Does anyone have a child who has Night Terrors?

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[deleted account]

Hi :)  Both of my boys suffered from Night Terrors.  I is very scary when it first happens if you don't understand night terrors.  Night Terros are completely different to bad dreams or night mares.  With Night Terrors the child is NOT awake and should not be woken.  The child is not actually having a scary dream or anything else...the child IS SAFE.  Often the childs body is RIGID and they scream a TERRIFYING scream.  The child has NO RECOLLECTION of the event in the morning or later in the night should they awake.  The only thing you can do is be close to your child.  I totally understand that you will feel useless doing this...I felt useless but it is the only thing you can do.  Night Terrors often run in families, but not always, and the child WILL outgrow it.  All the best...you and your child will be okay....keep in touch if you like...I have more info if you like...or can just listen or chat :)

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Peggy - posted on 12/13/2011

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Hey Caraline, I have tryed to share with as many on here as I can. Our son had these horrific terrors for several years. I told his Dr. and he said that others were having good results with interupting their sleep habit for three consecutive nights. Just let them fall sound asleep, then gently wake them up so that they know where they are at. Then comfort them back to sleep.o this for three night in a row.If they should have another one, repeat for another three nights. My son was cured the first three nights.I sure pray this will work for you as well.

Peggy - posted on 12/13/2011

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I thought that when I posted our results that everyone could try what our Dr told us to do.It stopped our sons night terrors the first time. He told me to let my son fall sound asleep, then gently wake him up so that he knows it.Then comfort him back to sleep.Repeat it three night in a row. If he should have another one, then repeat the same for three more nights. It worked the first three :) I pray it works for your child too. Merry Christmas

Dana - posted on 12/13/2011

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Thank you Peggy. The temporary break in night terrors was just that, temporary, Tonight is night one of waking him as you suggested. I am so grateful for your advice. I will let you know how it goes. The idea that I can find a solution that doesn't require medication is a heaven sent. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks

Peggy - posted on 12/12/2011

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I replyed to severial post with the results that we got from wise addvise from my Sons Dr. He had the Terriors for severial years off and on.His Dr told us to let him fall off to a sound sleep then gently wake him up so that he knows he is awake.Comfort him back to sleep.Repeat this for three nights. If he should have another night terror, then repeat the steps again the next night.My son was completly cured the first week.I hope this helps, as I know how horrible this is for them and you to see.

[deleted account]

When my son was young, he had horrible night terrors. Those were replaced later by terrors of night. I too used a combination of lavender, orange and another essential oil which I mixed with distilled water and put in a sprayer. We sprayed it in his room about 10-15 minutes before bed and it helped him sleep, without nightmares.

Dana - posted on 12/09/2011

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Okay this has really thrown me off. I have posted a few times about my sons night terrors and how intense they are. We went through it every night. Some nights it was 2 or 3 times. They began shortly after I left his father. Within a week or so took in my 15 year old step-son as well. He was being abused by his father physically and his mother said he couldn't stay with her. I have raised the boy since he was 3 and love him the same as the children I gave birth to. Then 4 days ago my step-son decided he wanted to try and live with his mom. It was a painful and sudden event that I could do little to stop. My 7 year old son was very upset and hasn't wanted to talk to his brother when he did call to explain himself. I moved my son into his brothers old room upstairs. It has been 4 nights and not one night terror. While I am thankful for the sleep and happy not to see my son go through the night terrors I am equally concerned. Was it the change of room or the absence of his brother????

Peggy - posted on 12/09/2011

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My Son had Night Terrors when he was about 10. My Dr had advised us to let him fall to a sound sleep, then gently awaken him that he knew he was awake.Then comfort him and tell him to go back to sleep.We were to repeat this for 3 nights.If it did not brake his night terrors right away then repeat doing it again another 3 nights. We are very thankful for his wisdom. It broke the night terrors after the first 3 nights. He had horific night terrors that his face apeared that he was being tortured. It was amazing how this stoped it. Pray it works for everyones child.

Patricia - posted on 11/12/2011

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my son had night terrors when he was younger like every night for the longest time ( he also has Autism-PDD/NOS) for him they were common with Autism. He hasn't had one in 2 yrs. The best thing to do is wake them up even after they wake up they do not remember having aa bad dream or anything ( which is a good thing since it scared me to death). I would speak to your child's pediatrician about it just to be safe.

Dana - posted on 11/10/2011

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When I first posted this I had no idea anyone would really understand. That someone does really does help. I am so grateful to all the moms that have shared their knowledge and experiences. I have also done my own research and found that it matches what I have seen posted and know this is what I am dealing with. Just seems like such an extreme case. It is without exception every night. Some nights are better then others. I try so hard to track what sets off the bad nights and can't find a pattern. Not to say my beautiful boy is not under stress and has had to deal with some very adult things. Most recently his dad went to jail and this time he won't be getting out anytime soon. Yet the most flare of bad nights started before I told my kids what was going on. On the bad nights I always ask him the next morning, "You slept good last night baby?" He always smiles and says, "Yep. I slept great." It is the only thing that gets me through. I just get tired. I am alone with no financial support raising 4 children, in grad school, and working a part-time job. I drive myself crazy when it is bad thinking I had anything to do with causing this to happen. I will keep going. I have no choice and would do no different even if I did. Just tired. Like now. Went through it 3 times tonight. All I can do is pray.

