Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

Today I wanted to talk about Night Terrors. Now I am not an expert on this subject but I have been doing some research. LD started having Night Terrors a few months ago. It does not happen every night but it was happening quite often. Here is how they usually play out. We finally get LD to bed, hubby and I will watch a show or two in bed before we call it a night and LD will start screaming and come into our room. She screams sometimes up to 20 minutes. I pick her up and try to console her, I can tell by her eyes she is not actually awake, they are glazed over. She continues to kick and scream and I continue to try to console her or wake her up. Nothing ever actually calms her down so we just have to ride it out. I assumed she was having nightmares and was not fully awake, when I ask her about what she was dreaming about she can never tell me. I remembered my nephews having similar episodes to these and my sisters calling them Night Terrors. Here is what I found out.

• Night Terrors can be more common in families - so I don't want to say genetic but if a family member has them it is more likely for a sibling or relative to experience them.
• Do not try to wake the child up.
• Night Terrors occur during the transition into REM sleep. They are a sudden feeling of fear.
• There is no visual imagery produced during the night terror so the child will have no recollection of what scared them.
• There is not much a parent can do except sit with child to make sure they do not hurt themselves.
• It is believed they can be caused by stress and being over tired so making sure the child has a low stress environment and naps will help prevent them.
• Night terrors usually happen 2 to 3 hours into sleep.

LD usually kicks and screams during her episodes. She actually looks like she is trying to fight somebody off. I have heard of children getting up and running around the house. The episodes are very scary even for the parent. It just has to run its course we have only been successful twice at calming LD down. The first time she suddenly realized she had to go potty and as soon as she went she was awake. The second time hubby waved her blankie in front of her face and she became aware of the familiar "safe" scent and latched onto it and went back to sleep. Since I did my research I have made sure that she has a nap everyday (even if I am not up for the fight) and I am trying to be more calm about her accidents. I believe it has significantly reduced the number of episodes.

I would like to point out that I am not an expert, I am just a mom that did some research and has tried a few things out. Again they are scary for the parents and they are also frustrating because there is nothing you can do. I would also like to mention the Night Terror Tablets or Calming Tablets - the homeopathic ones, did not work for us. Have you dealt with this? How did you handle it?

As I said I did a lot of research and this is the site I found to have really good information that lined up with what we are experiencing.


  1. Sounds like you are handling this situation very well!
    Keep up the good work...exceptional mom!!!

  2. Scary. Good job looking into it.