My daughter wakes up in a panic! PLEASE HELP!!!

Cassandra - posted on 01/14/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hello, my name is Cassie and I have a 5 year old little girl, who has always been happy and healthy and has always slept well through the night and through naps. But starting about a month ago, she has been having some problems at night. She was asleep one night and I woke up to her screaming and crying for me. When I went into the room to check on her, she had this look of terror on her face and she was shaking tremendously. I thought maybe she had a bad dream so I tried holding her for comfort. I tried talking to her, telling her everything was okay. But nothing seemed to work. She was almost trying to kind of claw her way out of my arms and was begging me to help her as if I wasn't trying. And she would say things like, "its hurting" or "I cant stop shaking" or "im so scared." And when I would ask what was hurting or what she was scared of she always said I don't know, I don't know... And her heart would be racing. But after about 5-10 minutes of doing this, she finally calmed down and went back to sleep as if it was nothing. And ever since then it has happened the exact same way about 5 or 6 times now. It even happened one night when we were in the car. After watching her, I honestly don't believe it is nightmares. And I don't think a regular pediatrician can help with this one. Please, does anyone else have a child with this problem or know what I can do to help her?!!


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/14/2014




Its called "night terrors", and is very common. Somewhat akin to sleepwalking, in that they may look awake and be responding to you, but in reality, they are still in that dream state.

Keeping calm, rubbing her back, "talking her down" is about the best way I've found to handle this. Generally, they grow out of it, too.

My son had both night terrors and sleepwalking. They'd manifest when he was overly stressed about something.


View replies by

Jay - posted on 05/01/2014




It is possible your daughter is having night terrors. Most commonly, you would look for signs that she cannot be aroused during the episode and cannot remember the incident the next morning.
I am a researcher at Stanford University and I am working with a team to find a treatment for night terrors in children. As you may have seen, there is not too much clinical research on the causes and effects of night terrors. My team is conducting an investigational study for a new treatment option at the Stanford Sleep Clinic. We are recruiting patients in northern California for our study and we are also conducting a survey to try and gather more information from parents of affected children. If you think your child is experiencing night terrors, please visit and help us learn more about the condition. Thanks for your help.

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