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NIGHT TERRORS

(16 Posts)
Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:11:42

DS1 (nearly 8) has had one every night for about a week now, and on average around 2/3 a week before that since the end of the summer.

This has co-incided with him starting junior school so am assuming it is this that has upset him a bit. Although, he seems very happy at school and enjoying it!

Should I talk to my GP?

Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:19:13

bump

MammyT Mon 29-Sep-08 22:21:19

I have had night terrors all my life. The triggers for me are:
- something on my mind (new school, starting a job, stressful times basically)
- watching frightening things on TV or browsing the computer late at night(even things like Crimewatch hmm)
- extreme tiredness.

Has your son's sleep routine changed since starting junior school?

I personally wouldn't contact the GP at the moment. I'd give it a while to see if it calms down.

Dragonbutter Mon 29-Sep-08 22:22:07

my kids have had night terrors from a very early age. DS1 was 4 months old when he first started them. thankfully it's all settled down for now.

i found that being very tired was a trigger. is it possible that he is just more tired rather than stressed?

Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:23:55

Hi MammyT

Sleep routine is as normal, in bed by 8 school nights, bit later at weekend sometimes.

Hopefully, it will settle soon! Sorry to hear that you are a sufferer too.

Threadwworm Mon 29-Sep-08 22:24:00

Is he unhappy/frightened/distressed when these episodes occur? Or is it just noise without any associated fear? I ask because I shout in my sleep most nights and have absolutely no knowledge of any distress. Sometimes I wake myself up with the noise and just think 'how odd'. So you need not necessarily worry about it, in the same way as you might worry about nightmares that involve upset to your son.

roisin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:25:26

The triggers for my boys were always getting too hot.

I was very sceptical when a friend suggested this, but it was absolutely true. When I switched their duvets for lighter ones, or used just a sheet in summer, and dressed them in shortie PJs the night terrors stop.

It's worth a try!

Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:26:11

Yes he is distressed, shivering, muttering incoherently. He normally wanders downstairs to find us - sometimes he starts retching but is rarely actualy sick.

This last week we have just tucked him up on the sofa with us for a while and then taken him back up to bed when he has calmed down.

roisin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:27:28

Sorry, do you mean night terrors or nightmares?

What I understand by night terrors is the child doesn't really wake up and are not conscious or coherent. And in the morning (or when they do wake up) they don't remember anything about it. IME it didn't really 'affect' them at all, but I found it very traumatic to deal with.

Threadwworm Mon 29-Sep-08 22:27:31

Sorry to hear that. That sounds nasty for him. I hope it settles down soon.

Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:27:32

Roisin - good point, but he sleeps just in his pants and half the time has the covers off him! Maybe it's the opposite and he gets cold?!!

bunny3 Mon 29-Sep-08 22:34:40

Hi Merlin, ds goes through this periodically as does dd1 (only recently and only mild terrors). If it's only been a week, I would probably carry on doing as you are doing and forget about seeing the gp. He will probably settle down again. The start of a new term/school is always difficult, ds wets the bed at the start of each term term and I am sure it is down to stress.

Merlin Mon 29-Sep-08 22:43:09

Hey you. Thanks for that - it just seems to have really escalated this week.

elliephant Mon 29-Sep-08 22:44:20

My DS had awful night terrors for a couple of years - horrible thing to witness. IMO his triggers were over tiredness and a full bladder . He would usually wake up to go to the bathroom and then start. He also wandered with them-not fun when you are on holidays and you hear the hotel door slam in the middle of the night and find your ds missing. (My DH spent one holiday sleeping in front of the hotel door after DS went walkabouts) From what I read night terrors are fairly common in young boys particulary. The advice is not to wake them but to talk to them gently until they calm down- I used to read stories or just talk about something that had happened that day to bring him back to reality . I agree about computers and play stations etc as well , definitely have an hour or so before bedtime cut off point as they overstimulate the brain. On the plus side, DS is nearly ten now and touch wood hasn't had one for ages.

katiek123 Wed 01-Oct-08 10:36:26

hi merlin
my DD had these badly on and off for a year or so last year, when she was 6 - her triggers were definitely over-tiredness and worrying generally (she is majorly anxious by temperament!) but they did seem to just happen randomly too. richard ferber's book 'solve your child's sleep problems' is worth a look if they persist. she hasn't had a night terror as such for ages now but gets bad dreams or full-on nightmares all the time and we are all a little jaded at the moment as a result! i wouldn't bother with your gp - i say that as a gp myself(!) - unless he or she is a parent of course wink - they don't teach you about this sort of thing at med school, that's for sure!! i cringe when i look back at the advice i gave people before i'd actually had a real live child of my own grin ... hope the terrors settle down for you soon!

Merlin Wed 01-Oct-08 14:28:34

Thanks for the reassurance guys. He had another one last night, but didn't wander this time. I got to him while he was still in bed, so just switched the light on and sat with him for a couple of mins until he calmed down. Luckily, it was one of his milder ones!!

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