what do you know about night terrors

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Jennifer - posted on 04/28/2009

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Night terrors are pretty common, but you need to make sure the cause is not trauma related. Most kids have night terrors because of something that happened to them. It could be as innocent as seeing a car accident or watching a scary movie. But as a mom, you should make sure its not caused by something worse. Sexual abuse, physical abuse and domestic violence are some obvious causes. But also it could be a bully at school, the child witnessing someone else being hurt, witnessing an animal get hurt, or something they may need to talk to you about. I always found holding them before bed helped with the terrors but please make sure there is not an underlying cause that could damage your child's psyche permanently.

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Jennifer - posted on 02/02/2014

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My now 10 yr. old daughter had night terrors from about 6 months to about two years old. If she had a nap during the day she would not have them, so I just made sure she had naps whenever possible. For about 4 years now she will come home from school and fall asleep. It is a very deep sleep and I cannot wake her. If I am able to wake her she screams and act likes a crazy person. On occasion she will awake and come where ever I am and stare at me and then go back to her room to sleep then goes back to sleep not remembering anything. She then wakes up around 9pm when children should be going to sleep, snack watch T.V. and play on the computer then goes back to sleep around 12 am. It is annoying at times when the rest of the family is trying to sleep but we deal with it. She is a normal height and weight, socially active, in advanced classes, reads at an 11th grade level, very creative, has a great singing talent and just loves life. I took her to the doctor about 2 years ago and they tested her blood for everything, and everything came back perfect. I was concerned for a while that it may be some type of depression. I took her to therapy and she hated it, but the therapist says she cannot see anything that would suggest any abnormal mental upsets or fears. The therapist stated that she thought because she was so gifted and intelligent that her mind may be in consent overdrive and needs rest. So I am less concerned about the sleeping and more curious about other children/toddler that grew out of there night terrors. I am unable to find any studies or sites that give an update on the children and I find myself wondering if anyone has the similar experience. I would think there would be some type of study on these children later in life to see if there a connection or warnings for something that may occur as teens or adults.

Cookie - posted on 04/29/2009

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"Hey Jennifer, After going through my file cabinet I did come up with the paper from the daycare provider that was given to me when my daughter first started having Night terrors. Basically it's saying: Night terrors are a common sleep disorder for children between the ages of two to seven. Between 2 to 3% of all children suffer from night terrors at one point during their development. Adult night terrors are much less frequent and often are chronic.Night terrors usually occur in the first half of the night, in the 4th (non-REM) cycle of sleep. The victim awakens screaming & seemingly very afraid. There is little or no verbalisation and often the victim may thrash around. The sleeper is completely unaware of their surroundings, e.g. parents, and and seems immune to being consoled or calmed down.There is no dream or nightmare causing the terror. The victims pupils are dilated, often they hyperventilate and they sweat. The disorientation and fear normally would last between 1 and 15 minutes. After the victim has regained orientation, they fall back to sleep almost immediately. It is rare that a person would have more than one attack in a night. There is complete amnesia in the morning about the entire event. Etiology and prevention: Despite three decades of intensive research, the exact cause/s of night terrors remain unknown. What most researchers agree on, is that night terrors result from a disruption in the normal stage of slow wave sleep cycle. There is no evidence that children suffering from emotional disorders, developmental disorders, or recent traumatic events, have a higher incidence of night terror assaults. There may also be a connection between fatigue and night terrors. Recent studies have shown a link between violent TV shows and incidences of night terrors. Like I said before my daughters night terrors happened while she was fully awoke (daylight). @ age 2 due to a head accident while playing, resulting in stitches above her eyebrow. Never had they lasted 1 to 15 minutes. To be honest there is not much you can do about this disorder other than provide a safe environment for your child, remain calm, bestow plenty of love upon them before bedtime & pray that they will outgrow this asap.Best of Luck to you, Let me know if I can help you with anything else. I have heard all the myths on Night terrors. Blessings...~

Kimberly - posted on 04/29/2009

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My son also gets night terrors every once in a while. From what I've been told, you should not try to wake the child because it will make things worse. . .just stay with the child and make sure that he/she doesn't get hurt. The child won't remember the event. This is different from a nightmare. A night terror occurs when the child is in a mode of sleep between light sleeping and REM.

Susan - posted on 04/28/2009

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My daughter started having Night Terrors around 2 1/2yrs, she is now 5. I noticed that she would have them on days when she wouldn't take her nap, this took about 2 wks to figure this out. I would start by putting her to bed earlier and that helped a little, then she wound up having them again. I looked online and got all kinds of info. I found that when she hasn't had a nap or an active day that she would more than likely have a NT. I found that she would wake up an hour after she fell asleep so I would wake her 35-40 minutes after she fell asleep, I would make her walk to the bathroom and then walk back, this woke her up enough so that it stopped the NT's. She has had maybe 3 in the last 6 months, and it usually is from nonstop action during the day. I still try to get her to bed no later than 730 so that she can have a 12hr night, this has helped with the NTs. She would wake up screaming and run up and down the hallway and act like she had things on her, like bugs. She had no idea who I was or where she was. I finally have them under control. My son also has had them when he has missed a nap. They get them when they are over tired. So if your child gets them look at their sleep schedule and whether or not they have had a nap and if not then put them to bed extra early. I can also tell if she is going to have one or not when I go in right after she falls asleep, if she is sweating I know that one is going to happen. Everything that I have found is because a child is overtired.

