Night terrors - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-16-2013, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3.5 year old has started having what I'm confident are night terrors over the last few nights at the same time each night, an hour and a half or so after she falls asleep.. She's always had episodes of restlessness in her sleep, some talking and sitting up, crying or whining. Usually we would just put out hands on her, tell her it's ok and to go back to sleep. Four nights ago she had this same thing happen. Flip flopped in bed for awhile till my husband could get her to sleep. The next night she woke up screaming, had gotten down from her bed, was shaking, crying, and talking nonsense. We picked her up and layer her back down and calmed her and she eventually just calmed down and went back to sleep. Two nights ago she woke up screaming bloody murder, eyes wide open but couldn't focus on anything, flailing and slapping my husband as he held her.
She could slightly respond when we asked it she could hear us, but them would talk incoherently, practically hyperventilate because she was breathing so fast.
Finally husband put her down on the couch and sang to her and covered her up and she drifted back to sleep. She woke up again that night vomiting and having diahrhea which my husband and I have subsequently gotten as well. Last night husband slept with her in the other bedroom (I cosleep with our youngest son) because she didnt want to sleep in her room because she said she was scared. (I think she might have caught on to me asking her if she remembers waking up the previous night which she said she didn't.- that or she woke up partially from the worst episode and remembers us being scared). She didnt have one last night as husband woke her up about 15 minutes before we thought she was going to have another one. Same thing tonight - so far no night terror. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone else have as child afraid to go to bed after picking up on this? I feel responsible for her fear of her room at this point. I had a friend even go so far as to suggest to me that she was being attacked by some evil presence! This comment doesn't help me as this is probably my worst fear as a parent and I already have anxiety problems. I feel like my world is turned upside down. Any info, your stories, input, reassurance would be great appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:34 PM
 
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My two year old son has had periods of night terrors. he'd wake up screaming ,eyes open but obviously not awake or aware. We would not shake or jolt him any to comfort him.  But pick him up, put on a soft light through the screaming and use gentle talk through the spisode like" would you like juice? Or ask if he wanted to read his favorite book? The whole time he is jerking his body and requires some muscle flexing on our end. And after maybe 15 minutes of not really know what was happening to himself,he'd wake up! Usually ,if one terror happens another will happen that night.  And also an hour to an hour and a half into sleep. I have not noticed a pattern when they happen. Some site I read suggest that a fever can possibly bring it on or being too hot. MY ds does get hot easily and does not like covers so we always buy pajamas that are sleeveless. Oh wait, I did find a trigger for our son . What am I blabbing about...over exhaustion. Yes, if he's had a short nap,active day then goes to bed late=night terror. That is one trigger.

Hugs to you, I know it can be very disconcerting when this happens and then your toddler does not recall. I have read to not really mention it to them..

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info and suggestions. She still hasn't had another one - seems waking her up before that part of the sleep cycle helps. She's still too scared to sleep in her own room or by herself. Maybe it's also part of her developmental stage because I've read that around 3 and a Half can be a tumultuous time for them - new anxieties etc. We'll keep her cool and try to get rest during the day - will be hard as she's not much of a napper. But we are keeping a strict bedtime and sleep schedule. Wish me luck!
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