Robyn - posted on 11/09/2011

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Hello,
my daughter has suffered night terrors from the age of 3.5yrs old, at first I was alarmed and my mother thaught that she was possessed by evil spirits however as I have a medical background, I was able to identify that they were not night mares, When she has her night terrors which usually occur roughly 2-3times a week at the age of 6yrs old now, the best practice is to just ensure that she does not run into objects and hurt herself, the terrors usually run for about 40minutes and there is no recollection of them in the morning. In my own observation they seam to occur more often when my girl shows anxiety or has been excited by an event or upcoming expectation, this also is I believe when she has her "meltdowns" as they always occur prior night and night after one. Night terrors in boys are more common than girls and apparently they do outgrow them.....still waiting.

Brandi - posted on 11/06/2011

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Our youngest son has had night terrors since I can remember...I believe they started around the age of 1yr...I know it was before he could really talk anyway. My husband and I thought they were just nightmares until it got to the point that we realized that NOTHING that we did could soothe him, or even wake him up for that matter. He is now 61/2 yrs and STILL has them, sometimes up to 3 or more times a week and there has been times that he's had 2 during one night. They are definately terrifying, even for us as parents. I spoke with his pediatrician when he was around the age of 4 and this is the way that she explained it to me...I hope this helps! She said that the "terrors" usually begin about 2hrs after the child first goes to sleep (which was true in our case) and that we all excrete a hormone when we fall asleep so that when we enter the REM stage of sleeping we don't "act out our dreams" physically. She said that this hormone, in a sense, "paralizes" us so that (this is how she put it)"when we are slaying the dragons", we are not litterally "slaying the dragons"...if that makes any sense!!! :0) She went further saying that children who experienced night terrors did not excrete the proper amount of this hormone. It really helped me understand what was actually happening to him. She went on to say that most children do outgrow these but, usually by the time they are 4 or 5 yrs old. She said that if he is still having them past this age that they will probably continue but should get less and less frequent and he shouldn't have them to the extent that he has been having them...meaning that, in our case, at times, they could last 20-30min and he would SCREAM at the top of his lungs and NOTHING that we would do would help. She did say that this condition is hereditary, maybe not the actual night terrors, but some sort of "sleep disturbance"...as in, sleep walking, talking in sleep, etc. She went on to say that the older he gets, if he is in fact still having these, that it will probably progress to sleep walking, etc and that we should be prepared for that. SHE WAS RIGHT!!! As I said,he is now 6yrs (almost 7yrs actually) and has begun walking and talking in his sleep and is also STILL having the terrors. I do take comfort in knowing, as a few people have stated, that HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF EVER HAVING THEM.

I hope that this information helps some...it is definately a scary thing to go through for EVERYONE involved and also such a "helpless" feeling as a parent not to be able to make it stop or comfort him in any way. Just KNOW that he is fine...and WON'T REMEMBER it ever happened! If ya ever need to talk about it further or just need to "talk" about it at all...I'm here! Sometimes it's nice to just be able to "compare notes" with other parents who are dealing with the same issue. I hope that in your case, your child does "outgrow" them, but if not, it still will be ok! You learn to deal with it and how to react when it happens and not be scared (like we used to be).

Again, hope this helps...

[deleted account]

Hoping that this may be a comfort to you....night terrors also occur in children that are not under emotional or psychological stress.... http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/factsheet... (this link will take you to the royal children's hospital (Melb, vic, Aust.) info sheet). In either case, stressed child or not there is nothing you can do). I went through a similar situation as you describe above when my second child had night terrors but my other child (eldest) had night terrors also despite no stress. Just hang on, stand strong.....it does get better....you and your child will get through this. And the up side to night terrors....your child will have no recollection of ever having them (I was pleased to know this.)

Dana - posted on 09/05/2011

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My son just made 7 years old. He is having night terrors, starting a few months ago and occurring at least once a night. I have read up on the symptoms, which fit the experiences we are having. I had to stop in the middle of writing this post to deal with an episode. Most everything I have read says they can be brought on by stress. This upset me terribly. I had sleep issues when I was a child, it was short lived and only occurred right after my parents divorce, and fell more under the category of nightmares. I am going through a divorce now and work hard to keep things as consistent as possible, but can't control that there bio dad, whom I have a protective order against and he has very limited visitation with the children. He rarely shows for them. Needless to say it has been stressful on my children. The night terrors started a few months ago and the mixture of anger with my ex, helplessness to fix this for my precious son, and heart breaking pain that this has caused such distress, fear, and confusion (among other feelings), that my son now has night terrors. Increasing these feeling is research that statese that there is little to nothing I can do to help him aside from comforting him and could possibly last for years.

Jo - posted on 03/01/2009

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My oldest daughter (now 11) has had them since she was under the age of 2. They are far and few between now thankfully.

