night terrors - has anyone had any experience of this?(7 Posts)
my 5 year old dd has started having night terrors - they are becoming more frequent and she actually had 3 last night. I've read the advice on the NHS website but wondered if anyone out there has been through this? It's heartbreaking to watch and quite worrying as she has started sleepwalking too now (finding her at the top of the stairs is concerning)
We lost my Mum 3 weeks ago so it seems logical that that has triggered these episodes. I'm on the verge of speaking to a GP about it but figured other parents are more likely to come up with some practical advice!
So sorry for your loss
Ds is 6 and had always suffered them, as well as bouts of sleepwalking. It is horrible to watch but they're very common. Ds's are hereditary as dh has always had them, but they're exacerbated in times of stress or when he goes to bed overtired. If your dd's have only just started then the loss of her grandmother seems a logical reason. I would wait and see of they settle down over the coming weeks before going to the GP. In the meantime you can help by ensuring she goes to bed at a reasonable time, help her work through her feelings, ensure bedtimes are as calm as possible and help her deal with stressful situations which are no doubt heightened just now due to bereavement. When they actually occur there's not a great deal you can do I'm afraid - make sure she's safe, speak calmly to her as if you know what she's seeing 'it's ok, I know you're scared but I'm here and everything's going to be ok' etc. Wait with her till its over and then gently tuck her back in. When ds has a particularly bad one and nothing we're doing is calming him we do actually go against the advice and rouse him by putting a dim light on. Good luck, hope it passes soon.
I used to get them and now DD has them. I find that I have to make sure she completely wakes up after them or she will have another one. So I usually get her out of bed for a cuddle and then bring her downstairs with the lights dimmed and give her a drink or even put the gruffalo on the iPad with the backlight turned right down. I need to keep her awake for ten mins or so and then we go back to bed again.
I've heard that you can stop it happening by waking them up after they've been asleep for a certain period of time but she was very cross when I tried to do that and it wasn't worth it!
What always worked for dd1 (she was much smaller though, about 2) was sitting her on the toilet for a wee. Although she was half-asleep throughout, this seemed to calm her down and get her back into a peaceful sleep. No idea why though!
Sorry for your loss and I hope your dd comes through this soon .
Yes two of my kids have had night terrors (as does DH).
It was really trial and error to see what helped for us, one of them would argue fiercely about things e.g. He'd be sobbing that he wanted to go home or he wanted his mummy and no amount of me saying that he was home or I was his mummy would get through. But if I agreed with him and said I'd take him home and take him to his mummy, I could get him to lie down again and calm down after a while. He liked being held or cuddled once he'd got past the initial screaming.
My other one couldn't bear to be touched or talked to but what calmed her was me sitting and singing her lullabies (like I would normally at bedtime) - as long as I wasn't too close to her!
It can be so distressing to witness but remember they don't remember any of it in the morning.
Heat is also a trigger, if they got too warm they were guaranteed to have one. Thankfully both have outgrown them now and nights are much more peaceful!
thank you LittleLionMansMummy she had a late night last night, which possibly made it worse. I'm going to start the bedtime routine extra early tonight and hope tonight is less traumatic (for both of us!)
Thank you for all the replies and advice. I'll be putting it all into practice for tonight!
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