What can you do if your child is experiencing night terrors?
It can be very difficult for a parent to see their child suffer through a night terror. What are ways you can help your child who is experiencing night terrors?
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My son is suffering from night terrors also, his can be very violent when he wakes up, and no matter what we had tried nothing seemed to work, until we went to the local health food store, we found a product there that we give to him before bed, it's all natural and is called Kids 0-9 Calm Syrup, as long as he takes that at night we have no more night terrors, but I had run out for a few weeks and within days of him going without the Calm he was having terrors again... It really worked for us!
My daughter has had these, they are so hard to see her go through, but I have learned to just let them happen.. Do NOT touch or try to sooth them , they just last longer....
I have said shhhhh to her in a soothing way, to help her get back to sleep.....
I have always had Night terrors as well as my father and my son started having them before he even turned 1. There is not much you can do for them other than be there. If he has a bad one I let him sleep in my bed for the rest of the night. Your love and sensitivity is all you can do for them.
My 3 yr old has been having them for the past 8 months or so. At first it was once or twice a week, now it's 4-5 times a week. She goes to bed at regular times, has had no major disruptions in her life and is generally a happy little girl. Her doctor suggested trying to wake her up before one occurs. So If I put her to bed at 8:30, usually one will occur anwhere from 10:30 to 11:30. I have to make sure she is fully awake (sitting up with eyes open, talking or take a trip to the bathroom) otherwise a semi awake state will just cause her to have an episode shortly after I leave. I also took her to my acupuncturist and she showed me some acupressure spots to rub at bedtime and during an episode. There are spots on her feet I rub before bed that help relax the body and there are spots on her back you can rub during an episode that will help her come out of it. Once she comes out of it, I try to get her to wake up and have a drink or go to the bathroom. Usually that will help prevent any further ones that night. It's hard watching her go through it so frequently but just making sure she is safe and talking gently to her is helpful as well.
My son developed these the day after we brought home a pair of foster kids, which only lasted 9 days, but the night terrors continued every night for months and months. He had just turned 7. Sometimes they would last as long as an hour, he would jump off the bed and run around, scream, cry, general hysteria, and we tried what we thought was everything to stop them.
We learned not to wake him during the episode, and just keep him from harming himself. We took him to therapy, which helped, and they began to subside from 5 days a week to 1-2 days a week. After 2+ years of this, I heard of one last treatment. It worked immediately.
We noticed that his terrors started almost exactly 50 minutes after he fell asleep, every time, always. He was also sweating like mad. So we'd wait 40 minutes, then wake him up just enough to have him sit up, open his eyes, and grumble about being woken up, then he'd fall back asleep. No terror. Sometimes he'd have to use the toilet. We did this 6 nights in a row, and on night 7, let him be. It worked. It worked really well, too, as in the last year he has had perhaps only 2 terrors, and those were after he had a really busy, chaotic, unconventional day. After a trip to the bathroom he was fine.
He also had footed pjs, but he wears socks to bed now and no problem. We also give him a bit of protein before bed - a slice of ham or cheese. Not sure if it helps or not but no harm. I was not happy that his pediatrician just said "oh, he'll grow out of it one day" while we suffer for years. Needless to say we no longer foster any kids, but this easy 5 day miracle is one I recommend to anyone with this problem. Having him sleep normally rescued our jobs and marriage. He's almost 11 now, and going on to advanced studies in school, seems normal in every way, although I think the years of interrupted sleep may have kept him a little slow to mature physically, as he was formerly on the 70th percentile of everything and now he is 45-50th. Hence the extra protein at night to boost his natural nightitme HGH.
Hope someone is helped by this!
My son had night terrors (waking nightmares) its where the mind has trouble going between sleep phases. You must never wake a child in this state as they may get more upset and not go back to sleep.
The best thing to do is make sure they are safe as they thrash about. Close windows so the neighbours don't call the police on you (yeah it happened to me on a bad one). The child will not remember the event as they are deeply asleep.
There are many idea as to who they happen. You may want to but don't hug or hold them down as they will freak out more.
Do some reading up on it. There are many medical websites that explain the issue in detail.
