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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-10-2012 01:13 PM

I know this is late but wanted to add that my son also had night terrors. I read somewhere on the internet that this can be related to overheating (among other things) and that cooling the child's sleeping environment down might help. It was effective for us, and I particularly noticed that I needed to make sure his feet were cool enough (sleeps with no socks on and feet sticking out of the covers).

08-28-2012 11:46 PM
Kaydove Okay, this popped up on unread post and I have to say that the uber religious posts are hilarious! Spray bottle of holy water? Really? Not to knock holy water for those who believe but putting it in a spray bottle? Haha

In all seriousness, I feel for you and your DS and I hope some of the advice helps.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
08-28-2012 10:33 PM

faithstuff - i dont know if you will find this reassuring or not but fearful at night enough to go sleep with parents is pretty normal at dd's school (mainstream public school). the kids do actually go sleep with their parents when they are in the fearful phase. they start out in their bed and then go visit the parents when they are afraid. i love that the parents allow this. 


all these kids were either 9 or 10 years old. 

08-28-2012 04:41 PM

Nothing new lately.  He's been coming into our room nightly, nothing new there.  He's had a couple more laughing stints.

08-26-2012 06:58 AM
pek64 Updates??
08-26-2012 05:21 AM

I have dealt with similar issues with my now 10 y/o DC. There are some great articles out there -- look up "confusional arousal" rather than sleep terrors. Here is a good article by Dr. Green that describes sleep walking, night terrors and confusional arousal: Here is a brief quote from the article: 





When most people speak of sleep terrors, they're generally referring to what are called confusional arousals by most pediatric sleep experts. Confusional arousals are quite common, taking place in as many as 15 percent of toddlers and preschoolers. They typically occur in the first third of the night when the child is overtired, or when the sleep-wake schedule has been irregular for several days.

A confusional arousal begins with the child moaning and moving about. It progresses quickly to the child crying out and thrashing wildly. Even if the child does call out her parents' names, she will not recognize them. She will appear to look right through them.


What you will find is that MOST articles indicate that lack of adequate sleep is the primary cause of this type of sleep disturbance. Stress is often cited. For my child it seems that mild and infrequent incidents are caused by disrupted sleep/poor routine but really frequent incidents are caused by stress (by far the worst case was when I was pregnant). 



As far as how to deal with them when they happen -- what worked best for DC is for us to just go along with her. We didn't wake her and we would just act like whatever she was saying or doing made perfect sense. This actually made it WAY more interesting for the us, as parents. DC was a big sleep talker and I love going along with her sleep-thoughts. One time she said she "wanted her real mama" so I replied, "Ok, I'll go get her..."  Another recent one was "I got a bad monkey." so I replied, "Do you want me to take that one away and get you a good monkey?" DC said, "Yes," and went back to sleep.  So cute!!  

08-20-2012 07:18 AM
Originally Posted by faithsstuff View Post

Someone suggested reading Raising Your Spirited Child, which is a great suggestion, we actually have this book but haven't reviewed for a while, time to go back.

The book Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleep by the same author might be helpful. It's been a while since I read it but I remember nodding a lot. I'm pretty sure it has some good tips for helping a spirited/sensitive child get more sleep. There's a link in my previous post upthread.

08-18-2012 07:40 PM

thanks for all the tips and shared experiances, I appreciate it.  


I have learned never to mention *exorcist* in any of my posts lol.gif


A few folks brought up diet which is something I should explore.  He has also never been a solid sleeper and is one of those kids that will be exhausted but is too stimulated to sleep.  As an infant he had to have a light blanket over his face to block out anything around him.  It's also happened more since he moved out of our bed and into his own room, we didn't force the move but I've been focusing on reconnecting with him everyday.


In his room he also has to sleep with the light on and often some music which may help block out other noises (we live in the city, it's noisy) but I'm sure the light on doesn't help his body have a solid day/night cycle.  He is uber sensitive to texture, temperature, etc so I should also look at that.  


Someone suggested reading Raising Your Spirited Child, which is a great suggestion, we actually have this book but haven't reviewed for a while, time to go back.

08-17-2012 11:08 PM
elizab My daughter had night terrors. The thing that worked with her was every night I put her to bed we talked about every little thing she was going to do the next day. I would ask her what she would wear and then what she would eat for breakfast. Then what people she would see and play with ect ect. Then I would ask her angel to watch over her sleep. this worked very well and she only had a couple more problems and never again. Hope this helps.
08-16-2012 06:45 PM

My oldest had night terrors when he was around that same age. They are indeed very frightening to witness/experience. I had never heard of night terrors, but when I explained the situation to the pediatrician, he immediately told me my son was experiencing night terrors. The doctor told me it was quite likely due to inconsistancy in dealing with my son.... for example, whether or not something was ok depended on my mood at the something that was fine one day, wasn't the next.. our doctor said that the little guy probably didn't know whether he was coming or going so to speak..and it  was manifested in the night terrors..

