Night Terrors-Help in a Flash

12 Feb

Sound asleep (or up watching the Olympics-who can sleep with curling on?), you wake up to the earth-shaking, ear-piercing sounds of your child screaming down the hall!

The first night it scares you to death, and then it happens over and over again.  Who am I kidding? It scares you to death every time.

What is the difference from a  nightmare?

Night terrors-

  • Occur during non-REM sleep (no dreaming)
  • Child is unable to be consoled (no matter what)
  • Child goes back to sleep without awakening
  • No memory of what happened

Why is there no memory?

  • Children are in a deep sleep the whole time
  • There are no images to remember

What causes nigtht terrors?

  • New environments
  • New medications
  • Child is over-tired
  • You (or the other parent-family history)

What can you do?

  1. Wait it out (I know this is hard for all of you and particularly hard for some)
  2. Make sure they are safe (not falling off the bed, etc)
  3. Do no wake them up (are more confused/scared and harder to get back to sleep)

And finally, work on finding a way to get yourself back to sleep after that adrenaline rush.  (You can start by praying that it doesn’t happen again tonight.)

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One Response to “Night Terrors-Help in a Flash”

  1. Michelle Self February 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Thank you! You always seem to be a few days a head!

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