My son has been getting night terrors for about 2 years now (he's almost 4). His only come on when he's sick with a fever. They are horrible, but I was able to see right away that they only happen for him when he has a fever. Sometimes I don't realize he has a low grade fever as he always runs warm, but after a night terror (and with other signs of feeling unwell) the fever is usually present and i'm able to give him some acetaminophen to bring it down a little and let him sleep. Sometimes he's able to sleep peacefully, other times if it's a high fever we might have a few more during the night. They are certainly awful to experience, but I find just holding him and soothing him with soft words works best for us. Sometimes touching him makes it worse, so I try to just talk softly to him and then hold him as he comes out of it. He usually has huge tears and is shaking so much, and I feel so awful that I can't make it go away, but as he comes out of it he really doesn't seem to remember anything. So I just sooth him back to sleep.
Night terrors runs in my family. My Grandmother, mom and sister all have them. When my 3 yr old started getting them, my husband was so frustrated with trying to reason with him. So I took over. When he's having them, he doesn't like to be touched or tucked in. So I sit with him and talk to him in a calm, soft voice until he falls back to sleep. He's normally a very cuddly kid so all this is very out of character. I can't attribute them to lack of sleep or change in schedule, because we run a pretty tight ship at our house. My nephews have had them also.
My almost 4 year old son gets them, but only when he is over tired. We are not a very scheduled family but we do everything we can to get him in bed on time. If he is late one day he will be ok but if we are on vacation or something and he goes to bed late more than one night in a row then we can almost guarantee the night terrors. When they happen he is completely uncontrollable and inconsolable. Nothing we have tried helps except preventative medicine - get him in bed on time.
This answer is going to be the exact opposite of what you want to hear, but the answer is NOTHING. :( I've had the unpleasant experience with both of my daughters. All you can do, is comfort them, keep them safe, but NOTHING can stop or prevent them. And trust me, we've tried everything! My oldest daughter was about 9 months old when she started having them. My husband at first thought she was just throwing a fit, so he would yell and scream at her. Obviously it didn't help, but made it worse! And stressed me and her out!! I would have such anxiety about her possibly having a fit, and even more anxiety that me-her mommy-couldn't help her or make her happy. We had many visits with the pediatrician. We even took a video of the "episode" and showed it to the doctors. He confirmed that it was a night terror and gave us guidelines on what to do to try to help her. Main thing was to make sure the child is safe and cannot get hurt-especially if they are having a violent night terror. It's even scary sometimes to them if you grab, touch, or talk to them. It's something you, or they, cannot control.
I would sit up with her, holding and hugging her, sometime turn on the light and whisper or sing to her softly to try to comfort her a little. Eventually she would calm down and fall back to sleep. Good thing about them, is that the child is not affected-and doesn't remember it at all the next day. It has nothing to do with what you as a parent, do or don't do, what the child does or doesn't do. It's just something they have to grow out of. My oldest daughter is 4 and she hasn't had one in probably a year. It's tough to deal with, good luck!
We discovered our son had to PEE every time he had night terrors, or bad dreams. He is also a sleepwalker/talker. They started around potty training time. Once we realized it and would get him to the bathroom and he was able to snapped out of it, and would go back to sleep in his own bed.
My son has had these since he was 3 and he is now 9. He tends to get them a lot at the beginning of the school year. On top of having the night terrors, he walks in his sleep while he is having them. I have done much research on this topic and have found most answers are to make sure the child is safe from harming themselves, and not to wake them up during. I just try to reassure him during that he is safe and I am right there with him. He usually doesn't remember anything about it in the morning. I also recently found out that my grandmother had them until the day she died, at 92 years old.
My oldest had night terrors from 2-5. His daddy was in the army, so we weren't sure if t was due to the multiple deployments,stress of frequent moves, or just being him. At age 5 he was found to have overly large tonsils and adinoids and had a tonsilectomy, and adinoids reduced. He has slept fairly soundly ever since. I don't recommend this to everyone, but make sure there is not a medical reason for the night terrors before giving in to watching your baby and you suffer through the long nights.
I've heard the lack of sleep, messed up sleep routine thing too, but I've also heard it can be brought on by emotional upsets. 3 weeks after my husband deployed my 3 yo started having night terrors. After doing some research I thought maybe it was due to the changes and his daddy not being around. I started making a real effort to include him in everything relating to "daddy". Including making a paper loop chain to count the days, gathering supplies for activities that we would do "after daddy got home" and overall just spending more time with him and paying closer attention to his emotions. His night terrors went away fairly soon after making these changes and he hasn't had any since. Just keep an eye out for any kind of mental or emotional changes that may be causing them. Remember with little ones it's harder for them to express their feelings in a constructive manner and this can sometimes come out while they are sleeping.