I and hubby spent time doing a self evaluation and made a concerted effort to be aware and consistant. the night terrors were gone forever in a matter of a few days. You might do a little self evaluation too, and see if you are causing confusion in your little one with the outcome being night terrors.  My son now is a very well adjusted, successful adult with a beautiful family of his own.  I hope this is helpful  for you.

08-16-2012 02:56 PM

When I read your post, faithsstuff,  it immediately reminded me of Elaine Gottschall's daughter.  The girl had intestinal problems but she also had strange nighttime behavior.  The first of her symptoms, the nightime sleeping behavior was healed within days of putting her on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Where as the psychotic like sleep behavior stopped very quickly her intestinal problems took longer.  Elaine Gottschall is the lady who adapted and popularized the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and did the research to explain why and how it works.  It is not a permanent diet but it is my impression that sometime the diet needs to be followed up to 18 mos. etc..  It has to do with eliminating certain kinds of carbohydrates.  For example honey can be used as a sweetener but not sugar.  If you borrow the book from the library you could read about the connection between the diet and the behavior.

08-16-2012 02:16 PM

I just read your post and I recognize this behaviour. My child had difficulty like this from a very early age (infancy). I won't go into much detail, my child was constantly sleep walking and behaving in a strange manner. I had spoken to many medical professionals over the seven to eight year period and eventually I realized that they thought that it was the mother who had the problem. One night when sleep walking I tried to console my child by saying that everything was alright because mum was with there and a deep husky adult voice responded "you are not my mother". I knew immediately that my suspicions were being confirmed. I won't go into the details as to how or were this began, through no fault of mine or my innocent child. I have strong faith and am a practicing Roman Catholic, I immediately got some holy water and I made the sign of the cross on my childs forehead three times as I held her and I said " In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and my God begone satan" I repeated this three times and then I prayed as I put my child back into bed. That was the end of the behaviour. A number of years later I described the complete episode to a catholic priest who was also an exorcist, I discribed what I sensed in the appartment that I had lived in when my child was an infant and he confirmed for me that my suspicions appeared to be correct.

Read your bible were Jesus told his apostles what they could do in his name.

08-16-2012 11:30 AM

ooh i remember one more thing. my friend's dd always got night terrors any time she wore footed pjs.


i get nightmares if i am too hot at night with extra blankets.

08-16-2012 10:55 AM

Ok. Now that I've gotten my daily funny after reading all the first posts from many people... 


My 9 year old has night terrors and sleep walks. It started when she was 5. It alternates between occurring multiple times a night to disappearing for weeks at a time. Her "attacks" are anxiety related though so under periods when she is feeling more stress, they occur very often. Pedis are often not very trained in this area. If you have a sleep clinic in your area, that would be an excellent resource. You should be able to discuss with the pedi and request a referral if need be. At one point, the night terrors got so bad that she started refusing to go to bed at all and would force herself to stay awake. This is unusual though. DD1 sleepwalking alternates between it being obvious that she is asleep and other times, she can and will carry on a normal conversation with her eyes open, she will eat, use the bathroom, appear very normal, but she is not awake. We ended up investing in a house alarm that we set for her once she heads to bed, at her age, she really should know the code but we don't want her knowing it and attempting to use it in her sleep, it is the only security we have to keep her inside at night. It has severely limited her night time activities. She can not do sleepovers because we can't trust anyone else to be able to tell when she IS sleepwalking because she can appear almost normal. Early this year, she started having her episodes multiple times a night again, I would be escorting her back to bed, every 20 minutes it seemed for the first several hours of the night. We ended up doing a trial of meds to see if they would help, and they have virtually eliminated the night time issues and greatly improved her quality of life, BUT like I said, DD1 was quite severe and that is not a common treatment for a child. 

08-16-2012 10:43 AM

Just skimmed the responses so sorry if I'm repeating someone else.


All sleep issues are related. Night terrors, insomnia, sleep walking, etc. So if a person is prone to one, he might develop the others. 


My own ds first "sleep crawled" at 9 months. He suddenly crawled right off our bed and landed on his head. I lunged for him, aiming for his white diaper in the dark without my glasses but I missed. When he got older, he had night terrors for a few years. He sleep walks now and then. Cosleeping has been nice because he tends to just move towards me, but now and then he goes for the door. I always wake up and call him back. I know he would be freaked out to wake up all alone in a different part of the house.

