2 Yr Old Girl Screams and Talks in Her Sleep Always at the Same Time at Night

Updated on May 04, 2010
Y.D. asks from Hialeah, FL
17 answers

My 2 year old girl always talks in her sleep or screams and cries every night at around 4 am. The common words are: mine, no or she cries. The pediatrician said she is having vivid dreams common of her age. Before she started talking and screaming, she would cry, so we thought that maybe she could be having acid reflux as she arches and cough always at the same time and I regularly give her milk before brushing her teeth and putting her to bed. However, the words started coming and we dont know what could it be.

We tried to ensure she is relaxed before going to bed.

Any ideas? Have anyone experience this before? Why is she crying, screaming and talking in her sleep and also why always at the same time?

I greatly appreciate your feedback.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for the numerous resposes that I have received. We truly appreciate everyone's input and encouragement.

We are convinced that our daughter is having vivid dreams/night terrors. After all your comments I do feel more relaxed about it.

Two weeks ago we took her and my 4yr old to Disney World and she must still be living the experience, as last night she was screaming "Mickey Mickey mouse".
For the first time, I thought was funny.

Additionally, we are cutting back on milk before bed time to see if there is any improvement, as I still think there might some reflux as well, but I am sure now it has nothing to do with the screaming.

Thank you all again for taking the time to write to me....many with great details.

Good bless.

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answers from Tulsa on

my kid never had nightmares but at 2 am every morning you would hear thunk (him falling out of bed) when he outgrew that at 2 am every morning you would hear (thud) him kicking the wall. I thought It was just a hm thing but apperently not.


my kid never had nightmares but at 2 am every morning you would hear thunk (him falling out of bed) when he outgrew that at 2 am every morning you would hear (thud) him kicking the wall. I thought It was just a hm thing but apperently not.

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answers from Kansas City on

I have 9 kids, and I have seen several of them go thru this. Only two have gone thru the "night terrors". Thankfully, they were short lived. But, as if something had roused them from sleep, talkative, or a bit of crying, at aprox. the same time every night, I have seen repeated multiple times.

Just a stage from what I have experienced. They will outgrow it. Sometimes, go in, and over a sippy cup of water, tuck back in, and they are fine. Sometimes, they just wimper for a bit, and go back to sleep on their own. Just have to play it by ear.

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answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter had night terrors when she was 2 years old. Sometimes she just cried and flailed around in her bed. Sometimes she would say "No," just like your daughter had been doing, and even one time -- I kid you not -- she was crying out, "My shoes! My shoes!" It is not uncommon for 2 year olds to have night terrors or bad dreams. And some kids even talk in their sleep. I think when you enter a deep sleep, your subconscious mind kicks in and whatever issue you were dealing with earlier that day may become and abstract subject of your dream. For your daughter, those issues may have to do with sharing, having to obey mom and dad, or not getting something that she wanted. As her nervous system matures, your daughter's very vivid dreams or night terrors while evenutally phase out. I don't think there is much you can do for her until then except making sure that she has a safe place to sleep.

Blessings to you and your daughter.

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answers from Lansing on

Hello...I am what you would call an excessive dreamer. I always have been...40 now. I can't even take a nap without dreaming some of them are pretty intense. I have screamed..laughed...talked...brushed my hair (mimicking) and did leg lifts. I have four children and they all are dreamers too! Oldest son always talks in his sleep..youngest scares the heck out of me with screaming...we've always lived with it. Some benefits are (yes there are a couple) I have had flying dreams...space dreams...dreams in different decades sometimes I'm a person I don't even know! My mom said when I was growing up it was because I had a big imagination! She was a chronic sleepwalker...so maybe it is some how linked to genetics. They are usually in phases. I wouldn't worry too much. I think dreams are much more vivid when you hit the deepest part of REM sleep...maybe 4 is when she is in this state?? Good Luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

My kids have gone through phases/ages when they would sleepwalk, sleep-talk, or had nightmares, even screaming.
It is okay. It will pass. In sleep our brains process our thoughts and feelings and all we learn. The fact that it happens at about the same time, to me, just reinforces the idea that it is a new dream pattern and not a result of trauma or poor sleep. one of mine would sleepwalk at about the same time each night for a few weeks, and then it stopped.

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answers from Miami on

Why at the same time? If she is going to bed about the same time everynight. It is natural because of the sleep and dream cycle we have as we sleep. Unfortunately, vivid dreams and nightmares are frequent and common and considered normal between ages 2-4. If she sufferes from reflux try not to give her to drink anything close to her bed time and if you must elevate the bed to help with the reflux.



answers from Tampa on

My son had something similar happen (I think he was a little older, though).

He would wake up at the same time every night, at the same time, yelling. When I went in to help him he would be really angry and would push me away or yell at me, and he would never tell me what his dream was about (I couldn't tell if it was because he didn't want to, he didn't really remember, or it was too bizarre to describe (I think it was this last one)).

It was awful for me, but he was no worse for the wear - in other words he eventually out grew it with no ill effects. In fact I hadn't thought about this for quite a while now.

I don't think these were truly night terrors, just vivid dreams that were scary - either in a real sense or because they were so weird.

