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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter has had Night Terrors, or at least that's what I assume they are, ever since she was a baby. She'll pretty consistently wake up 45-60 minutes after falling asleep screaming, speaking incoherently, sometimes walking around and grabbing objects. She's sometimes a bit responsive, like if I tell her "Haley, touch mommy's hand" she can do that. However, then she'll go on about something that doesn't make sense "Where is the cat? I don't want it! I want it. No I don't want it! Help me!" And she'll sometimes even stare off and point at nothing, screaming. Sometimes she can go right back to sleep afterwards, sometimes she becomes more coherent and seems more awake and asks for water or something like that and it takes a while for her to get back to sleep.

My mom heard from another mom that her child's psychiatrist suggested rousing him before the time that he'd usually wake up screaming. I guess they did that for a week and it was enough to break the cycle. However, we've tried that a couple times now and maybe I've been too late, but she goes into her screaming and incoherent yelling as I'm waking her up.

Any other ideas? Does this sound like typical night terrors or could it be something else?
 

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Sounds like night terrors to me. No advice to offer, sorry. I suffered from them until I was about 30...

 

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We have been dealing with these in our youngest DD who will be 3 the end of March. They are pretty tough for us to get thru, so I sympathize with you! When I started researching them I found a test that helped define if it was a night terror or just a bad dream. The test is, who is more upset about it in the morning? You or your child? If its you then its a night terror, your child and its a nightmare.

A few things that help us is reminding ourselves not to touch her or try to wake her at all. We have to stand by to make sure she doesn't get hurt, but anything else makes it worse. We just have to try and be soothing and basically let it run its course.
Thankfully she remembers nothing about them in the morning.

An article that I found very informative is this one. He mentions at the end that his wife had her son use the potty during a night terror (he calls them a confusional arousal) and it worked. So we tried it and had amazing success!

Since we started putting her on the potty when she has a night terror she has been so much better. The first night when I sat her on the potty and she peed she then slumped onto my shoulder and fell asleep sitting there. I almost jumped up and down with joy. Now when she starts a night terror I take her right to the potty. After the third time doing that she hasn't had an episode since, but has woken normally for several nights asking to go to the potty.

I don't know if trying that would help you, but it worked so well for my DD that I had to mention it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, interesting about the potty thing. I tried rousing her only a half hour after going to sleep tonight, but she must've been having trouble sleeping because now she's up (no night terror, just awake).

As for who is more upset? She never talks about it the next morning. I think I've asked her and she never has an answer as to why she was so upset, so I figure she can't remember. I'm not terribly upset either as I've sort of gotten used to it. Plus it happens so early in the night (before I'm in bed) that it's long over by morning.
 

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This sounds like classic night terrors. I actually just did a bunch of research on this for one of my young clients who has been suffering from them for years (several a night.) The 'wake them up' intervention seems to be a very effective intervention for a certain group of kids, but you have to be very specific about it. You need to FULLY WAKE them up 30 minutes before they usually have the night terror and then keep them awake for at least 5 minutes. The fully awake part is the hardest for many parents. A consistent bedtime routine has also been found to be useful (but not as effective as the wake intervention.) I would continue the waking intervention for at least a month (I know, not fun) before stopping. Hope this helps!
 

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Ditto on it sounding like a night terror, esp. since it's happening early in her sleep cycle. I think technically kids don't remember night terrors and they're harder on the parents then the kiddo. That said, I get night terrors as an adult and I do remember them BUT that also seems to be typical as well. I don't know why kids don't tend to remember them but adults do.

I did a lot of reading to figure out what was going on with my night terrors and most of the information was about kids, not adults. I did read in several places that they typically outgrow them.
 

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The only thing that seems to work is trying to avoid them!
For us? We know if he's over-tired, he will have them.

Well-rested? no troubles
Good luck

Lisa (who wonders on many nights when the cops are going to be called called because it must sound like I am torturing my child!)
 

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How old is your kid now btw? I do know that night terror is a common sleep problem for kids between 2-6 yrs old. They usually happens when your child is very tired. I will suggest getting your child to a good bedtime routine. Try to ensure that your child is getting enough rest. This can help prevent it.
 
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