And this is a baptized child. lol.gif


The main thing that helped was making sure ds got as much sleep as possible. His sleep issues are always worse when he is over tired. And then he is over tired because he didn't sleep well! When he was young, I'd force a nap with a well timed car ride to help him catch up on sleep. Another thing that happens when he is over tired is he gets wired. He acts all energetic and hyper but that is really a sign of exhaustion. The sleep issues are better simply because he is older and doesn't need as much sleep. But he still gets reved up if we stay up too late and he still sleep walks occasionally.


This is a good book which might be helpful. It's by the same author as Raising your Spirited Child:

08-16-2012 09:30 AM



I wonder if your little one has been baptized? Has he been anointed by a priest with oil?

One of my ministries is "Spiritual Warfare". This stuff is for REAL. Even small children can be afflicted, for, evil has

no bounds. Therefore, it is very important that we protect ourselves and those that we love.

Try using a simple spray bottle with holy water from church. Sprinkle your house, especially your child's bedroom, in the name of

Jesus Christ. If one of these incidents happen, spray, spray, spray, and pray to our Lord, Jesus. Send whatever is

invading your space to the Light. He will take care of the rest.


Good Luck and May God Bless You and Your Family.


08-16-2012 08:27 AM

Having a glass of juice by the bed is a great way to rot your kids teeth and give them blood sugar issues!

08-16-2012 07:12 AM

My daughter who is  now 20 did this also.  I did not know whether to call dr or a priest.  her ramblings always had religious connotations to them.   one night she stood over our bed and told us to pray now.  It was bizare.  It is a form of night terrors.  she would sleep walk as early as 2 years old.  I did alot of praying at the time because her behavior was so bizarre.  which always helped.


But this can also related to blood sugars and hypoglycemic events at  night.  Did not figure this out until she was in school and would get really low blood sugars at sport pracritices and games, and I did my research.   a drink or hard candy would always snap her out of it at practice.  You can try having them drink a glass of milk before bed, milk helps maintain blood glucose  levels longer than sugary drinks, or have a glass of something like juice at bedside. to sip on.  


My daughter has always only grazed with food most of the day instead of full meals.  she did the same when nursing.  But when she started putting a cup of juice at bed side the incidents decrease.


She is now 20 and has some thyroid and PCOS issues, which has a strong corelation to blood sugars. 

Hope this  helps.....

08-16-2012 06:49 AM

I like to approach difficult situation with a "two pronged" approach; through faith and through medical.  I employ prayer and I turn to my priest regularly on difficult issues.  I try to have God near.


Second is medical-  I had a traumatic brain injury in '05, roughly 8 months later I began to have night terrors.  They happened 5 - 6 nights a week and became rather exhausting.  MRI eliminated a tumor and I had no bleeding or bruising that would cause those kinds of disturbances.  So, if you have not had him checked by your pediatrician to rule out the most serious, I would.  You never want to hear, "gee I wish you would have come in 6 months ago when we could have done something."


Next in the medical is eating.  If I go to bed on a full stomach, in other words, if I graze all night long and then go to bed, I almost guarantee myself night terrors.


Final is rest/stress- I saw it was brought up by another poster and I agree.  When I get over tired or incredibly stressed, I will have night terrors.  Basically, I have had to learn how to pace myself and not over-do things.  Not only can I over-do it with my body, but I will tax my brain even quicker.  My brain when it is not happy will first interfere with my speech and then if I don't get the hint will give me night terrors.  I have learned to do what I should have been doing all along, but now I have a cranky brain that isn't as "forgiving" as it was before I injured it.  I'm not saying your child has a brain injury, but they may have a sensitive brain.  Sleeping is the time we refresh our bodies and our brains.  Dreams are intended for the psyche to deal with things on a subconscious level that we're not dealing with well while we are awake.


Sleep studies are good, just make sure they are board certified.  Ask your pediatrician about a referral to a neurologist and ask if, or maybe insist on an MRI or CT scan w/contrast.  MRI's are better, and more expensive.


If you ask your child about any potential "issues" try not to ask leading questions.  Many times if something sounds good, they will just say "yes" not meaning that it really happened.


One last thing.  I know this is a terrible thing to put out there, but I feel it is necessary.  Do you have your child in daycare or with a babysitter?  Is there a possibility of molestation?  If you believe there might be, I would contact authorities and ask for a referral for a forensic psychologist that knows exactly how to approach these things. If, God Forbid, it is true, don't panic in front of your child.  That will make them feel responsible.  Also, don't rush to them with hugs and saying things like, "oh my God, I am so sorry, you poor baby..."  That will only make them feel bad about what happened and feel guilty.  The guilt does not belong with a child.  Check all your people and make certain they are credible and not into some sort "repressed" memory garbage.  He either knows about it and doesn't know what to do, but knows it bothers him or it is not this.


