bad dreams/night terrors in 7 year old?

(9 Posts)
biff23 Sat 26-Jan-13 10:09:10

Hope someone can help as this is so distressing. My Ds is 7 and is prone to bad dreams in the run up to Christmas, has happened every year since he was around 3, from mid December until Christmas. This year they started at beginning of Christmas and are still continuing.

Last night was worst yet. I was up twice with him, screaming, trying, bouncing on his knees on his bed, reaching out for something which wasn't there. It took me a good 10 mins to calm him down each time and I had to eventually be quite tough as cuddles and soft voice just wasn't getting through to him. I had to say his name loudly over and over and gently pat his face to rouse him.

Is this normal? Could there be a problem? I'm really worried about him. He has no recollection this morning and says nothing is worrying him. He is a chilled boy with lots of friends and gets on well with school work etc.

I know with terrors you're not supposed to wake them but I couldn't leave him like that. Sorry it's so long and thanks for reading.

lorisparkle Sat 26-Jan-13 19:23:42

I find night terrors really distressing and for ds1 dangerous as he is on top bunk and starts running away from imaginary things. From what I have read they are often caused by DC being over tired and / or over stimulated at bedtime. Ds1 has them infrequently now but was going to keep a diary to try and look for a pattern. I try and reassure myself that he is not bothered in the morning about them and once we have moved him to safety we just sit with him until it passes.

I'll be interested in others comments.

biff23 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:56:52

Thanks so much. Interesting re tiredness as his really bad one the other night came after a couple of hours out sledging and playing in snow and he was exhausted. Could definitely be something there. Perhaps I need to get back to being more rigid at bed time.

Jo2508 Tue 29-Jan-13 20:59:07

Hi there, sorry to hear you are going through this with your ds. I posted a thread recently (I think in Sleep, not sure how to link to it though) about my dd aged 8 having a night terror recently, so wanted to reassure you that you're not alone. It's very distressing, isn't it - I felt awful for my dd, and it took about the same amount of time as you to eventually calm her down, but I really didn't know how to handle it at the time. However, she had no recollection of it the next day either.
She's since had 2 more, and each time was actually when she was ill, with a temperature - do you think this could be the case with your ds?
I can't really offer any advice, but I've obviously read up about night terrors now, and apparently if they happen frequently, it is usually at the same time of night. If you can see a pattern developing, you could try waking him up 10 minutes before you know/think it's going to start, which is meant to stop it from happening.
I don't think it means anything is wrong, but it's not a nice thing to have to experience. I hated seeing my dd so terrified and distressed :-(

biff23 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:02:19

Thanks so much. He's having them at least every second night but often every night for a few nights then one night off. They always happen between 10 and 11.30.

He's not had a temp so don't think it's to do with being ill, happens too often anyway. I dread bed time now as I know I'll just have fallen into a deep sleep. hmm Poor boy

Jo2508 Wed 30-Jan-13 07:24:15

Poor thing, although he's obviously not aware of them, but also poor you. Do you have support/someone there with you when your ds has them? I've been alone and it definitely makes it feel more 'serious' as there's noone to talk about it with afterwards.
Doesn't sound like it happens at exactly the same time every night, so I guess it would be difficult to judge when/whether to wake him up to try and prevent it happening. Maybe you could try waking him anyway and see if that
has any effect.
It could also be that although he's not ill, your ds is maybe a bit run down, which may trigger them? I really don't know, so am only trying to speculate...
If you're really worried, I would make an appointment at your gp's and see what they say.

biff23 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:28:18

No dreaming last night but he wet the bed instead lol. He's not long been dry overnight as we were lifting him around 10.30 - 11. Wonder if it could be to do with that. I do take him to the toilet after he comes round from terror so wonder if that could be linked. Thankfully dh is a good support but he isn't concerned, I'm a natural worrier though.

lorisparkle Wed 30-Jan-13 19:08:26

It is probably an old wives tale but a friend told me that hot feet can cause them. It was probably a coincidence but the last night he had one he was wearing socks.

biff23 Fri 01-Feb-13 07:52:13

Ds doesn't wear socks to bed as he gets very hot so probably has hot feet too. Woke up crying last night at 11pm and dh took him straight to toilet and he settled immediately. Think it must be related to that.

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