My 5 year old daughter wakes up every night screaming...

Mary - posted on 04/05/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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...usually more than once a night. And sometimes she is talking and not making any sense, as if she is not awake. Does anyone know what I can do?

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Lauren - posted on 06/05/2012

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My daughter dose this aswell, she frequently wakes up crying hysterically, sometimes she needs a wee, sometimes she says she doesn't want to stay in her room because its scary, othertimes she doesn't make any sense at all and will just stand there crying. She is nearly 5 years old and I just don't no what's causing this? she doesn't eat junk food, rarely has sweets, doesn't have a drink in the hour before bed..........how can i get her sleeping all night? I don't no if it falls under nightmares, night terrors or restless sleep, she doesn't do it every night but probably 7 out of 10 nights.

Indra - posted on 10/11/2013

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First make sure it isn't a medical condition if my suggestions don't help. Then start to empower your child so that she feels in control of what is happening. Give her suggestions on what to do if she wakes afraid (provide a flashlight, a glo bear, tell her to turn her pillow over to the good dream side, get lavender spray and tell her it's monster be gone spray). Find out what is scary in the room. Here's some suggestions but find out whats scary to her first making sure you don't put fears in her head. Doors that have panels can be scary because they look like faces, under the bed is scary, closets are scary, images coming from the street because of headlights, some children are afraid of doll eyes. If it's a really bad problem get darkening blinds to filter light from the outside, put something under the bed so your child feels secure (trundle bed storage boxes work well), close closets with closet locks, put dolls away. Someone mentioned going to the bathroom before bedtime because that is sure to awaken children. Don't wake your child up if your child appears to be sleeping instead have her lie back down and talk really comforting to her to get her to go back to sleep. It's quite common to have nightmares when your child is hitting various developmental stages. For instance she will go through a separation phase where she begins to mature and want to separate from you...This stage can bring on dreams about parents dying. I feel education about dreams helps them go away faster. Empower your child to turn her dream into something funny or where she is in control. I hope all this information is helpful! :)

Merenda - posted on 07/01/2010

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Your child may be experiencing night terror.Night terrors (also called sleep terrors) are periods of extreme agitation with manifestations of intense fear, crying and screaming in the middle of the night. The difference between night terrors and a nightmare is that night terrors usually occur just a few hours after falling asleep. A nightmare tends to occur towards the end of the night or early morning, and will be remembered. The best response is to hug and reassure him. Don't shout and only tell him that he is only dreaming, as this only seems to upset him more and can have an adverse effect.Hug him and tuck him back in bed.Of course , lie down next to him until he fell asleep again, that will make him feel more secure as this is a frightening experience to every kid...Even adults! so if all this don't help and the attacks are violent, talk to your doctor about possible medication which will also help.

Wendy - posted on 07/28/2010

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my daughter has these at the same time every time. mostly when she has not seen or heard from her dad in a while, i just go in stroke head till she quietens if its bad then i get her to come into my bed and they stop. in her case it is because she is unsettled by not hearing from her dad in two weeks, i just make sure she knows i am there for her all the time with love and hugs.

Kathy - posted on 04/06/2010

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http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/sleep/a/n...
night terrors are caused from being overly tired... My son age 5 yrs had them all the time for almost a years he's never had sugar and my 22 yrs son had then when he was younger however i noticed when he came back from his weeked visits with his dad thats when he would have them he was coming back very tired dad has no routine here a web site to help.....

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Kimberly - posted on 03/08/2014

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my daughter does the same thing my fiance is gone for several weeks at a time but does try to call as often as he can. She likes to sleep with his shirt or his jacket and it makes her feel a little better but she often has to call daddy and hear his voice to be able to fall back asleep

Kimberly - posted on 03/08/2014

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my daughter Avelynn does the same thing she sleeps like a newborn and she wakes up screaming for me to hold her. I've asked several doctors why she keeps doing this and they can't figure out whats wrong. It might be just a phase and she might just want to hear your voice to comfort her back to sleep

Melissa - posted on 12/12/2011

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not sure what to do, but my son STILL wakes up through the nite, he is 7 yrs old, he doesnt say mommy come here or anything, he screams "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mommyyyyy hurrry" loudly, wakes up his 2yr old daughter, scares me , and everything, not sure what to do

Dena - posted on 10/19/2011

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WOW! Im there with you on this one. My daughter has been getting them at least 2 days a week. Her diet is normal but when they do occur, we dont wake her, she sleep walks to our bed and I or my husband simply carry her back to her bed, touch her to comfort to let her know we are there and she falls back to sleep.

