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night terrors? please help.

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  • night terrors? please help.

    My 2.5 YO DS has never been a great sleeper, but lately he has developed a very stressful and confusing problem. He will wake up in the night, seemingly out of a deep sleep, mumbling about something senseless (I want to wear this shirt, don't put my toys away, I want a yogurt etc.) and then within a minute or two, be screaming hysterically. sometimes about the thing he was talking about, sometimes that he wants to wake up and go downstairs. If I take him downstairs though, he freaks out even more, saying that he doesn't want to go, then freaks out again if I try to take him back upstairs. Nothing soothes him, even if I offer a drink, turn on his music etc. He just screams and yells for 15-30 mins, then eventually goes back to sleep. He often then wakes up a few hours later and repeats the whole thing again. I have done some research into night terrors, but everything I have read says that those typically happen within 2-3 hours of falling asleep, and these episodes seem to happen at any time, but most frequently after he has slept for 5-6 hrs, and has had one 'normal' wake up before the episode. They happen mor often when he doesn't nap, but still do happen even when he does. They have also been occurring more frequently in the last 2 mths (3-4 times a week) We have tried semi-waking him up before we go to bed, which sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't. I am so frustrated, and so sleep derpived, and we don't know what to do. I am also 3 mths pregnant and am so worried that this is going to continue when this next baby is born. If anyone has had any experiences like this, please help! I am so desperate, I would try just about anything to help my son.

  • #2
    Here are some responses from our Facebook Page:
    • Yes , our 2 year old DD does and we have no clue why.
    • Our 19 month old seems to as well. Daddy had them too.

    • My 3.5 year old has had them since 10 months. Happy to share my experiencesI had them horrible as a kid... All kinds of hallucinations and hauntings. I'm highly sensitive as an adult as well, so now things that I saw back then make sense. It's normal for some kids...

    • Just be loving and reassuring, and listen to them.

    • Hi! My daughter had a few of those at 2 years old. The research I did pointed towards sleep deprivation as a possible cause (my little on is a bad sleeper). All I could do is be close and let her ride it out. It took 30 minutes and it was terrifying but then it stopped and she didn't experience more of them until now. She's 3yrs 5months and it's changed a bit. It's not as long but it's violent. Once, she started screaming and hitting out of a dead sleep. The screaming was animalistic, not what you'd normally hear a kid do. She started hitting me and when I tried to hold her, she'd arch and want to get away. She then came back at me with fists, so I told her that mommy is going to the bathroom. Guess what? That kid RAN after me but she must be part vampire because she wouldn't go into the bathroom. When I came out, she wanted to hit me again so I grabbed her by the shoulders and with a strong voice told her to stop and that she was hurting herself (she had scratched her face). She then went limp, came into my arms and stopped screaming. I don't think she had a clue of what happened. She certainly didn't remember the next day. She's had a couple of those in the last week or two and I figure she's both sleep deprived and having difficulties dealing with strong emotions. She had another (milder) episode last night - I had just come home in the late evening after a business trip and she was happy but I think inside she had been stressed about me being away and that came out in the night terror. All I can say is be close, tell your child it's ok and try and talk them out of it. They're working something out. I have to work on helping my daughter deal and talk more about her emotions. She's pretty good at it but I guess we still need to practice some more. Good luck to you!

    • My son who is now 5 has had these on and off for years. He had them pretty often around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2. Then they tapered off. He will still randomly have some at times but it is much less often. It used to be suggested to wake him up but that seemed to make it worse. Love and cuddles seem to help, once he is calm enough to cuddle.

    • I read on Dr Sear's site that it's normal for some kids around 2-3yrs old. It has to do with transitioning between sleep stages & also in rare trama (so no worries of needing to see a shrink I'm hoping an upcoming surgery to remove tonsinels will help with his sleep ap. and also help ease his sleep issues like night terror too.

    • We eliminated dairy and haven't had another one since. She was having them every night

    • They don't always go away. I'm in my 40s and I still have them.

    • Our almost 4yr has these and I did too when I was growing up. We started taking him to the park before bed and running like crazy with him so he would be worn out before bed. It's been about 3wks and he has not woken up once at night since! I don't know if this will work for you, but it is worth a try! I know how frustrating and sad it can be!


    • #3
      we are having the same thing with my 3 yr 2 mnth old daughter who wakes rambling about things and sometimes goes back to sleep but wakes freaking out about things - asking me repeatedly to turn on the light (even though there is a night light and light in the hallway) and she often wakes asking em to take off her pjs etc etc sometimes I offer her hot chocolate, we read, have a banana or plain biscuit.

      SHAMEFULLY the last two mornings (one at 3.20 and this morning at 4am) I LOST it - esp today and I yelled and was going irrationally nuts because I am soooo tired and have hardly slept for 3 yrs and I feel extremely bad and sad about it.

      anyway, I hope to patch things up.

      Best of luck x