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Broken nights from 4 and 6 year olds

(7 Posts)
ScarlettCrossbones Wed 03-Aug-11 11:54:47

My DD and DS have been having a bad time with nightmares for what seems like months now. There's hardly ever a night - maybe one per week - where they both sleep right through without waking in tears, sometimes hysterical. DD (4) is the worst, but DS occasionally hallucinates, has terrible nightmares, and ends up wetting himself. They share a room but when one of them wakes up, upset, it doesn't wake the other, luckily. It's usually hours apart.

I just don't understand what's causing them to have such disrupted sleep. The room is quiet and dark, and it's not as if there's any disruption or trauma in their lives to cause them to have nightmares. They watch virtually no TV and certainly no scary adult stuff with violence in it or anything. Since school finished at end June (we're in Scotland), they've had one day of wall-to-wall CBeebies when I was ill, and one DVD. That's the sum total. They usually say (when they're coherent) that the nightmares were about monsters chasing them, witches, or spiders.

I also have a 15-month old in his own room, and I honestly can't remember the last time I was up in the night with him!! It's been months and months. Ironic.

DP has scary nighttime incidents as well, and he frequently adds to my total wakenings, so I'm a bit worried the whole thing's hereditary and this will be my life from now on ... sad - though in the past DD and DS have been fine at sleeping, so I don't see what's changed now!

Any tips gratefully received, as I was kinda hoping to have my nights back by this stage ... grin

ScarlettCrossbones Wed 03-Aug-11 20:34:54

Bump ... any help, just before bedtime?! grin

nojustificationneeded Wed 03-Aug-11 21:35:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cjbartlett Wed 03-Aug-11 21:37:20

What about the good sleeper moving in with the four year old and your 6 year old having his own space? Might help

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 21:40:16

DS1 and DS2 have both been through this, but seem ok at the moment. We had long chats about what was frightening them and about what is real and what isn't.

With DS2 (4) it was mainly imaginary things like monsters, dragons etc which were fairly easy to deal with.

With DS1 (6) was more real life scenarios - Baddies breaking in, fire etc. So it was more reassurance that we have smoke alarms and making sure he knows what to do in an emergency, reminding him that we have three dogs that are likely to make mincemeat of baddies (or in reality lick them to death) etc

I try to keep bedtime calm - bath, biscuit and milk and then story time. The one mad thing we have is "magic mummy dust" that they have a sprinkle of to keep the bad dreams away. I can't even remember how it started, but they both settle down after a sprinkling of magic invisible blue dust with silver stars (or whatever I make up)!

DS3 (23 months) is another story altogether and still manages to sneak in with us most night - nightmares are not the problem though!

ScarlettCrossbones Thu 04-Aug-11 08:41:38

Thanks for the ideas, I appreciate it. Will maybe try the low radio.

Mobly Thu 04-Aug-11 14:46:45

I would go to the GP and see what help he can recommend if it's night terrors. I think they're hereditary and more common in boys. Sometimes they can just be a phase and sometimes they can last into adult hood. I am pretty sure there are things that you can try to alter their sleep cycle but I'm no expert. I looked into it a year or so ago when my DS had a few and I'm sure it was something about rousing them from sleep at a certain time to help alter the pattern.

I would definitley visit the GP and google 'night terrors' as I know there are forums out there that could give good advice.

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