Gina - posted on 08/29/2010

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Yeah, definately don't want to wake her up. One of the things with night terror especially with young kids is that if you wake them up it will only frighten them more and confuse them becaues they still have this feeling of fright while they see you and combine the two and will probably freak out more. Definately check the diet and maybe even try some soothing sounds or music when she goes to sleep. If all ele fails I would either talk to her or see a psychologist, probably won't need to see a psychiatrist...it might be something going on in her life that is disturbing her subconsciously

Elizabeth - posted on 05/28/2010

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I have a 5 year old that have the same but she walk in her sleep . And she sleep about 3 or 5 hour a day.I need help to find something get her to sleep.,

Claudelle - posted on 04/16/2010

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Sounds like night terrors my 3 year old wakes up like that at times, it use to frustrate me, until I realised what it was. He would stiffen his body and it was as if he was looking right through me while he was screaming. It use to happen every night, but not as much now. What I do is when he is like that, I sit on his bed put him on my lap and hold him in a firm but gentle hug and will sing the song I use to sing to him when he was a baby. The first night I did that it still took a long time for him to settle, for about a week it took long, i thought I was a zombie, then by the end of the 2nd week his scream was a lot less. Now I get him to settle within 8 minutes. A key part is to remember to stay calm, if I feel I am not calm I send his dad to calm him. I hope things get better for the both of you.

Kathy - posted on 04/06/2010

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Hi Mary my son is 5 yrs old he used to have night terrors often still has them frm time to time however it has nothing to do with junk food or sugar becouse we are health nuts and he has never had sugar... My older son 22 yrs now had them as well no sugar either both of there doc's had the same answer and we are talking years apart they said its pretty commom in children ages 2 through 6.... here is a web site that might put your mind at ease and help..... good luck....http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/sleep/a/n...

Heidi - posted on 04/06/2010

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My nephew had that problem when he was about that age. He even use to go outside, then my sister started to get worried. She took him to get a sleep study done. They were able to find out his problem by the sleep study and gave him meds for it. It did eventually go away as he grew but you might think about getting her in for a sleep study.

Jeannine - posted on 01/17/2010

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My daughter has them too. It's awful, she'll call for me and though I am there, she has no idea. The pediatrician says she will grow out of it. It has gotten better as she gets older.

Kimmie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Try carefully to reposition her without waking her up as you are telling her everything is ok. most importantly get something to record her and ask her when she wakes up to help make sense of it. and if she cant take it to the doctors.

Megan - posted on 12/05/2009

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My daughter went through the same thing... night terrors. But I think the terror is for Mom too! I finally discovered that if I didn't really try to wake or talk to her... just guide her to the potty and sit her on it, she would "go" and be all better. I would then just carry her back to bed and she's sleep fine the rest of the night. Weird - but it worked.

Tricia - posted on 11/23/2009

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my 5 year old daughter does the same thing but every 6 weeks and she has been diagnosed with having night terrors and sounds like your daughter is having them too, they do grow out of it but not untill they are about 8 ( i think ). we stopped our daughter eating after 6 pm ( if they eat late it could bring on a night terror), if they get too hot at night that could also bring on a night terror.
hope this helps you hun xx

Michelle - posted on 11/22/2009

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My little girl has them as well and i didnt have a clue what to do, i just take her in to my bedroom and try to calm her down with a cuddle or if shes running around i tend to just let her do it and when she seems to be slowing down i give her a big hug and tell her mummies here and that seems to work. she always seems to want a wee after she had one so as soon as she starts now we put her on the toilet and it dont last as long.

Kim - posted on 11/07/2009

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Hannah not only has the screaming fit but will sleep walk during it as well. We have a baby gate at the stairs for our younger child so sometimes in the night we hear her go through it. Scary. We found a dream catcher has decreased the frequency. Sometimes in the morning though she tells us that the dream catcher missed one. We think this means that they aren't night terrors but nightmares. I just want her to sleep and be rested for kindergarten!

[deleted account]

Night Terrors or nightmares. It is very common at this age. My daughter is 5 going on 6 and she is finally not having them anymore. I could set my watch to her by the hour. Everynight. I took a squirt bottle. Filled with water and called it monster spray. It keeps the monsters away. So for the longest time, that was our go to bed ritual. Spray away the bad things and dream happy things. LOL You can talk to your doctor about them. The doctor might be able to give you some good advice. Good Luck!