Remember to keep God close.  A quick little prayer before you seek information I find helpful, as I believe it will bring me to the people I am supposed to find.


Good luck.

08-16-2012 05:09 AM

You can try to say the Saint Joseph prayer, that worked when my daughter started having night terrors. I also had my house blessed. She was fine after that. Although your situation seems to be more intense than mine was. I would call the doctor and if things don't get better i would contact your diocese and speak to a priest. I will pray for you and your family. 

08-15-2012 08:35 PM
Doc V

Take child to  a sleep specialist, sounds like night terrors which are manifesting in a different realm.


Also, does the child snore, have daytime tiredness or sleepiness, are there large tonsills, is he irritable, is there restless leg syndrome and or a peripheral limb movement disorder and does the child grind his teeth. Alot of sleep disorders are not completely understood but get the child to a sleep specialist and a reputable dental sleep specialist as many issues of sleep can involve the genetic craniofacial expression of a child.


Blessins and good luck, if you need more assistance let me know. Of course always pray to prevent any misfortune to any family member and this includes the well-being of good health, even a sleep disorder.



Dr. V in Pueblo, Colorado.

08-15-2012 07:38 PM

Hm. I have a sleep walker, but she comes down the stairs, and navigates furniture, etc. quite well. She just is also talking to a friend who lives across town or telling her brother not to mess up her lego city... when he's in his bed asleep. From my research, sleep walkers aren't too likely to fall down stairs or walk into things because their eyes are open and they are processing those things.


I think that runs in families. My brother used to sleepwalk and my two brothers used to have entire, semi-coherent conversations in their sleep. Slightly odd ones with some disjointed bits, but mostly made sense, if you believed in pet dinosaurs and flying hotels. They never remembered them in the morning at all.  


We've also braved night terrors, although not often and not with sleep walking or moving around beyond sitting up. 

08-15-2012 06:21 PM

My daughter had night terrors for years.  It is much more frightening for the parent as the child never remembers it.  Not to diminish the use of Holy water,etc. - by all means use it and more - but this is a sleep disorder.  He will outgrow it.  My daughter did.  Just keep him safe as he goes through it.  You can't wake them.  He will calm down and go back to sleep. 

08-15-2012 05:59 PM
pek64 Does he take any medication? Night terrors can be a side effect of some medications.

Time to be Sherlock Holmes.
Does he skip some nights (sleep through the night without an episode)?
08-15-2012 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

i have been pondering if my 19m old son has some form of night terrors, how do you tell if that is what it is? its nt a big enough deal to need  to take him anywhere for it, but i would like to know the best wy of handling him. he will suddenly be "up" and screaming his head off, but not want any sort of soothing and frankly i swear he is not awake. eventually he "snaps out of it" and is usually fast asleep in a mere moment, so going from 0 to 100 to 0 again, i hope I'm not heeded to trouble i nthe long term with him

that's what we were experiancing.  The first time we thought he was having a nightmare but was unresponsive to us.  We were freaking and after a while he was just *asleep* again.  No recollection of it the next day and no new fears to discuss.  If you google it, you'll get some good info.  good luck!

08-15-2012 05:34 PM

Pray the Chaplet of St Michael the Archangel daily, specifically for protection of each member of your family.  There is a special rosary for it that you can purchase at a Catholic religous store.  You can find the words on line, and they also come with the rosary.  I know someone who had night terrors often for over 25 years.  The person, received the rosary from a relative who visited Mt. St. Michaels in France, and has said the chaplet faithfully now for a number of years.  The terrors stopped soon after starting the devotion, and have not returned.  But it is very important to be faithful to daily prayer, and to do everything possible to stay in conformance with the Divine Will, especially to forgive everyone who has ever wronged you or your family.      

08-15-2012 05:22 PM

i have been pondering if my 19m old son has some form of night terrors, how do you tell if that is what it is? its nt a big enough deal to need  to take him anywhere for it, but i would like to know the best wy of handling him. he will suddenly be "up" and screaming his head off, but not want any sort of soothing and frankly i swear he is not awake. eventually he "snaps out of it" and is usually fast asleep in a mere moment, so going from 0 to 100 to 0 again, i hope I'm not heeded to trouble i nthe long term with him

08-15-2012 04:39 PM

probably a good move  goodvibes.gifdemon.gif

08-15-2012 04:19 PM

lol, thread title changed :)

08-15-2012 02:40 PM
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

wow, im guessing we can file this thread upper "be careful what you title a thread!"


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