Night Terrors - Coppell,TX

Updated on March 27, 2009
N. asks from Coppell, TX
11 answers

My nearly 3 year old son has had 2 weeks of night terrors. He wakes up as many as 10 times per night, causing him to be cranky during the day..and to be honest, I'm cranky, too from waking up so much. For those who have dealt with night terrors- how long does it last? Any suggestions of what to do to help my little guy (and the rest of us) get a good night's sleep?

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S.

answers from Dallas on

N.,

One of my daughters experienced night terrors several times when she was a toddler and preschooler. We realized it happened on nights when she had not had a nap during the day, had been awake a long time, and had been very active during the day. For us, making sure she took a nap, didn't play too hard during the day, and making sure she went to bed earlier made all the difference. Good long - those are so scary and as you say, they mess up our sleep, too!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.B.

answers from Amarillo on

two weeks is a long time! I would recommend taking him to a sleep clinic We were poopooed with our daughter about this and told it was normal part of development when I finally took her anyway it turned out she wasn't breathing at night and the terrors were triggered by not breathing. The neurologist told me sleep disorders in children are increasingly common and anything beyond an occasional nightmare should be checked! That said if you are in fort woth dont go to Cooks cause my expierence with dr Hernandez their sleep doctor is that he is a royal jerk- he blew me off and my daughter was severe enough she is in danger of storkes...

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

My now 4 year old had night terrors. I kept a journal of everything she ate and did for several days. I looked for a pattern and it seemed that if she ate to much protein at night she had a night terror. I cut protein out at night and no more episodes. She did grow out of it because when we did start letting her have protein at night she didn't have any problems. Hope this helps and good luck to you!

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

My son had night terrors - he is now almost 17....frankly I do not remember how long they lasted but remember to be very careful with him when he is having them as he is not awake....I would just watch my son, speak softly to him until he quieted....he would never wake up....my best to you and know this too will pass.........

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

Is he on any medications? That is the side-effect of a few medications, like Singulair. If you are a believer, you should take authority over it in prayer.

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H.M.

answers from Abilene on

Hi,

My son had night terrors starting on a trip. (He wasn't in his crib/bed, but somewhere new. The night terrors were always worse on a trip.) I hate to tell you how long they lasted for us...over a year. However, I did FINALLY find something that worked well. According to Dr. Marc Weissbluth's book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, night terrors occur most often when a child is overtired. One of the methods he recommended was to put the child to sleep 30 minutes earlier than normal. This changes the sleep cycle which helps interrupt the night terror sequence. THIS SIMPLE STEP WORKED FOR US! It was a sacrifice of sorts to put him to bed so much earlier. There were events we had to come home from earlier than we would have wanted, nights when my husband worked late that he didn't get to play with my son, and people thought we were strange to be so rigid about his nap and bed times etc., but it was SO WORTH IT to get rid of those night terrors. I was a walking zombie for YEARS thanks to his night terrors that started and lasted all during my pregnancy with my daughter and then continued on during her newborn/baby stages. I would just get her down again and be asleep when he would wake me up with a night terror. It was brutal. I totally get why sleep deprivation is a tactic used during prisoner interrogations. Anyway, check the above mentioned book out of the library or Barnes and Noble, etc. Make sure it is at least the 3rd edition. Pages 378-379 specifically mention sleep terrors. (The earlier editions don't mention night terrors.) His book is pretty clinical, and he does advocate the "let them cry" approach more than I could handle, but he cured our night terrors. It is good reference material to have on hand. Dr. Weissbluth has been on Oprah and talked about the importance of children getting the amount of sleep they really need...a lot more than they often get.

Hope this helps!
Holly

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi N.,

I don't know much about night terrors but my girlfriend/partner Leigh knows tons. Feel free to call her at ###-###-####, she is more than willing to share what she knows.

Best of luck to you and your little one!

C. Roeschen
The Trintiy Group
Keller Williams
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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S.R.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi N.,

My son (now 10) suffered from night terrors for about a year when he 4 -5 years old. It was terrible for all of us, at first beause we didn't know what was going on, and then because we were all so tired. He would wake evryone in the house with his screaming, except himself, of course! We made sure not to wake him, we just put him on the end of our bed and spoke softly to him until he calmed down. After doing some research we realized that it was most likely caused by him being over tired. We worked hard to establish a gentle routine for bedtime, and stuck to it every night. We started putting him to bed about half an hour to an hour earlier every night. We did have to keep a close eye on him to judge his level of tiredness. After about 2 nights, it was all over! We couldn't believe it! It had been so bad, and then it was over in no time.

I really hope you have good luck with some of the suggestions people have given you. I promise it won't last forever!

S.

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

You've gotten a lot of responses, but thought I'd chime in too.
My almost 3 year has had night terrors since he was an infant. He wakes up crying/screaming. They usually last only a few minutes; however, i can't wake him up or snap out of it. You just have to let them run their course.
I noticed that he would get them if he missed a nap and was over-tired.
To reduce them, I make sure he gets a nap. If he skips it (especially on weekends!) I have him take an early nap and get to bed early! We will usually put in a movie and watch it in bed.

They are scary, I cry every time he has them!
God Bless!!

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

When one of my children played too hard and got too tired is when he had problems. Maybe you can have a nice relaxing bath time with him & (rubber duck) or some toy, and read a story and go to bed a little earlier, and leave a night light on maybe, and of course a nice nap would help, but if you work, you may not know how his naps go. Has he saw any TV programs that may of upset him that you don't know about, and he dreams about them? don't know if any of this will help, but thought I'd give the suggestions.

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

Has he started on any new medications or allergy medicine? Singulair and Zyrtec may cause them in some children.

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