My understanding is that night terrors are brought on mostly by lack of sleep, messed up sleep routine. When my oldest son had them, we made sure we stuck to his sleep/wake/nap schedule.
i actually learned about this in my abnormal psychology class durring sleep disorders in children, make sure they are actually night terrors first. they will happen about the same time every night so time when they happen and gently wake the child up close to the time before they start, make sure to fully wake them up then let them go back to sleep. DONT WAKE THEM UP DURRING A TERROR!!! as some one stated already this will scare the child and they can hurt you, this is the same with sleep walking as well. over time the terrors will stop. also check the foods they are eating right before bed, this can cause sleep problems sometimes.
just make sure they are night terrors and not nightmares. night terrors will occur around the same time and occur several nights our of the week. the child may sit up in bed and let out several screams that sound like they are dying, this doesnt usually wake them up though. then they will just go back to normal sleep like nothing happend, oddly enough this seems to affect the parents and other sibblings more than the kid.
evaluate what he/she is doing when away..once it's idetified, determine if these events are conrtibuting to the going to bed event, then make some adjustments in his /her daily activities..Keep the child busy, down time together with your child,social conversation,read before sleeping praying before closing eye, visualization of nice thingswith night light in the background, like walking together slowing by the ocean,rubbing the pet or your hair slowly,soothing music or ocean waves for going to sleep..keep it together for 10 days, that should help..move your child to less stress at bed time..
My 4yr old son (now 5) had them every night for weeks and then I read that you can wake them about 10-15mins before they would usually have a night terror and not to try waking him coz it would make it worse. We put him to bed at 8pm and usually bang on 10pm is when he'd have one. So, from about 9:30pm onwards we'd go in and wake him up - he's bloody hard to wake!! I may not have totally woken him each time but I made sure I tried for as long as I could so his sleep was disrupted enough to break his sleeping pattern. We did it for a week and we had success! No more night terrors! Strongly suggest you try it because i know how horrible it can be watching them go through it! Also, my son is a hot sleeper and I found that when he was hotter he'd be more likely to have a night terror
Put something auspicious under the kids pillow which will help him have nice dreams like a cross or a blessed dried flower anything that U believe in....I have heard in some cultures they put a small iron knife under the baby's pillow or the mattress and this protects the kids having bad dreams of ghosts n all...These all are myths I know but sometimes they work so U have to give it a try and they are not harmful at all. In Hindu culture they put a a photo or a locket of Lord Hanuman. I hope this helps.
My son at the age of 4 and during summer at that tarted having night terrors to the point of hysteria he'd run out of his room, down the hall, past our living rm to the kitchen n only god knows how long poor baby I figured this out one day when I heard feet pitter pattering and as I walked closer to my door way I hear him moaning like scared of somthing running from his room while looking back it was horrific seeing ur baby in that state of mind so I quickly ran to him n called his name several times and asked what was wrong and what was he running from... Almost angry I'd try to shake him lightly to stay awake to talk to me but he'd fall fast asleep in my arms... Needless to say we changed his diet completley got rid of any sugars... And did away with video game usage and any tv past 6pm!! My husband just found out he Has a gluten allergy and so our family has been on a gluten free diet and seems like that's helped a lot too!! Comforting is all you can do but at the same time .... It can be controlled!!!... Put ur kids to sleep at a decent time like no later than 8 pm, take away video game usage only use as a reward n time their play usage, limit television usage as well (including movies!!).. little to no sugar after 4pm!!...change the food intake ur family is consuming (gluten, gsm, etc.)... It's actually common sence ppl!... I freaked out n thought bout doctors and shrinks but in all actuality as parents we have the key to controlling it at home.. It's just up to u as the parent to stick with it! I'm saying this as a child who slept and walked in her sleep too!!;) Btw my son is now 5 1/2 n doing great!!;) ...good luck hope I'm able to help!
Have your child spray their room with "monster spray". Take a plastic squirt bottle with water or calming fragrence and spray the room to keep whatever your child is scared of away. I do it with sage personally. I have my son sage his room everytime we move.