Rebeckah - posted on 04/28/2009

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My son has them and typically it is when he gets warm so we try to keep the temp down so he stays cool and that seems to help. Other times, I just comfort him and he falls back to sleep but it really freaked us out the first couple of times but he has not had one in a while...knock on wood.

Kerri - posted on 04/28/2009

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Dont forget it could be worried about something thats really trivial for us adult, but to a child its increased 10fold.

Kerri - posted on 04/28/2009

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My son used to have them when he was worried or anxious about something. He would scream or franticaly walk around the house looking for something. Try and work out his mood for the day when he has the terrors at night.

Angela - posted on 04/28/2009

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My son started them around 4, it usually happened about an hour or 2 after he would fall asleep, he would scream and get really stiff for a good 10-15min, eyes wide open but he was in deep sleep. I would sit there and make sure he never hurt himself but it was so unbearable to watch. I did some research and decided we would play music in his room at night. Nature cd's mostly, we found a really great rainforest one that had birds, trees, rain, running water. I put it on replay all night and he has never had one since. His pediatrician says the soft tones of the cd stimulate his mind to settledown and rest. Worth ever cent and helped a friend of ours with their son too.

Shawna - posted on 04/28/2009

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My son gets them. If he is overly tired or had a busy/stimulating day. He wakes up screaming, looks wide awake, asks for Mommy even though I am right in front of him. The first one REALLY freaked me out and I wasn't sure what to do. My husbands aunt gave us the advice of turning the tv on and have him look at it. I don't know why or how it works but it does. Every time! I will normally turn the tv on and hold Jack while my husband gets a cup of milk. Once Jack has "woken up" (takes only seconds) I then turn the tv off, snuggle him and he has some milk. Then he falls right back to sleep.

Cookie - posted on 04/28/2009

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" OMG!...Never thought I'd see this kind of post anywhere.My 10 yr old daughter suffers from this.Started when she was 2 with a head truma accident.They are not NIGHTMARES because they happen during the day when she is fully woke, playing & out of Nowhere she is flipping out.Trust me when I say that u have to invest in nightlights & be prepared to LOVE unconditionally, Be quick to remove ur jewelry (earrings/necklaces).We did the ambulance ride/Emergency Room where they had to sadate her to keep from injuring herself as well as others.Her thing is snakes, ants, spiders on her body. Doctors found ZERO bites.My daycare provider did some research & studies have found no cure, they can out grow this maybe. The oldest person to suffer from this was 99 yrs old.I will search my file cabinet for the info & get back to you on it. My child in not on med's, she lives a normal, happy life, active in sports, Ball room dancing, really good grades, well mannered but will not sleep in the dark. We do not watch or buy scarry movies.The Terrors have been less now that she is older,I think the last one was about 3 yrs ago while we were in Saint louis & a bug landed on her.I have bought plenty of bug repelent and nightlite bulbs. That first Terror she SCREAMED for 4 hours.Good Luck with this Jennifer. I will be back when I find that info 4 ya. Many Blessings.

Malinda - posted on 04/28/2009

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I know I had them as a child (mine were trauma-induced, not genetic). I honestly don't remember them at all, but I'm told I used to sit up in bed screaming my head off. I can tell you that I grew out of them, and that in most cases it will pass. GL!

Kathryn - posted on 04/28/2009

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I suffer from night terrors and i think i always have done! they seem to have fewer as i get older but basically its a night mare... but it seem so real it can freeze people up rigid. some people suffer from it really badly and can still see there nightmare as they wake up and go into a kind of shock where they cant move even after they have woke up...

Me on the other hand would jst SCREEEEEEM and leap from the bed or even hurt myself in my sleep, my boyfriend jeff has woke me many times or basically had to tell me where i am and who he was and hold me untill i calm down.....

When it happens my adrenalin levels seem to be through the roof, My heart beat is so hard some times i can hear it and feel it in my sleep whilst having a nightmare. going to the doctors may help although i never did... but it is a vary scary thing to experience and it can sometimes make it very dawnting to go to sleep on a night as your worried it will happen again, like a re-acuring dream(which i also experianced alot of, I dont kow wehter they're connected) lots of love kathryn x

June - posted on 04/28/2009

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My niece had them and she would get out of bed and walk around the house. My sister was told the best thing to do is stay w/ her to make sure she was safe but to leave her alone and not try talking to her because that made them worse.

Tasha - posted on 04/28/2009

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Oh ya my daughter had them around 4? maybe 5? its basically restless sleep she would just wake up screaming!! terrified her father and me more than her im sure- We were told to use Melatonin, its natural its safe and it causes them to just a have a morerestful and peaceful sleep. Ask your pediatrician. I hope that helps :)

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My son would get night terror really bad, so what I would do was stay with him momentarily before he fell asleep, just to give them that reassurance that everything is ok. when he was close to sleeping I would just leave.

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