Posted on 13 Comments

Future Overnight School Trip Dilemma

This post is just for a little advice really.

One of my boys is reaching the age where he will soon be asked to go on overnighter trips with the school.   He would be all for it, but he is also quite nervous about it.  He wants to go, and I’d like him to go, but there is a problem.

He is a sleepwalker.  And he is a regular sleepwalker who will get up, out of the bedroom, down the stairs etc etc.  He also still has night terrors.  Now that isn’t too much of an issue, as lots of adults I suspect still get night terrors.

The problem is the sleepwalking while in a night terror.  If he is sharing a room with another child, it would freak them out to see him like that, and they won’t know how to react to it.

If  I go, and he shares a room with me, then it singles him out as different from the other kids.    The school might not even let me go with him, so it is a long shot whatever route I decide to take.

In a strange place, he WILL sleepwalk, and he WILL open a locked door, and he WILL go the route he goes at home.

My last option is to keep him off.

What way would other people go in?

I know which way I am leaning towards, but I don’t want to say just yet, I’d like some other peoples opinons and possible suggestions before I say.

13 thoughts on “Future Overnight School Trip Dilemma

  1. Hi,

    I was looking for something exactly like this on the internet as my daughter occasionally sleepwalks and now she has to go on an overnight school trip. She really wants to go and I want her to go too but I am worried for the same reasons as you. I know this was a long time ago but I am really keen to know how it worked out in the end for you.

    I can surely not go with her and she cannot sleep in her teacher’s room. She will have numerous such occasions in future so how many times will I not make her go. If you have any advice on this then it will highly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Shikha

      In the end I let him go. I worried myself senseless, as they were staying next to a lake…. I did speak to the school, and they worked with me a little to help it along. They arranged to have teachers sleep in the room opposite and adjacent, and two other children shared a room with him, with his bed being the furthest from the door. To get to the door of his room, he would possibly have woken the other two. I gave them a door alarm I’d bought from a DIY store, that can be hung outside the door, and which would have alerted them to someone leaving their room. In the end, the kids were all up until around 2am until they all went silent. Teachers committed to staying outside the kids rooms until the speaking etc had stopped for about 15 minutes. They got them to all be housed in one corridor. At that point, they stacked some chairs outside the door, and asked the hotel not to move them, so anyone trying to get out, would have tripped over them, and hence woken up, or caused the teachers in the next room to wake up..

      On return, he was ecstatic at being there, the other kids were none the wiser, although he’d warned them he sleepwalks. He went to sleep in one bed, and woke up in another, in the same room, so it was fine. I’d say talk to the school and see what you can agree to help her go safely. At the end of the day, we’re going to worry whatever they do, and can only make a choice we’re comfortable with. There are risks with walking out our front doors every day, so it’s whether you can come to a compromise with school, that you’re happy with.


      1. Hi,

        Thanks a lot for replying to me. You have certainly given me some ideas to keep her safe. Will keep them in mind while talking to the school.

        Thanks again,


  2. I would talk to the school in the first instance. They must have come across these issues before.

    Carefully selecting the children he shares a room might help so that he’s not with children who might get scared and start screaming. Talking to his room mates and saying he might sleepwalk and yes it’s a bit odd but nothing to worry about.

    Do the teachers who are going know how to cope with him, how to get him back to bed?

    If he will go the route he goes at home, can you show the staff that route so they can make sure it’s a safe route from the room that he’s in.

    Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head but he needs to go as otherwise he will be singled out.

    Have you asked him what you think ought to happen? Is he aware of how he appears to other people when sleepwalking? What does he think?

    1. Barring the door might be an issue as it will be a public hotel that they will stay in when it happens. so I can’t take the risk he walks out of his room and wanders around the hotel. I have some time to sort it out thanfully, and perhaps the school can come up with some ideas.

      1. has he tried a stay at a friends house as a start? how often does he walk at night? are you worrying over something that may not happen whilst he is away?
        sorry I know where you are coming from but he has to be allowed to grow up, to deal with these situations and learn to deal with being away from home. Dont think this is the answer you are looking for, we all worry about our kids first school trip, its a normal part of being a mum!!
        I had a daughter with epilepsy, up to 25 fits a day but she has been on adventure holidays that included canoeing, gorge walking, ravine crossing, aerial slides, abseiling……yes it made me nervous but cant wrap them in cotton wool.
        as long as the school are aware, and even the hotel staff, remember most places are manned 24/7 and front doors are monitored and any other doors alarmed, then he is coming to no real harm.

        1. We tried it several times by having him stay at an aunts house and they have to put a stair gate up for him to stop him heading down them at top speed, as the room he sleeps in is at the top of the stairs. He regularly sleep walks through to where they sleep. They have to put him back to bed again, but being a strange place, he gets up and walks several times a night when he is there. He sleepwalks several times a week, sometimes several times a night if he is worried about something, and often in sleep terror while he does it, screaming and running away from things. If there were stairs in the way, he’d be head first down them. He would happily sleep away from home, if he didn’t sleepwalk, but he is the one that is worried about the possibilities. He has found it scary to wake up in unexpected places and doesn’t want to go anywhere that there isn’t someone close by who will hear him when he goes, and I don’t fancy the idea of a public hotel and him wandering around during the night. I know from staying in cheap hotels, that the desks are not always manned, neither are the doors always alarmed. Its going to be a tough one I suspect unless I go too.

  3. I think that you should let him go. Talk to the school and see what they say. I am a “sleep singer”, however in all seriousness I used to sleep walk as a child and my parents never stopped me going places. They just talked to the school

    1. I’d like him to go and if it was a dedicated place they were going to, it might not be so bad, but is a public hotel so not so easy if he goes walkabout during the night. I need to think about how to approach it, don;t I?

  4. I would say let him go, too. Maybe there is an understanding teacher who will talk to his friends and reassure them that sometimes this is what your boy does and it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Sooner or later, he will resent you if you don’t let him join in and he will also be singled out even more if he’s the only one not going. He’ll probably have a great time and will be so tired after a long day of activities. It also wouldn’t hurt if he was to share a dormitory with just one other boy. I imagine the other children would just be happy that he’s there rather than fretting about him sleep-walking.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    CJ xx

    1. Sadly, friends are limited for him, and I am worried he ends up roaming the public hotel at night alone. I might just say I have to be there so that he will get to go, but I can keep him safe while he is there.

  5. I would start by talking to the school. Perhaps he can share a room with one of the teachers, which wouldn’t single him out so much.
    It would be a real shame for him not to go, because those trips are usually great fun. I would love to say that this is something he’ll grow out of, but I’m still known to get out of bed at night and I’m way older than him!

    1. Talking to the school will definitely need to be done. The teachers are not allowed to share with kids nowadays, tho they did it when I was at school. Kids have to share with kids, but if I go, I can make a case for him staying in the same room as me, I hope.

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