To ask you about night-terror experience?(28 Posts)
Freaking out a bit about DD (nearly 5yo) who has just started to have horrific night terrors. She got concussed about three weeks ago and that seems to have triggered them? She is absolutely wild during them, screaming in terror and running around the upstairs of the house looking for us. She doesn't have any recollection in the morning but has become anxious going to bed so I think there is some residual memory somewhere in there. Looking for reassurance or to hear other people's experience, concerned that there's something underlying it?
It's purely a sleep disorder like sleepwalking and not related to actual fear.
My DD had them and grew out of it. Stick in there
If triggered by concussion they will hopefully stop soon. horrible to witness I know
My Dd went through a phase of this when she was younger. They are terrifying for those watching but it has no effect on her and she didn't remember the next day. My doctor advised reassuring her and to try hug her but if your little ones terrors are like my dd's I would advise just letting it play out and then gently take her back to bed when it's over. My f2f would run all over looking for me and then always go to the same corner of the living room. She would scream for me but if I got close it make her scream more almost as if she didn't realise who I was. She is ten now and hasnt had them in a long time. She also has no memory of ever having had them. It will pass.
My dd is almost 7 and has had these since she was a toddler. I agree it IS horrific. We found it's worse if she's poorly or if she gets hot. Sometimes all she needs is a wee bit it sets it off for some reason. She gets them less nowadays but had a really bad one last night. We find calmly asking her questions like how old she is and what's her name and her teachers name etc can sometimes get her to calm down and wake up a bit. Which means she can then wake and calm properly.
We've never found a solution really. Everyone says they grow out of it but it doesn't help at the time. It's distressing and scary but I'm betting your little one doesn't remember it in the morning - ours doesn't.
DD has them. All you can do is stand by, keeper safew and wait for it to pass. It's absolutely horrible to watch your dear child have a night terror (mine constantly calls for me when I'm right there) but they don't remember them.
I'm middle aged and I have had them since adolescence. I only have them occasionally, I e a few times a year. I am sort of semi conscious and dive out of bed screaming. I have had carpet burn from the speed of diving out. The fear is just there or because I have hallucinated, usually a shadowy, ominous man or sometimes insects, and sometimes a train or lorry coming towards me. I am usually looking to escape. You may need to be careful around window security, I e have a catch so window can't open too much. My triggers are usually one or more of getting too hot, rich/heavy food that is difficult to digest, and cheese.
I'm in my 30's and have them every so often. It's much worse for the person seeing it happen than the person with the night terror.
I find that if a room is pitch black then that makes them worse. Having a nightlight (yes this is ridiculous for a 30 y.o.) does a decent job of stopping them.
Ahh yes and agree with the PP about making sure she has somewhere safe to escape to while she is having the night terror. I am also usually trying to escape from something. My DH once tried to hold me down and that was terrible. I literally need to run out of the room and turn every light in the house on. I sit on the sofa shaking for about 30 minutes before I 'wake up' and realise there isn't a crocodile in the bed.
I'm 37 and have also been having night terrors since my teens. I will also jump out of bed and scream the place down. I'm not sure what my triggers are but they always occur during R.E.M. The things I "see" at the time are very real to me and very terrifying but I doubt this is the case for a small child.
Ds1 had night terrors until he was about 11. It was horrible but there are some things you can do. If it is happening at around the same time then wake the child up 15 mins before you know they are due to have one. I wish I had known about this at the time but I didn't get much support with it. He didn't know who I was and would scream for me whenever I tried to soothe him. He was ridgid with fear.
He's still a bad sleeper at the age of 26 but nothing like it was
I would also add that sleeping in an unfamiliar bed e.g. Hotel is also a trigger. And that I do remember my night terrors. After a night terror I respond well to lots of reassurance from my dp that what is scaring me is not really there. It can take a few moments and some checking to really feel that nothing is there and I can feel anxious after and want to sleep with a light on.
DD used to get them too. They seemed to be triggered by her being too hot. Try letting her sleep in pants only?
DD used to have the same dreams. One about the strange man in the corner looking at her funny and about spiders. Fucking freaked me out. She was non the wiser in the morning.
She grew out of them quickly. Hope yours does too!
Oh your poor DD. I used to suffer from night terrors and they were horrifically real. I only get them now if I'm overtired. Don't worry, it'll pass. Just hold her close afterwards as they are truly terrifying and realistic
My DD had them up to aged 8. We found talking to her gently and guiding her to the loo helped to bring her out of them.Never remembered a thing in the morning and was far worse for me and DH than for her!
Ds had a couple last year during a fever. Like everyone has said witnessing it is awful. Ds screamed in terror for me whilst looking at me with absolutely no recognition. Taking him to a bright room and opening the window to make it cold seemed to snap him out of it faster.
I second the advice about waking the child up before the terror. I was advised 30 mins before usual terror time.
My DS, when he was around 2, had them most nights an hour after going to sleep for about 6 months. I was advised to wake him to rest his sleep after about 30 mins sleep. And to do this for 10 nights in a row. I did and the terrors stopped. Now he is 3.5 he still gets them occasionally, sometimes 3 times a week, other weeks not at all. I find a trigger for him is when he is super tired, and if that's the case, I might wake him after 30 mins to preempt the terror .
My DD had them as a toddler, I used to have to keep her safe but not try to wake her.
I still remember having them myself as a very young child and I'm nearly 50.
They're totally different to bad dreams or nightmares.
My DD(5) has had a few (none for a while now - fingers crossed!) and they tend to happen when she is too hot and they really freak me out as she's "looking" at me in utter terror. Like a pp I find gentle talk helps - touching doesn't always. She soon turns over and goes back to sleep. I say soon but it feels like hours!!
DD1 used to get them from about 5-6 years old. Always around the same time of the evening. Apparently this is about 1-2 hours after they drop off in first round of R.E.M. sleep.
We found gentle talking and questions brought her round slowly and calmly. Then she'd nod back off with no recollection. I think it tends to runs in families. My DF suffered all his life and I'm prone to jumping with fear 3 or 4 times a year. DD did grow out of hers though.
Thanks all for sharing, it does help to read of other people's experiences. Sounds like we might be in for a long haul potentially.
DD has always had problems transitioning into sleep (has given out about that 'falling' sensation since she could speak and always jumps in her bed as she dozes off) so I guess this is a horrible extension of all that.
When she got concussed she had a very short convulsion in bed and has been freaked out about her bed 'shaking' ever since, the poor mite.
Night three in a row now, what should we expect - is this going to be a nightly thing indefinitely? The poor thing will be exhausted (and our nerves will be totally frayed!)
I'd think its concussion related and will gradually settle
Ours used to come in phases at that age. Now a bit older it really is only occasionally. When she was learning to be dry at night was our worst time or when she is poorly. Otherwise mainly when hot or overtired.
It won't last forever but it may feel like it. Keep your little ones room cool and maybe try to disturb before 'that time of night'
It will pass but it's horrible to go through. I do agree about not letting her get too hot.
It's a distant memory as far as my child is concerned but at the time it was frightening to witness and deal with.
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