My son has had night terrors since he was 4 months old.. we learned a few things about helping to reduce them: 1. We keep the room cool.. he has terrors more frequently if he is too warm. 2. We make sure he gets enough sleep.. if he gets overtired they are worse. 3. We can't touch or talk to him when he is having a terror or they last longer. We have to wait until he starts talking about something and then respond to what he says and that will help him break out of it. He's almost 5 now and it's been several months since he's had a night terror!
i noticed that my son has sleep walking nightmares when he gets hot while sleeping. i KNOW if he puts a certain blanket on when he goes to bed he will be getting up around 930. he comes running out and trying to talk. i have found that the more i engage him and ask him questions and try to get him talking, he will talk himself up out of the dream. it is impossible for me to wake him. sometimes, he just snuggles up to me for 5 or 10 minutes and then he wakes up naturally and goes back to bed. there are bad nights when he will do this 3 or 4 times-again when he is too warm. glad to know there are other kids that have these same issues!
My daughter has them sometimes too and usually when she's really tired and/or didn't have her afternoon nap. It usually occurs around 10-ish as well about 2 1/2 to 3 hours after she's gone to bed. It doesn't happen too often, maybe 3 times a month more or less and again dependent on if she had a nap that day or not. It's almost predictable that if we know she didn't take a nap or she had a very active day (i.e., going to the zoo or a playdate) and didn't nap much or at all, then we can almost predict around that 10pm time, she'll have night terrors. Hers is basically crying a lot and sweating. I usually just go in there and console her, rub her back or chest and say softly to her that everything's ok and that mama's here. It seems to really calm her down quickly without her even being fully awake. Honestly, I don't believe she even knows I'm there, consciously at least. I have heard of waking them up right before the anticipated episode and that usually does the trick. She first started having them maybe at 2 1/2 and she's now 3 1/2 yrs old and it seems like it's getting less frequent. It is disturbing to see your child go through that not knowing what "causes" it, but I understand it's something that's pretty common and they do outgrow it. Consoling and soothing them does help.
When my son had them, it was scary, but best we could tell, he wasn't really awake. We finally got to the point we would just wait for him to calm down, tell him to go back to sleep and tuck him in. And he would. As a side note, though, watch for problems later on. Many kids with issues like childhood bipolar disorder present with night terrors early on.
My daughter suffered night terrors from just before she was 4 through till approximately 5 and a half. Sometimes they would be every night around the age 5. The main thing to remember as a parent is that they are different to a nightmare - and the children can go straight back to sleep afterwards with no recollection in the morning. It does pass. We tried sleeping my daughter with no clothes on and just a sheet covering her - it seemed to help the severity - but she would still have them. There is some school of thought to allow the kids to experience it themselves and not interfere however we couldnt do that. We woke her each time - watch for the dilation of the pupils to let you know when they wake - then pop them straight back to bed. If you do not completely wake them the terrors can continue and increase in intensity again. If they were severe we would pick her up and bring her to the living room and just cuddle and talk to her till she was awake. Sometime we would put something on the telly like Dora and that would help her transition out, other times it would just frustrate her more. When they were less severe we tried to get her to drink some cold water and just talk with her. There seem to be no lasting effects from the terrors. My daughter is about to turn 6 and hasnt had a terror for quite some months. She has quite an intense personality and I wondered if that had anything to do with the occurance. THEY DO PASS. And after a while it becomes a routine - just wake them up, dont get too upset by what they say, and pop them back to sleep.
Hi, my 5 year old used to suffer from night terrors every night when she was about 2 & a half but they were nearly always triggered by her getting too hot! As soon as I read about this I reduced the number of sheets she had covering her.... It worked a treat. I also used to find it was always after being asleep about 3 - 4 hours! Rarely after I'd gone to bed myself. Improved when the air temp lowered....!
She still has the odd night terror but there's nothing other than comforting her that I can do. I sometimes take her to the toilet to distract and wake her a little but sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't!
It's horrid seeing your child so scared, but they don't remember it the next day.
With my daughter I noticed she had night terrors only when there were serious changes going on, starting school or a new daycare, me workin instead of staying home, or moving. The important thing is to establish a bedtime routine that is the same every night no matter where you are. You should start it about an hour before you actually put your child to bed. This could include a soothing bath with johnsons bedtime bath and lotion, reading books, singing lullabys, listening to soft music, giving them a massage, include everything they normally do while getting ready for bed. No television or loud stimulus and soft lighting. Only a nightlight or softlight of some sort in the room. When they are having a terror, do not try to restrain them, or wake them up. Keep the lights low as well as your voice, stay calm and patient. As long as the routine is the same every single night no matter where they are or you are, after 3 weeks or so it will soothe the night terrors. Be sure they are not dealing with any emotional stress sometimes something as simple as taking away nap time can lead to night terrors. Another thing I was told with my daughter is to wake them up after they've been asleep to interrupt and thus skip the transitional sleep stage where night terrors occur. My daughter had a musical snowglobe in her room that always seemed to for whatever reason bring her back to an awake stage. Also make sure they are waking up at the same time every single day. School or no school. At least until the terrors stop.
