs.  "Hallie, what's wrong?" I asked her.  All she would say is that she needed her dog.  She never sleeps with a stuffed animal.  But, since it seemed to be important that night I found her a dog, and put her back in bed.  It scared me though, that she was sitting there at the top of the stairs. Did she know where she was?

I think I have caught her sleeping this way five or six times in the past few months, and I never thought anything of it, until last night.  I assumed toddlers sometimes just got out of bed and wanted to see what it was like to sleep somewhere else. But last night as I came up the stairs and saw a dark lump on the carpet and thought to myself "gee, I don't remember leaving anything on the floor right there", and upon closer investigation realizing that it was my daughter I began to wonder if this was, in fact, normal behavior.  Do children do this?  I don't know much about sleepwalking, but is it possible that she is sleepwalking?

This is totally normal though, right? Your children and your friend's children and your sister's children - they all do this too, yes?


  1. Amy I sleep walked, talked, and had terrible nightmares around 3 and 4 years old. I don't know what made me stop, but I dont think it lasted long.
    I'll have to get back to you on that.

    -Nicky Nightingale

  2. Sometimes Jeff still does that. Once he woke up crouched on the floor, peering into my face while I slept, wedged between a table and the bed...and realized that he needed to move before I woke up and started screaming. But mostly he just talks in his sleep.

  3. Definitely sounds like sleep walking to me. We have more than a few instances of it at our house.

  4. Hm. I have woken up before and found Jill staring at me next to my bed, but she has always been awake. I have only ever found her asleep in a ball in the corner of her room, in her bed, on the floor next to her bed, or in the rocking chair in her room. So, I've always assumed she either fell out of her bed or had trouble sleeping and went somewhere else in her room to fall asleep. I don't think she is sleepwalking. If Hallie is sleepwalking, I don't think it is too terrible. Just make sure your house doors are locked, and maybe get a gate for the top of the stairs. But you're probably going to get one anyway for Baby 3's arrival. As long as she acts like she is getting enough sleep (she's not grumpy during the day), I think it's fine. Jill does talk in her sleep. Sometimes she startles me when I'm in there nursing Daniel in the middle of the night.

  5. Sleep walking happens with little kids. I would be that's what is happening. Just make sure she is safe (maybe get those gates for the stairs) and walk her back to bed.

  6. Well, Grandma Rose used to sleepwalk as a child, so it could run in the family. I echo the need for the gate, just for her to be safe.

  7. Ummm no. No they don't. I've only done it once or twice ever that there's been proof of. I do talk in my sleep. Well, I did... I don't think I ever get to sleep that deeply anymore.
    You may want to do a little research. Would a pediatrician know anything about it?