Night Terrors

Kasey - posted on 10/18/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




My two year old daughter is prone to having night terrors. She has good nights and bad nights, this week is filled with bad nights. I'm burned out and tired and so is she, does anyone have any suggestions? We just broke her from our bed three months ago so that's not an option.


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Olesya - posted on 10/18/2011




My son used to have them. Every night after bedtime routine, I used to spend extra time with him and talked to him about all the great things he is going to dream about and he liked to tell me what he wants to see in his dreams. We always kept a stuffed teddy bear in his room with the “super powers” who is there to protect him from any scary dream or a night terror, so every time he would wake up at first I had to come in and talk to him, but after awhile of the same routine he would just hug his bear and go back to sleep. I hope this helps. Good luck.
p.s. I did the same thing with my daughter.

Denikka - posted on 10/18/2011




Perhaps try something before she goes to sleep. I would look into things like lucid dreaming. It will help more as she gets older but it might be a good idea to start now.

What you could do it to start telling her stories about what she's going to dream about that night. Make something up each night and tell her about it using her as the main focal point.
Fatigue plays a role in night terrors. You could try letting her sleep later, nap longer or put her to bed earlier if you can.
If she has night terrors around the same time of night, you can wake her up for a few minutes and reset her sleep cycle. This can interrupt the cycle and help to stop the night terrors.

For those who don't know what night terrors are, they are horrible. They manifest in 2 different ways that I have heard of.
1) The sleeper is still asleep, although not in REM sleep and may cry, flail, scream, bolt out of bed etc. They don't remember these episodes even though they may seem to be awake (eyes open etc). From what I understand, it's a form of sleepwalking and so you cannot *snap* them out of it.

2) The sleeper may actually be in a state between awake and asleep. They are conscious of what is going on, they can see the room, hear and smell things. But what they see, hear, smell may not really be there.
These people are completely paralyzed during these episodes. They often complain of feeling a weight on their chest during the episodes.
People who suffer from this kind of night terrors frequently mention an old lady or a man figure either sitting of standing in their room, or the lady sitting on their chest or choking them.
Because they are paralyzed, they cannot talk or move to indicate distress. It is not until the episode is already over that there ends up being crying, screaming, etc. By this point, they are actually awake and can be comforted.

It is terrifying for the person suffering through this, and almost as horrible for those around. During an episode, there is nothing you can do except wait it out.
I had a friend who suffered from night terrors when I was young. She suffered an episode during a sleep over at my house when we were about 12. I can honestly say I have never before or since been so scared. She sat straight up in bed and just started screaming. I have never heard anyone make a noise like that before. At least I had been prewarned and so had some clue what was going on. It was still terrifying. She suffered from the first type that I mentioned and didn't remember a thing about what happened.

I myself have suffered through a few VERY minor episodes of the second kind I mentioned. Just being awake, but being completely paralyzed is really scary. Knowing you can't call out for help, can't fight off an attacker, etc. is terrifying.

I'm so sorry that you moms and your kids are having to deal with this. Most kids do outgrow it, but it's a long wait, especially when it starts so young. If my suggestions don't help, I would suggest a sleep clinic. They may have more options for you.
Good luck :)

Kasey - posted on 10/18/2011




She's not having having nightmares, they're night terrors. Nightmares happen during REM sleep and night terrors happen when transition into different stages of sleep. They don't remember having them either and it's more like a sudden reaction to fear and anxiety. They can't be consoled during night terrors as they can a nightmare. If they were nightmares it would give me something to fight against so to speak but that's simply not the case.

Amanda - posted on 10/18/2011




My daughter was having nightmares about dinosaurs. when she woke up we went on a dinosuar hunt to make sure there were no dinosaurs in her room. I then told her that as long as she had her teddy they wouldn't come back because dinosaurs didn't like teddies.

Can you try and find out what is scaring her???

When my son was 2 he said there was something scary by his door. Before he went to bed I had to turn the light on to get rid of the scary things then he turned it off when he went to bed to make sure they couldn't come back in.

I have heard of people using monster spray (a water spray like the ones they use in at the hairdresser or for plants)

Katherine - posted on 10/18/2011




My 2 year old has them too. I feel like there is nothing I can really do. She screams for up to half an hour. She won't even let me touch her to comfort her.

I don't know what to do either....

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