My husband and I leave our little in the crib and just stand or sit by her while it's happening. She is not awake and does not get traumatized by anything that is happening. We have gone through a few now and this seems to be the best course of action. When we have picked her up she thrashes around too much for us to hold her and there is no use to try and calm her because she will not respond to anything. It is scary as all hell to watch and stand by but just making sure you are there is case the child does hurt themselves is the most important thing.
We have experienced this many times before as well. The night terrors would occur almost every night, or when our dtr. was very tired, and they would occur like clockwork. She would often even wet her bed. Soon as she would start having one, we would immediately run up to her room and put her on the toilet. (We wanted to eliminate the mess of cleaning up her bed at night.)
So, our pediatrician told us to wake her up about an hour before they usually occur, or at least try to wake her up some. This would reset her sleep cycle. It worked! It took about a week to work, but it did. I think it is worth a try.
I don't know if it's that or nightmares, but when my son is crying really bad I rub his back and soothe him, he eventually calms down and goes right back to sleep.
My husband is convinced that our daughter has them after eating ice cream. I don't agree, but I have noticed that they happen after a day with a lot of stimulation (like vacation or birthday parties).
I'm going through this atm also my son is 20 months old and have just had another baby who is 3 in a half months. Our routine is the same and still has two sleeps during the day, he is happy before he goes to bed and always has a bath and reads a book before bed. When he has one he wakes himself up and wont go back to sleep unless he is in my bed having cuddles and a bottle. I'm not sure if it is because he now has a bother or if it because of something else, he loves his brother and noone else can play with him etc always giving him cuddles and kisses and even helping me feed him is bottle or puting his dumbie in his mouth when he crys, not really sure what you could do as it freaks me out also and feel sorry for my oldest when he has one.x x GOOD LUCK i hope you find something that works and if so let me know what you do so i could give it a try hehehe. X
This is what happened to us: my daughter started with night terrors when she started talking so.. About two years ago. Then one night she hurt herself REALLY BADLY.
We were having "mommy and me" time one night and as a treat we were reading/ hanging out by the fire. Right in front of me, she reached out and touched the glass before I could even stop her. Of course she started screaming and I immediately scooped her up, ran her into the kitchen, and ran her fingers under cool water. This immediately settled her down, but anyone who's been burnt knows it's only a short term relief.
Thankfully, the burn was fairly minor, and only on the ends of four fingers, but for the next 2 hrs I held her comforted her and ran between the bathroom (sink full of cool water and cloths) and her bedroom to keep them cool.
I decided the best way to allow the both of us any sleep was simply for me to sleep with her. She was awake off and on all night long. Usually only for a few mins and right back to sleep. I eventually decided on an ice pack wrapped in a wet cloth (stayed cooler longer and offered better relief). Around 4:30 she fell asleep and When i left for work at 6:00 she was still sleeping.
Since that night, she has YET to wake up screaming. That was over 2 weeks ago.
The point is that I was there every time she woke up. Immediately able to respond. It's a suggestion that might work for you too.
Gosh! This is so close to my heart at the moment!
My 5yo son has had them pretty much every night since sept 2010. We have had one night since Christmas that he slept through the night. I have 3 children, (5 yr, 2.5yr and a 15 month old) The 5yo and 2.5yo share a room. Fortunately for us, my 2.5yo sleeps through my 5yo having them, up to 7 times a night.
The GP says that it is normal(if a little excessive) and usually only occurs in 3-12 yo (so lucky me, I've only got 7 years to go!) He is far worse when I am out of the house for the evening so I try to stay in to reduce stress. We have tried all sorts of things, waking him, sticking to routines, changing routines, sleeping in my bed, sprays, cds, different foods, removing foods, drinks, room smelly things, homeopathy, osteopathy (he has growing pains too) and now we are possibly going to have to go down the sedation route as it is affecting his day to day life at school as he is so tired but has no idea that he has been 'awake' for a considerable amount of time over night.
I find it very distressing and it puts me off going to sleep myself as I know he will 'wake' fairly soon.
I have been through the worry stage, guilt stage, upset stage, rage stage and now I just need to do something for him. I can cope all the while it doesn't affect him in the day but when he is struggling I have to do something.
Anyone else got any ideas?? HELP!