Crystal - posted on 10/18/2009

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my daughter just recently started to have night terrors and my husband and i freaked out but after talking to the doctor and she told us not worry but to talk to her through out her day and find out things that upset her. Lucky for us she was stressed out about not having enough time with her older sister. Once we had the oldest speed some extra time with her they seem to resolve. Or at least until the next stress trigger.

Tracey - posted on 10/13/2009

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My daughter does the same thing. I get up on average 3-4 times a night to her screaming and crying. I go into her pack her on the back and tell her mummy is here then roll her over either on to her back or side. This settles her till the next episode. What I would give for a full nights sleep........

Marlena - posted on 10/11/2009

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Well, my son is 5 yrs old now & he had nightmares a lot. He would say wierd stuff in his sleep & start crying. It would worry me somewhat. I noticed that he had more nightmares if he ate or snacked after 6pm. And sugar's totally out of the question close to bedtime. I would rub his back, talk to him softly. If he woke up, I got him into the habit of telling me about his bad dream & it had a lot to do with stress of worrying about me or from him watching certain cartoons & such the previous days. I thought I would never be a parent to constrict him from watching some cartoons, but some weren't doing him any good apparently. I started singing christian songs, we say our prayers & I read good books right before he goes to sleep & he's doing much better. They grow out of it for sure, but life's circumstances & choices we let them get involved in contribute to the night terrors. I sure hope this helps.

Jamie - posted on 07/13/2009

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my son Austan has the same thing. I've talked with the doctor about them and all you can do just talk softly to them and remind them they're in their own room/bed and who you are. If you can, turn on a night light or the room light but don't wake them up. they won't remember what happened but it's frightening for us. My son once thought I was the "bad" thing and didn't want anything to do with me so my husband took him and rocked him out of his terror. just talk to your doctor about what should be done if it does get worse. it should go away once they hit 12 or so, that's what I was told.

Tracy - posted on 07/12/2009

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My daughter has them too. Fortunately, less frequently now than before. I've noticed they have decreased since we stopped giving her an evening snack.

Stephanie - posted on 05/02/2009

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It sounds like night terrors. Its more scary for you than what it is for them. they don't even remember it.

[deleted account]

My son does the same thing. I just pick him up and tell him he's ok. I rub his back and hair when I put him back down and he seems to calm right down. I don't know how to make this night terror thing go away, but I know I make it better by being calm and reassuring.

[deleted account]

My daughter was doing the same thing. The doctor told me it was similar to night terrors. Try interrupting her sleep pattern. About 45 minutes after she initially falls asleep, waking her up for a moment. It's like rebooting a computer, her REM cycle needs to be reset. It worked for my little one, and we very rarely have her waking up over night now. You may have to do it for about a week or so.

Anne-Marie - posted on 04/17/2009

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Hi my son has the same thing! he never rememvers doing it either! He will do it every night for a week and then nothing for a week or so and then it starts again! I have read up on it and it's completly normal! It fustrates me because you think something is wrong but he never talks back to me and when i ask him why he was screaming he says it wasn't me!! lol

They call it night terrors if they don't remember it and night mares if they remember what they have dreamt about! Hope this helps but your not alone!

Greer - posted on 04/16/2009

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hi mary, i learned in psychology class that kids up to the age of 12 or so can have night terrors. theyre not nightmares, but the child wakes up crying or screaming. sometimes when u try to wake them up, they fight u back. suddenly, they go back to sleep an dont remember what happened in the morning. its common in children though...sleep talking or walking is common in kids too. maybe if you google it u might find some answers. good luck Mary!

Lisa - posted on 04/14/2009

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i think you need to keep a check on what your kid is eating before bed, with mine it was cheese. she still crawls round the bed occasionally chating to herself but without the screams.

Mary - posted on 04/14/2009

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Thank you very much. I have heard that they grow out of it but it is just so frustrating because she does it every night. I try to calm her down, but sometimes she is just freaking beyond the point of comforting. I will try the no sugar thing and see if that works.

Felicia - posted on 04/14/2009

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It sounds like she is having night terrors. I had night terrors growing and my mom used to rub my head and chest with a damp rag to help calm me down. It didn't make the terrors go away but it helped calm me down and go back to sleep (not that I was ever really awake). The most important thing to do is not to wake her up. I think most kids grow out of them.



My son had night terrors a couple of times. My husband and I noticed that it was only when he had a lot of sugar or junk food during the day. He is not use to eating candy, cake, chips, soda, etc...and when we would go to a birthday party or other social gathering and he would be consuming sugary junk food he would have night terrors that night. This could have also been the source of my night terrors since we lived with my grandparents and they disrespected my moms wishes of no junk food, candy or soda.



Hope it help!!!!

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