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3 year old sleep - night terrors & more

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have no idea if my 3 year old is technically gifted, and I have no plans to do any testing. I wouldn't hesitate to call him bright or smart. I'm a nanny and used to work with many kids in churches and I've seen few kids as smart as him as young.

Anyway, he seems to be learning exponentially fast all the sudden; he's read a few words already, recognizes numbers and letters all over the places. He's growing in his motor skills too (which he's always been a bit behind average on). He's busy jumping running climbing and generally being a crazy 3 year old.

Lately he's not sleeping well though. He's waking at night sometimes every half hour. He trashes around yells in his sleep, wakes up crying. He needs me with him to fall back asleep. Then he's tired the next day. I try to get him to nap everyday and shoot for 12 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. He's so much happier when he sleeps well. Today has been horrible after two awful nights of him waking up all night.

Anything I can do to help him? Is the developmental stuff messing up his sleep?

Any BTDT stories or words of wisdom?
post #2 of 6

My daughter had night terrors from about 15 months to age 5. We kept a journal of everything she did, ate and slept for a few weeks and that helped. We figured out around 18 months that it all came down to 4 hours.... 4 hours less sleep in a 48 hour period and we were in trouble for at least 3 nights following. We got a pretty good handle of the night terrors but there were always times when the broken or missing sleep just happened and couldn't be helped. At 4 and 5, they were more stress related and pretty rare. Then she seemed to just outgrow them (though did some sleepwalking from 6 to 12 which I've read is not unusual for kids who had night terrors in the younger years.) She's 16 now and outside of not getting enough sleep because she's a teenager, we haven't seen any symptoms in years. My second child never had a single night terror.

 

I recommend keeping the journal and really trying to stick to a routine. Night terrors are usually related to sleep, stress or illness. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
post #4 of 6
Yes, my 2 year old would nave terrors and I figure it was when he was really exhausted.
post #5 of 6

We discovered a pretty strong link in our kids and what they had for supper.  If we have had a carby meal instead of a protein one, they are much more likely to have bad dreams.  Also, if they are more active, they tend to be hungry at night.  I read once that low blood sugar in sleep causes an adrenaline burst, resulting in nightmares. 

 

We've pretty much eliminated the problem by making sure they have a protein based bedtime snack. 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by FisherFamily View Post

We discovered a pretty strong link in our kids and what they had for supper.  If we have had a carby meal instead of a protein one, they are much more likely to have bad dreams.  Also, if they are more active, they tend to be hungry at night.  I read once that low blood sugar in sleep causes an adrenaline burst, resulting in nightmares. 

We've pretty much eliminated the problem by making sure they have a protein based bedtime snack. 

Piggybacking on this thought: For DD, it was a dairy sensitivity issue. After finally testing DD for food sensitivities and finding out that dairy was an issue, we removed it (and gluten and eggs) from her diet. For years she snored, thrashed around in bed (causing too little quality sleep), and had night terrors - after removing it, these issues disappeared!

So, just something else to think about.
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