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Advice for night terrors?


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#1 EricaG

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    Posted 03 October 2008 - 09:32 AM

    I am wondering if there is anyone that has had to deal with kids having night terrors?

    Here is my situation:

    My daughter is 3 1/2 and has been having night terrors for almost 2 years. When she has them, she wakes up crying and screaming and it is next to impossible to calm her down. She is unable to talk and if you ask her questions, she starts crying louder. They only thing I can do is to lay her back down, rub her head and back and softly talk to her telling her it is ok, that I'm there and to go back to sleep. Finally she falls asleep and usually that is it for the night. This happens almost every night, and usually once. When they first started they were happening several times a night, and she ended up sleeping with us for 8 months because of them.

    I think that she is scared to go to bed because of her "monster dreams" as she calls them. She is reallygood about going to bed for a few nights, but then it is suddenly a fight for about a week. She will have every excuse not to go to sleep and will finally say that if she goes to her bed she will have monster dreams! If I am in bed, she will want to sleep with me, and if I am in the livingroom, she will get her pillow ans blanket and bring them into the livingroom to sleep there. Lastnight she had 5 "monster dreams" and was so worked up that she was coughing and gagging! At 1:30am I told her she could go sleep in my bed, and I finally got her back to sleep at about 3am!!!
    I know that she should be out growing these soon and that they are common in young kids, but I'm wondering if there is anything that others found helpful when dealing with these?
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    #2 trance_angelx0x

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      Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:18 AM

      I would suggest asking your family doctor about it and possibly seeing a mental health doctor (psychologist). I know of someone who stopped having them after spending a few sessions in therapy.

      #3 2bebridejamaica

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        Posted 03 October 2008 - 12:17 PM

        Erica sorry you are dealing with this. It happened with Noah too ... but not for as long.. Noah kept thinking and screaming that he peed himself after the monsters scared him... which he didn't but we had to put him in the shower on several occasions because he wouldn't stop and just kept getting louder and louder... He was totally sleeping the entire time and would remember nothing about it except "he was sad" from his sleeping. It will stop but I would check in with the ped dr and just give them a heads up on what is going on ... Is it the same thing?? can she tell you what it's all about??

        #4 KLC77

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          Posted 03 October 2008 - 12:19 PM

          My brother and I both used to get these when we were kids. I have no advice on how to get them to stop. We just outgrew them I think. I can tell you that I know how you must feel. My parents were at such a loss and felt so helpless because there was really nothing they could do. Now that I think back, I used to have really terrible dreams and I remembered them, but for some reason I NEVER told my parents about them when I was a kid. I still remember them now actually. So, maybe getting her to try to tell you what she sees in detail would help, if she haasn't told you already.
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          #5 EricaG

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            Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:19 PM

            This morning I asked her if she could tell me what she saw in her 'monster dream' since she had another one this morning at about 6am. All she could say that I could understand was something about "pokey" "monster" and I think "tree". I know that these are normal for kids to have and they figure that it has something to do with their brains developing, which is why they usually grow out of them. Therapy may help, but medically there isn't much they can do. I guess jsut carry on with what we are doing. I wonder if lastnight wasn't worse because she can sense the tension everyone has around here with the murder and attack and then there wasa fire a block away lastnight, so the whole fire dept, the ambulance and a bunch of cops were flying passed and parked maybe a 100 yards away. Of course then this had half the town driving by because they are wondering what is going on and whether this creepy has been caught! Our quiet street was a zoo lastnight.
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            #6 EricaG

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              Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:22 PM

              Thanks for all your thoughts and input too. Although this started 2 years ago this Dec, for the past year it hasn't been too bad, but within the last couple months she has been having 1 'monster dream' almost every night and commenting on having them if she is in her bed. The funny thing is that if she is sleeping with me, she almost never has them, but sleeping with other people she will.
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              #7 Hartyt509

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                Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:32 PM

                Difficult one but it seems like when she sleeps with you she feels safe which is why she isn't having any. Maybe its an anxiety thing she has got to be picking up on the tension at the mo what with that nutter running around. Maybe she is just really sensitive and when everything calms down she will 2

                #8 jajajaja

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                  Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:39 PM

                  Erica,
                  I used to have them REALLY bad when I was younger. I wasn't in a conscious state though when I "woke" like your daughter seems to be. My mom said I used to act like I was possessed. I would scream, cry and my eyes would roll around in my head. It was terrifying for her. It got to the point where my father (who's Catholic) even called a priest in to bless me and hung crusifixes all over my room. I think I finally stopped around 8-9 years old but I don't think they started as early as your daughters.

                  My mom took me to a child psychologist. They said kids under a severe amount of stress sometimes have night terrors. It's their bodies way of relieving pent up stress and emotions.

                  I had a pretty chaotic childhood and they eventually went away after my parents divorced. Go figure. :)
                  Happily married since 2008

                  #9 Celina

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                    Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:11 PM

                    So that's what they're called! My son has these too. Every night like clockwork at 3am here he comes. He says there are monsters in his room too. Lately he has been sleeping with us and FI HATES it!

                    Wow - I don't know what to say to help as I am in the same boat! It's like they are in this semi-awake state and nothing you can do can make them stop. I don't know. Our life isn't hectic or anything. Our little guy is home with dad days and me nights and both of us are with him during the weekend. We don't fight or argue. Quite frankly - our son is spoiled and absolutely knows he is loved because I tell him probably 8 times a day!

                    I'm not sure Erica. When my daughter was little I made her a bottle of "Monster Spray" - (Colored water) and we sprayed it around her room before she want to bed at night. The thing is she was scared - before she went to bed. Where as I have to fall asleep with my son and then take him to his room. Otherwise he sleeps with us. Which I admit...is getting very old! I wake up and my back is killing me or my arm is numb from sleeping on it all night.
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                    #10 petunia

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                      Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:28 PM

                      My son had them from about the age of 4 until about 7 or so. We found that if we had him go to the bathroom when he woke up screaming it would kind of snap him out of it.

                      I also found that having say loudly, "I'm not going to have any bad dreams tonight," seemed to prevent them. The power of suggestion? I don't know, but it may have contributed to the end of them. I personally hate to dream, so even I will chant "I'm not going to have any bad dreams tonight." I rarely dream. Not saying it works, just saying it appeared to, but could be coincidental.




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