Night terrors

Sheree - posted on 09/07/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Has anyone had any experience with night terrors? Any info be appreciated.

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Amanda - posted on 09/07/2010

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My five year old Abbi has them and they started when we moved from a town house into a small apartment..She then had them again a few months after her sister was born...She just had a couple of nights here recently and its because we have moved yet again into a new house this time and she started kindergarten...I have done some research and they can be brought on by stress.. here is some info for you!!

A night terror, also known as a sleep terror or pavor nocturnus, is a parasomnia disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. The subject wakes abruptly from slow-wave sleep, with waking usually accompanied by gasping, moaning, or screaming while waking. It is often impossible to awaken the person fully because they are so concentrated on waking, and after the episode the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking. A night terror can rarely be recalled by the subject. They typically occur during non-rapid eye movement sleep.


Children

Children from age two to eight are most prone to night terrors, and they affect about fifteen percent of all children,[1] although people of any age may experience them. Episodes may recur for a couple of weeks then suddenly disappear. The symptoms also tend to be different, like the child being able to recall the experience, and while nearly arisen, hallucinate. Children who have night terrors are usually described as 'bolting upright' with their eyes wide open, with a look of fear and panic, and will often scream. They will usually sweat, breathe fast and have a rapid heart rate (autonomic signs). And although it will seem like they are awake, during a night terror, children will appear confused, will not be consolable and won't recognize you. Strong evidence has shown that a predisposition to night terrors and other parasomniac disorders can be passed genetically. Though there are a multitude of triggers, emotional stress during the previous day and a high fever are thought to precipitate most episodes. Ensuring the right amount of sleep is an important factor. Night terrors may also be caused by stress.

Special consideration must be used when the subject suffers from narcolepsy, as there may be a link.

Brenda - posted on 09/07/2010

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My Five year old has been having them. There is a link posted in another thread to askdrsears.com (just search the site for Night Terrors) and it has some great information.

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Sheree - posted on 09/07/2010

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thankyou so much, this information has really helped. My daughter is on the tail end of a nasty virus, fatigued, stressed, not eating and having to share who mother with her six month old baby brother who is also sick :(, there has been fevers and a course of antibiotics (possibly link to night terrors?!) plently of obvious causes. Does not detract from the absolutely soul destroying task of watching her endure these attacks. Six in one night.
Last night however she slept soundly and am hoping this will just be annother notch on the neverending tally of parenting challenges.
It helps knowing at not uncommon, nor am I alone in this.
x Sheree

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At around 7 months old I believe it was, Pinxit has a bought of night terrors, which lasted about a month.



My younger brother had these for years so I already knew a bit about them, but the basic keys to remember are to not touch them(unless they're in harms way), because you touching them can make it worse because your touch get pulled into their dream and they feel like they've been caught, making matters worse. And don't try and wake them, just like you hear for people who walk in their sleep.



It's uncomfortable to watch, but it's all you can do really. If it doesn't pass after a month, or starts to happen multiple times a night, I would seek professional help. It should pass on it's own though.

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