3 1/2 year old having "night terrors" HELP!

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by BellLisamo, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    For definition:
    Night terrors are easily confused with nightmares. Night terrors are not bad dreams; a child during a night terror is not dreaming. Night terrors usually occur shortly after the child falls asleep, within the first three hours. When a child has a night terror, she may scream and thrash in bed, kicking or punching, with eyes wide with fear. She doesn't respond to questions and may even hit or push an adult away. Most night terrors last between thirty seconds and five minutes. Once the terror ends, the child soon goes back to sleep and will not remember the event the next morning. Some children seldom have attacks, others have them often. Night terrors are not thought to be indicators of emotional disturbance, but are probably related to a temporary delay in the maturation of the brain, and as the child shifts from one stage of sleep to another, there is some interference. Night terrors usually occur when a child is around eighteen months old, and are more common in boys than girls.

    Night terrors run in families. Stress and excessive fatigue are also thought to be factors. Children usually outgrow these attacks as they mature. During an attack the parents' main concern should be that the child not hurt herself. Stay in the room and intervene if you think she's in danger, but otherwise don't restrain her. A brief nap during the day can be helpful. Some parents have found that waking the child up prior to the time when the attacks generally occur may prevent the attack. For persistent night terrors, a physician may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for a short period.

    OK that being told.... heres the situation. My daughter is 3 1/2 and she still takes naps during the day. She doesnt mind. But sometimes at night i can hear her kicking and punching the walls, but never crys or screams. Her eyes are always closed. She never knows what is going on, i know this because i woke her up once and asked her. She had no idea.

    Has anyone dealt with this? Can you please tell me what to do?

    Shes my oldest child.

  2. Beauregard

    Beauregard In the Brooder

    Feb 17, 2009
    She's probably just moving around a lot ,kinda restless, maybe can't quite get comfortable,and she's sleeping right next to a wall, every time she moves and hits the wall you will hear it. As long as she seems ok and isn't frightened, I wouldn't make to big of a deal out of it. Good luck
  3. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Songster

    Jan 24, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    My DD is a little over 3, she has had 2 night terrors.....each time taking YEARS off my life!! She was TERRIFIED but not cohearent, crying & screaming, but wouldn't respond to my husband or myself.
    I am SO SORRY if you are experiencing this! I don't think it harms them at all, and she never remembers it the next day, but it is SO scary!
    When it happens to my DD, I turn on a light, and hold her so she doesn't throw herself out of bed or get hurt, and talk to her to try to calm her down. She eventually calms down, and goes right back to sleep, but I am awake for a LONG time after that. It is very disturbing when you feel so helpless!
    Like I said, it has only happened 2x, hopefully that was IT!!
    Hang in there!!
  4. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    She will grow out of it. If you sleep in the same bed with her, she will kick the tar out of you until she does grow out of it.

    Just count yourself lucky she doesn't has asthma. My youngest had that problem, and we all lost a lot of sleep over that.

    Even after he was over it and asleep again, we didn't dare fall asleep.


  5. PunkerTechnoRoo?ter

    PunkerTechnoRoo?ter Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    Night terrors suck both of my sisters had them. We kept the hall light on at all times and made sure the girls had fans next to thier beds and soft music ready to play.
    I dont know about your child but both my sisters were sweating bullets after each episode, the music helps to calm them back down, and leaving the hall light let them find thier way to my parents room if they just couldnt go back to sleep in thier own bed that night.
    Just as long as they are not hurting themselves, you just have to ride it out.
  6. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    True night terrors are really hard to watch. Speaking calmly and reassuringly to my son, repeating over and over that everything was all right would help. He would sometimes talk to me, but always remembered nothing or very little afterwords. It can be heartbreaking to watch them, as they really do seem terrified.
  7. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    My 3 1/2 year old son has been going through this for the past 2 months or so. He is our 3rd child. His oldest sister used to have them too. My middle DD never had them, always a good sleeper. Our pediatrician told us he will grow out of it. The first thing he told us was to stop the napping during the day so he will fall into a deeper sleep and be more tired at night. He still has them, but not as severe as he is more tired and goes back to sleep faster. My oldest DD had them for about 4 months at about 3- 4 years old and now at 8, she sleep walks. Climbs gates, puts the TV on, and will just come in my room to just stare at us with that eerie blank stare. I have to double lock all the doors in fear that she will walk right out of the house. The pediatrician said that sometimes children with night terrors will grow up to be sleep walkers, and wow he was not kidding. It only happens once every 2 weeks or so, so I can deal with that. 8 years and I still have not slept a full night. Good Luck with it and talk with your pediatrician, sounds like you are handling it the way you are supposed to and there is not much you can do.

  8. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    Wow I never knew this could happen with children! My sister used to sleep walk when we were little, and that was scary! But when she was in her late 30s she had night terrors! She said she would wake up and the room would be destroyed! ( her husband was deployed) So she did not know what was going on! The doctor gave her antidepressants and sleeping pills. She has not had one since!

    I am sorry you are going through this! I know it has to be hard to watch! Poor baby![​IMG]
  9. Cajunsamoan

    Cajunsamoan Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    My daughter went through this and it was so terrible. She would scream and try to get out of the house. I heard her screaming one night and ran to her room to see her almost all the way out of the window. She was 2. I started sleeping in her room with her and was a wreck until she eventually grew out of it. It just takes time and patience.

  10. tabsmonsters

    tabsmonsters Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Laclede County, MO
    It sounds like she is just a restless or a wild sleeper. You would know if she had night terrors. We just went through this with our 10 yr old son after school started this year. It was rough. I had to lock the front door and the screen door to make sure he didn't run out. He would cry and get up but his eyes were shut and I couldn't get him to snap out of it. It went on for a few months and then he stopped. He also didn't remember doing anything. I did some research and found that the child usually has them around the same time every night and one website suggested to wake them up 30 minutes prior to the time the night terrors start. I did that and it seemed to work about 75% of the time. It is rough to see and hear your child like that and not be able to help them.

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