What Is A Rhythmic Movement Disorder?
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What Is A Rhythmic Movement Disorder?

Guide to reader what is rhythmic movement disorder as this symptom may occur on children. Provide info to guide parents on how to help their kid sleep with this sleep disorder.

When you go to sleep at night, you may find it soothing to fall asleep in a certain way. For example, you may tuck your pillow under your chin in a particular manner, he on your side, or even count sheep to make the transition from being awake to falling asleep. Your child may have found his own way to make this transition.

To make this transition, many children develop a soothing repetitive motion, rocking their bodies, banging their heads, or other rocking motions that help them fall asleep. These are all normal ways to fall asleep. Once asleep the movements stop. Although this type of sleep-related activity is called a rhythmic movement disorder, in most children it is not really a disorder, but a normal way that young children fall asleep. The movements are seen when your child is transitioning between sleep and wake, and when he has brief arousals from sleep during the night. In most children, no changes or treatment are needed, and with time, the rhythmic behavior just stops on its own.

Rhythmic movement disorder includes a group of movements usually seen in early childhood that occurs during the transition between sleep and wake states, both at bedtime and naptimes, during arousals from sleep at night, and sometimes during light sleep. The movements are stereotyped, which means they look the same, and they are repetitive and rhythmic, as the name of the disorder suggests. When the movements occur, they usually last less than 1 5 minutes. The movements are more associated with sleep, but some children will do the same movements while awake.

Usually, the large muscles of the body, often in the head and neck, are involved. The movement frequently involves body-rocking and head banging, which can be disturbing to parents.

Little chance of harm almost two-thirds of healthy children engage in this type of rhythmic movement, but there are only a few reports in the scientific literature of children causing themselves harm. The only child at risk is one who has an underlying medical, psychiatric, or developmental disorder.

While we do not know for certain what causes (Rhythmic Movement Disorder) RMD, several factors that increase the possibility of your child developing this habit have been identified.

Family history is important. Children who have RMD may have close family member with the same problem. Anything that causes your child to wake at night will increase the opportunity for the rhythmic movement to occur. Children often have the movements when falling asleep or transitioning through the night from wake to sleep. Factors disrupting sleep include medical problems (such as a recurrent ear infection, trouble breathing at night, reflux of stomach acid causing heartburn-like symptoms) and environmental factors (noise, for example).

Your child may display this movement as a means of getting your attention at night when he is falling asleep or during arousals from sleep in the middle of the night. The movement may give your child pleasure and be a form of self-stimulation, especially if your child has a neurological problem, such as autism, developmental delay, or has emotional problems.

Children may use rhythmic movements to stimulate the inner ear, called the vestibular system. It is possible that this sensation is soothing, the actual explanation for this is unknown.

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Comments (2)
Benjamin Haynes

i am 15 years old and i have had it since i has a baby i bang my head and my leg sayin over and over i want mommy but i am 15 and dont really want my mother i live with her but i was in foster care since i was 3 to 11 is that what causes me to say that

charlotte hall

My 22month girl has been rocking and head banging for nearly a year now. It's driving me crazy. She rocks and humms at the same time. She is awake because when i go in there she looks up at me straight away. we have a small house and therre is know where i can get away from the noise. And yes I have tried ear plugs. What should I do? should I go into her or leave her to it. if I dont go in her rocking gets faster, andshe becomes more agitated. To the point were she squells out. Help, Help, Help. Plunket have been usless, and the doctors just prescribe phenegan. I dont want to drug her but I need some sleep.

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