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To think 9 is too old to start getting night terrors

(24 Posts)
eggsnmarmite Sun 27-Nov-16 22:55:47

Three times in the last 6 weeks my 9 year old DD has woken up screaming, sweating, very disorientated, running around the house until finally calming down (15 mins)

Does this sound like a night terror? I was told that it's normally younger children who have these. Is 9 too old and if so, what could they be and how could I stop then?

In every other respect DD is happy and healthy. Very confident and outgoing.

She had massive body trauma twice as a baby through 1) hospital blunder - came around from major surgery with broken cannula and therefore no pain relief. 2) Had severe pain after third op - had to call the pain nurse and open the morphine cabinet. It was horrific. I've always wondered/worried that she would somehow remember :'(

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Sun 27-Nov-16 23:09:39

Oh no that sounds awful for the poor thing. I don't think she is too old for night terrors at 9. When you say she is running round the house, is she doing that in her sleep or when she wakes?

MadMadDonna Sun 27-Nov-16 23:10:28

9 isn't too old, sounds like night terrors. They just went in one of mine.

allthecheese Sun 27-Nov-16 23:11:09

Mine started at 21, and I still have them 11 years later.

They are very definitely triggered by stress though. Has something changed in your 9 yo's life which may have caused some stress?

Tangfastics Sun 27-Nov-16 23:13:19

I started with them mid teens and they are definitely brought on by stress.

eggsnmarmite Sun 27-Nov-16 23:23:08

That's good that you don't think it's too old. Only major change in her life is her new brother (4 months) she adores him though and he hasn't made our household any more stressy. She's started having quite 'big thoughts' though. Life, death, the universe etc. I put that down to her just growing up. Maybe having a little Bro coming along and her older Bro moving on to secondary school has made her feel a bit more grown up?

She's half awake half asleep and very disorientated when she starts going around the house. It's usually a few minutes after I've gone to her because of the crying.

Sorry to hear you get these allofthecheese. What's it like if you dont mind me asking?

BumDNC Sun 27-Nov-16 23:25:50

I used to get these when I had a temperature and then later when I was having a weird kind of migraine. I got Alice in wonderland stuff - room smaller/me bigger or convinced my dad had been shot. I did grow out of it but new glasses helped!

stonecircle Sun 27-Nov-16 23:26:39

DS (now 22) had them occasionally from about the age of 4 until 11. Very scary to witness - his eyes would be wide open in terror, he'd stare into the middle distance and talk in a very agitated way but nothing that made sense.

After a few years I began to think they coincided with every time a new Harry Potter film came out.....

ReallyTired Sun 27-Nov-16 23:28:29

Poor love. I still get night terrors occasionally as an adult. I had them as a small child. Thankfully neither my children have experienced night terrors.

No one chooses to have a night terror. The person us utterly oblivious to what is happening. They are sleep even if they are running about and screaming. Usually they will have no recollection the following morning. If a person is having a night terror the best thing you can do is to keep them safe. Guide them back to bed.

Its important to make sure your son does not get over tired. Limit screen use before bed and a twilight setting on any tablet will help if he does use a tablet in the evening.

BumDNC Sun 27-Nov-16 23:32:35

I remember mine! Which is odd. I did used to have quite bad anxiety too about dying etc which did not help

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Nov-16 23:34:01

I had night terrors all through my childhood until I turned 21, so no it's not too old.

Mine were so bad that my Dad had to fit a chain alarm to the inside of the front door, because one night I ran downstairs in my sleep and tried to get out into the street confused

The last one I had (aged 21), I ended up tripping over my bedside table and cutting my back on a glass of water.

Never did get to the bottom of it all, but the Dr seemed to think it was because my mind was active when I slept, rather than shutting down completely.

hellinabreadbasket Sun 27-Nov-16 23:55:33

My DH still has them (mid thirties )and I'd say they are brought on by interrupted sleep rather than stress.

JenLindleyShitMom Sun 27-Nov-16 23:59:25

Could she be very tired? New baby disrupting her sleep? I suffer from hallucinations and I've worked out that it happens when I'm really tired or stressed or both. They're really scary, sometimes i can see someone in my room walking towards me and I scream out at them. It's horrible. I wonder if your DD is having something similar.

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 28-Nov-16 00:00:09

Hallucinations in my sleep that should say. Usually at the point when I'm halfway between wake and sleep.

JellyBelli Mon 28-Nov-16 00:00:46

The night Terrors Resource Centre is a good place to visit. You can get them at any age.

www.nightterrors.org

Seren85 Mon 28-Nov-16 00:49:54

My husband started with them mid 20s as a result of stress and unemployment so I don't think they are age specific. I hope you find something that helps.

Seren85 Mon 28-Nov-16 00:53:06

Jen ...that sounds like the night hag thing. I get that. I "wake up" several times before I am actually awake. I hallucinationed DH throttling me on floor, strange men in the room etc. Screaming and thrashing but when I do finally awake I've made no noise and not moved around at all. DH never ever knows. Also stress related.

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 28-Nov-16 01:11:36

Oh really seren? That's interesting that you aren't actually screaming/thrashing. I know i definitely do shout out and scream because my son still sleeps in my room and I've woken him doing it and he asks me why I'm screaming. It's awful because it scares him too.

OzzieFem Mon 28-Nov-16 06:17:49

Is it possible the birth of the baby has triggered some deep rooted memories of the trauma she went through as a baby? She may even be dreaming that her younger sibling is the one suffering the trauma in her night terror.

Poor kid.

OhFuckOff Mon 28-Nov-16 06:40:10

Mine started when I was 18 just after I had my first child. I haven't had one in a few months but it's always a worry. It was so bad I wouldn't sleep with a blanket over me and kept the bedroom light on.

littlesallyracket Mon 28-Nov-16 07:07:49

I'm 40 and I've been having them for about 30 years, seemingly with no specific trigger or cause.

Mindtrope Mon 28-Nov-16 07:13:33

My DS had them at 12, when he was ill with tonsilitis.

Horrible things to witness, he wouldn't let us come close, was growling and cowering in the kitchen.

One thing that helped was singing to him, lullabies that I sung to him when he was a toddler and he recognised, that really helped.

eggsnmarmite Tue 29-Nov-16 23:22:07

Sounds like it's quite common then which is quite reassuring. Ozziefem - that could be possible sad

Thanks for your posts. It sounds like that's exactly what she's having. Just hope she grows out of it.

sj257 Wed 30-Nov-16 00:15:55

My 10 year old has had them recently after not having any since she was 3 or 4 years old. She has always shouted and talked in her sleep, however she got worked up about the clown craze a few weeks ago and now has night terrors 3-4 times a week 😞

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