Although incident parasomnias are uncommon as children enter adolescence, parasomnias present in preadolescents may persist into the teen years, according to a research abstract presented at SLEEP 2010.
Results indicate that the rate of persistence after 5 years was 29% for children with bedwetting and 27% for children with sleepwalking.
The study involved 310 children in the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study (TuCASA), a prospective cohort study that enrolled children between the ages of 6 and 11 years for an initial assessment. The most common problem was sleep talking, which had a prevalence rate of 22.3% and persisted into adolescence in 46% of cases. Modern trends in jaw and tooth development show that children still suffer from early childhood decay (ECC), and the jaws are not developing to their fullest potential during these critical early years.

This is known as childhood sleep apnea, which is hardly diagnosed by paediatricians or general dentists unless they know which signs to look for. The study also found that the incidence rate for new cases of sleepwalking was 3.2% during the follow-up period, while the incidence rate for new cases of bedwetting was less than 1%. However, Quan noted that sleep talking typically is a minor hindrance that requires no treatment.

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