I thought the past life comment was very interesting, I never thought of that, since my son is very intuitive (an "old soul" as they say), I suppose it's possible.

In any case I'm not sure there is much you can do, but it should pass in time. Good luck!



answers from Houston on

What you describe doesn't sound exactly like a night terror...maybe just a vivid dream. Night terrors usually occur in the first few hours of sleep, but it is certainly worth trying some of the modification techniques. One possible solution that I was given for night terrors is a sleep "re-set". Set your alarm for 15-30 minutes before you expect that an episode begins. Gently rouse your child so that they come nearly awake. This helps bring them out of the extra-deep sleep they are in.

My three year old daughter has had night terrors on and off for more than a year now--there have been times when they've lasted 45 minutes. I know most of the triggers and avoid when possible. Sometimes it is just an isolated night, but after two consecutive nights I try to do the sleep re-set and it seems to help. Since she is potty trained, I take her to the bathroom for a mid-night pee break. She is still pretty out of it, but she'll pee and I'll put her back in bed.

It is a developmentally normal stage. Different kids just experience it in different ways. There are some genetic links...so if you or her dad were/are vivid dreamers, then she is likely to be also. I STILL have vivid dreams and have fallen out of bed in the last year.



answers from Tampa on

What I have seen is that not enough B vits cause sleep problems. I think that Standard Process has the best B- as they are whole food supplements. Best, k



answers from Ocala on

My oldest daughter has had the eleven o'clock scream for as long as I can remember. Same time every night, never waking up, just scream for about 10 seconds and continue sleeping. I have also caught her sleep walking, same time of night, once right out the front door, luckily I was sitting in the living room and when she didn't respond when I asked where she was going I followed her. She is 10 1/2 years old now, and it seems to have progressed into just sleep talking. Still at eleven o'clock everynight. I have gone in and tried to talk with her, sometimes awakened her to ask what was wrong, and have never been able to get any answer out of her, I really believe she does not remember. Weird... I am sure she gets it from me. Several times over the years I have woken my boyfriend up yelling at him to get our younger daughter off the roof, or the cat off the ceiling fan... not every night though, maybe she will outgrow out if it...


answers from Norfolk on

As adults when we dream a process happens that temporarily paralyzes us. This keeps us from acting out what happens in the dreams. This process is not complete in children. You more often get children who walk and talk as they dream, and they usually grow out of it. It's perfectly normal. You might begin teaching her a little about directed dreaming. If she's familiar with changing channels on the TV, then you can tell her if she has a dream she doesn't like, she can change the channel on the dream to a better program. Waking her a little just before she reaches that stage of sleep might reset her sleep cycle.
I never out grew the talking in my sleep. When I was in chorus in school, my Mom sometimes use to hear me singing in my sleep. Now my husband occasionally has conversations with me at night that I have no memory of in the morning. Last time I apparently I pointed to the window and said 'The seals are coming. They're following the wire.'. It's nothing to worry about.



answers from Tampa on

Sounds like Night Terrors. Nothing you can do about it really. Read up on it on the internet so you are aware of what is going on. I can't believe your pediatrician didn't mention that this is probably what it is!


answers from San Francisco on

I know this may sound crazy and you may not do it however, I feel that she is living a past life. When she is sound asleep say to her "Your in a new life now and nothing will ever hurt you again, I promise" do this for one wk. she can hear you even though you think she can't and if possible let me know. My daughter did it and it worked. Apparently children remember their past lives up to about 5-6 and then it is forgotten.
The time zone that this may happen is between 1 and 4 during sleep.
Good luck!! I didn't believe it either until I seen it with my grandaughter.



answers from Miami on

My 3 1/2 year old daughter talks and screams in her sleep all the time; she's been doing this for probably the last year or so. I have not noticed whether or not it occurs at the same time each night - I have no explanation for that. I actually think it's quite funny to listen to her because she has actual conversations. Sometimes I feel like she's replaying events that occurred during the day - she's almost always yelling "No, Emma!" (her sister). It occurs so often now that I don't bother getting out of bed anymore because I can tell now when she's just dreaming.

Last night, she was talking a lot in her sleep and at one point I heard her say "No, you poopy-head!" and I just laughed (even though I hate that "poopy-head" seems to be her and her sister's new favorite word).



answers from Tampa on

hi! well i am a mom to a three year old son. my son have some similarities to what your daughter does. my son DOES have "gerd" (which is acid reflux disease.) + other problems as well. i would think though, that as her mom, you would know the differences in your daughter of a bad dream verses some sort of problem. i would ask her pediatrician to give you a script to see a pediatricG-I dr. if it is a problem with acid reflux/ (or any g-i issue) the specialist will find it. good luck mom!



answers from Miami on

Night terrors. She is the perfect age. Developmentally appropriate and it has nothing to do with parenting or her life in general. Every child has them at some point. Other than that you can take her off all dairy for 3 weeks and see if that helps.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Well, she probably has the same bedtime every night right? So her sleeping cycles are close to being the same every night too. My daughter talks in her sleep, sometimes calling or yelling out to me or someone else. It's just "talking in their sleep" and I've never given it a second thought. People talk and yell in their sleep all the time, nothing unusal about it.

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