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Night terrors - 5 year old - We need help

(12 Posts)
monkeypuzzeltree Fri 09-Jan-15 22:16:29

This started a couple of weeks ago. I am absolutely terrified. My Dd wakes in the most almighty tantrum, she is physically violent throwing anything she can get hold of. This is happening every other night. I think something is bothering her at school, nothing awful just girls being girls.
What the hell do we do. What's hapenned to our little girl. She's so angry. It takes an hour to settle her and then we get regular tantrums the next day as she is tired. These too are escalating. Please, any advice? Many thanks

WineWineWine Fri 09-Jan-15 22:33:10

wake her up about an hour after she goes to sleep. Make sure she is fully awake then settle her back to sleep. I know it sounds weird but it breaks the cycle and can often fix the problem

monkeypuzzeltree Sun 11-Jan-15 20:03:07

Sounds strange indeed but I will try anything!! Thanks!

silver1977 Thu 15-Jan-15 21:33:34

My son is having these too, really horrible to watch! I have just read an article where someone changed her childs bedding so it is cooler, my son is always hot and sweaty - not sure if the cause of the night terror or the result! Gonna give it a try though, this person said it stopped her childs instantly. Heard about the theory of waking them too, meant to work.

deadwitchproject Thu 15-Jan-15 22:02:56

We had this a lot recently. It was recommended to me that I check the lighting in DTs room. Sure enough there was a green flashing light from the cot alarm which looked quite sinister in the dark. My DH taped over it so it was very muted and the night terrors stopped that night.

GillSans Thu 15-Jan-15 22:10:21

yy to the waking an hour after sleep. Though we did it 40 mins after (read it somewhere), so maybe try different times if it doesn't work at first.

Also, this happens to ds when he is very tired, or goes to bed too late.

We find it very hard to wake ds up, but that does work. Mostly doing nothing and letting it run its course is the quickest thing. As distressing as they are he never remembers anything at all.

Supposed to be the sign of a bright child. Though I tell myself this about every challenge grin.

Iggly Thu 15-Jan-15 22:13:18

My ds has bad dreams when he gets too hot. Simple things like putting him in a t shirt instead of long sleeved top made all the difference.

FranTan Fri 16-Jan-15 19:52:01

Ds had these last year the summer before beginning school, which is what we now put it down too. For about 3 months most nights he would have them; could set a clock to them. They were disturbing and often lasted about 30 mins; he would be red hot and had an insane expression. We took him to the docs to rule out medical reasons and tried the waking, which didn't work for him. Fortunately they stopped when he started school. Oddly over the past week they have started again, albeit mild at present. He's currently running a temperature and I'm told by my DM that I too used to suffer when I had a fever. Night terrors often run in families.
Not sure if any of the above is any use but you're by no means alone.

SeagullsAreLikeThat Fri 16-Jan-15 20:00:30

We had this with both DS. Always an hour and a half to two hours after they'd gone to sleep, and usually when they were extremely tired or ill.

We read that it happens when they get stuck between two different sleep phases and can't move from one to another, but apparently they feel physically "trapped" as well so anything that makes them feel constricted e.g. Hugging them could make them feel worse rather than better. Be there, stroke them etc but don't hug them tightly.

What worked for us was to change their environment somehow without trying to wake them : put a light on, take them into a different room, change the temperature, put music on , run some water, any change that might help them shift out of that sleep phase into the next. Seemed to work for us.

Also, we never mentioned it the next day and they never seemed to have any recollection.

monkeypuzzeltree Mon 19-Jan-15 22:01:29

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've lately tried piriton, someone suggested it might help and it really has. However now we have the most monstrous daytime tantrums, it's pretty awful here right now.

ImBatDog Mon 19-Jan-15 22:10:14

ds gets them, but he has ADHD and they're unfortunately quite common in children with ADHD because attention and sleep are operated by the same part of the brain! They also quite often manifest in 5/6yo as the brain develops.

i would go through the whole 'sleep environment' stuff, just to rule out it being environmental or related to her school day tiring her out.

make sure her room is as dark as possible, that nothing on her nightwear is irritating her.. if she's getting hot/sweaty from wearing fleecy night clothes, switch to cotton.
make sure she's not eating within 2 hrs of bedtime so she has time to digest her food.
restrict games/tv in the hour prior to bed, keep her mind as relaxed as possible, so encourage book reading and cuddles...etc

During a NT, the best thing to do is change the environment. Take her out of her bedroom, into yours or downstairs, turn the light on, you're not trying to wake her, just alter her environment. Most NT present as them seeming to be awake, but in reality, they're still asleep, they won't make sense, questions will be answered, but garbled and nonsensical, returning them to bed too soon can prolong the tears/fears/crying/etc.

fattymcfatfat Mon 19-Jan-15 23:50:32

My son suffered night terrors from two until 4 . I didnt know what to do so I just rode it out. I sure wish I had read something like this as it may have made my life a whole lot easier! He still occasionally has a very bad dream now but not to the extent it was as in not all the time! And im usually abke to settle him fairly quickly now. He is now 6

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