Five year old bangs head in sleep

Patient: My son is five years old, and he bangs his head and talks and sometimes yells in his sleep, it usually occurs when he has been asleep already for a few hours.. I am concerned he isn’t getting a restful enough sleep and that he will hurt himself as he bangs his head quite hard. I have researched RMD a bit and I believe it could be that, he is also hard of hearing in one ear and gets ear infections frequently. Why does he bang his head and seem to sleep so unrestfully ? And what can I do to help soothe him?


Symptoms: Head banging, sleep talking, sleep yelling, sleep crying

Doctor: Hello,Thanks for choosing “Ask The Doctor” for posting your query.The hand banging, talking and yelling in sleep are all a form of parasomnias. These generally start 2-3 hours after a child goes into sleep. Many times these disorders settle down with age but until then the child may hurt himself. Benzodiazepines may help in certain cases and hence a trial of clonazepam may be given in such cases. Further, these episodes could be a manifestation of seizure disorder as during sleep the seizure threshold decreases and chances of seizures increase. An electroencephalography may be done to rule out such seizure disorders. I would suggest you to meet your doctor and discuss with him the medicines and tests mentioned.Hope I am able to answer your concerns.Wish you good health!


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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