It's scary to watch your child go through it. But we thankfully found an excellent doctor for her when she was about 5, who was able to give us many answers and reassure us.

Often in girls they are a form of nocturnal migraines.

Karen - posted on 03/01/2009

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when my sons were young they all went through this so i tried many things one  thing did work about half hour before going to bed we would have a mad half hour fun we would play silly games that would make him laugh to relax him then i would read a story that was funny happy untill he went to sleep and from then on all i had to do before bed was read a funny story maybe that happy thought stayed in his mind so nothing else did worth a try good luck

Cora - posted on 03/01/2009

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My son had them for a few years. He hasn't had one in about a year. They should stop around the same time puberty starts. If not document every time they happen and demand a sleep study. This is a little scary especially for young children. The sleep lab I work at has a room with an extra bed so children can have someone stay with them. Depending on the age of your child you might just have to wait it out until he/she gets a little older unless they are in danger to themselves.

Caraline - posted on 02/28/2009

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Thankyou for sharing your experiences with Night Terrors,  a few people have commented that it is stress related, eg the little one nervous about wetting bed whilst toilet training, or anxiety over school. I just hope they start to decline as I feel very helpless when she is having them and it is quite frightening.

Caraline - posted on 02/28/2009

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Quoting Julie:

My son had them from the time he was a baby to about 7 years old. I thought my house was haunted until the doctor told me what they were. We found the best thing to do was take him out to the living room and turn on the TV. Anything, even an info-mircial and it would bring him out of it. They are scary because they look right through you like your not even there.



Thank you, just hearing that other families have children with Night terrors is a help in itself.  I take Kaleisha outside and sit on the swing under the stars and rock her this helps a little.  I wonder what my neighbours think though? Hopefully she will grow out of it, I have not yet how ever been able to work out any pattern to why she has then...stress, overtired. 

Sheri - posted on 02/27/2009

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my daughters had them. One had them worse. We learned to just put our arms around her and whisper in her ear, "you're okay. I'm here. you are safe. everythings going to be okay.I love you. It's okay you're safe" It got to the point where just having someone near her and whispering in her ear.. she would calm down. Our daughter are adopted and they were both drug exposed as well as being premie. But it's true they would look right through us and scream. It finally passes but sometimes they come in and crawl into bed and tell us about their dreams... Gotta love those night time snuggles

Judith - posted on 02/25/2009

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When my kids were young and had night terrors we found several things helped. One was having quiet time right before they went to sleep, another was to simply discuss them with the chold so they are aware and you have the opportunity to quell their fears when they are awake, we also bought dream catchers and hung them in their rooms and that provided assurances. There may be other clever little things you can do to be reassuring. The Doctor told us to never wake the child but to pet or stroke them quietly in a manner they are familiar with as that sometimes helps.

Angela - posted on 02/18/2009

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My oldest (11 years) outgrew them a couple of years ago. My almost 5 year old son still has them sometimes. One of my nieces has them, and I also had them as a child (I still have horrible nightmares, and so do both of my boys). Anyway, my point is that as someone else mentioned, they do run in families. They are awful to watch, but usually the children do outgrow them. Did you have specific questions about them? I'm sorry you're having to deal with them; they aren't fun. We went to the doctor to have them diagnosed when our oldest first started having them. He was only about 2 when they started. That's about the age when my second son started having them too. For my boys, the only thing we noticed that triggered them was being over-tired.

[deleted account]

My son had night terrors for about 5 or 6 years. Feel free to message me if you'd like. I found some definite triggers for him and I also did some things that helped him.

Julie - posted on 02/16/2009

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My son had them from the time he was a baby to about 7 years old. I thought my house was haunted until the doctor told me what they were. We found the best thing to do was take him out to the living room and turn on the TV. Anything, even an info-mircial and it would bring him out of it. They are scary because they look right through you like your not even there.

[deleted account]

My daughter who is 11 now has had them since she was 2. I found that when she gets to hot, or cold, or if she is uncomfortable in a new bed she has them more often. Then when she was 5 they found that she had asthma that was more active at night. Once we got the asthma under control she has not had near as many.

[deleted account]

Yes, my 12 year old daughter has had them since she was very little. Her doctor was not concerned. We don't notice any kind of pattern. They are not as frequent now that she is older. We just try to be very supportive when they happen and stay with her for awhile to reassure her everything is ok.

Rebecca - posted on 02/10/2009

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no. i av a 11yr old son who wakes me up cuz he heres voices e also as a.d.h.d es a nitemare e off med at the min. sorry i cant help but u can tk 2 me anytime

Shannon - posted on 02/10/2009

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My son had night terrors for about a year, it was an awful feeling to see that, it scared me because there was nothing you could do for them, thankfully he grew out of it but it was a long year of it. Took him to the doctors they told me it was stress but I still dont think so, his father also had them as a child anyway I;m not very helpful but I have been there

Julie - posted on 02/10/2009

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my boy has some full on dreams some bad manly good thankfully

but when he was younger they were worse.. we used an old wives tale

it was a few different types of herbs with in a small pouch

was mainly Lavender if you have any pagan shops around

they should be able to help you out.. if you want to try

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