While sleepwalking is a common childhood sleep disorder, it normally fades away during adolescence years. Additionally, sleep terrors share many of the same characteristics of sleepwalking as they both occur mainly during slow-wave sleep, which explains why the research team included it in their findings.
Data from 1,940 children who were born between 1997 and 1998 was analyzed by study author Dr. Jacques Montplaisir of the Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal in Canada. Questionnaires were used to determine the history of parents and the presence of both sleepwalking and sleep terrors in their children.
22.5% of children without a parental history of sleepwalking developed the sleep disorder, compared to 47.4% of children who developed the disorder and had at least one parent who was a sleeping walker. The number went up significantly when both parents sleepwalked; bring the findings to 61.5% of among the children in the study.
“Parents who have been sleepwalkers in the past, particularly in cases where both parents have been sleepwalkers, can expect their children to sleepwalk and thus should prepare adequately,” the study concludes.