Tuesday, August 27, 2013

night terrors

our little guy Grayson is having night terrors this is night three of it taking place for hours.  It usually is just the first few hours that he is asleep, but last night it was ALL night long. 
I feel so sad for him.  He wakes up and cries, screams, runs around the house like he doesn't know where he is or who we are, and he is shaking all over.  
He never wants to go back to his room he always wants in our room... I don't want to make it a habit that every time this happens he gets to sleep with us.  But I don't want him to be scared of his room.  Last night I laid with him and held his hand until he fell back to sleep, but not even an hour later he was up again with night terrors.  So at this point it was midnight and I needed sleep so I just let him sleep in our bed.  
Any tips?  Will he out grow this?  What is the best method when he wakes up with these terrors?  Should I just hold him and let him do what he wants to do?  Do you think he is getting enough rest at night when this occurs?  Do you think he remembers in the morning? 
I asked the question on instagram last night after the second time of him waking up, but I thought I would share what is happening in our house and see if anyone has had similar stories or situation that they can offer advice to this tired mama.  
Thanks in advance...

Sweet boy holding his mama's hand

15 comments:

J. Johnson said...

My son had night terrors around this age. It turned out that he was experiencing reflux, and that was causing the terrors. We took him off anything that has citric acid in it (OJ, grapefruit, tomato sauce). That really helped, and his night terrors stopped.

Jayme said...

I personally don't have any advice as I haven't experienced this personally, but Ferber's book (Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem) does address this and I remember reading about it in his book. Might be worth checking out from the library.

So scary to be going through it!

Megan said...

Both of my boys go through these during growth spurts. It will happen a few nights in a row and then not again for months or even a year. Holding them tight until they fall asleep helps and mine never seem to remember what they were dreaming about. After they have one night of night terrors we usually give them Motrin before bed the next few nights and it does seem to help it not be as bad.

Basham said...

I have never commented before..but we went through this last night with our 25 month old. I am curious and in my significantly sleep deprived state I want to know what others have to say! I hope it passes soon for both of us!
Melissa

Betsy McK said...

My soon to be 9 yr. old still has occasional night terrors. The Dr. have always told us he would out grow it, but he still has not. He went almost 1 yr with no terrors and we thought oh good he finally out grew them, then they reared their ugly head again. It seems for our son when he is over tired, or been over stimulated all day then that's when they occur. Usually for Brayden when they happen, it's within a few hours of him going to bed and we are still up. If I hear him start screaming/crying out and I get to him quick enough(making a mad dash to his room), I can reassure him we are right there and sing Jesus Loves Me and he will go right back to sleep. Sometimes I don't make it and he has walked down 2 flights of stairs and is pouring in sweat and you can't wake him up, he just has to come out of it on his own. It is so sad and I worry if he has sleep overs if it will happen. He can't sleep on top bunk bed, because I'm afraid he will get hurt. Sorry you have to deal with this....

The Fowlers said...

Our now 5 year old started having them around the age of 2 and 1/2. He starts screaming and talking, and while his eyes are open, he is fully asleep and doesn't remember them the following morning. Usually he has one, about 2 hours after he goes to sleep. However, sometimes he has three and four a night. I've noticed that this happens when he is overly tired. If it is a "bad" episode, the only way to get him to calm down is to wake him up and then lay him back down in bed. Asking "What's wrong" doesn't help because he doesn't know what is going on. As of recently, I can usually just walk him to bed and tuck him in without an issue. But, like I said, it depends on the night.

kacole said...

My son started having night terrors just before his 3rd birthday. They were horrible! Some nights he would have up to 3. This went on every night for 6 weeks. During that time his behavior changed drastically. He was always so easy going and obedient and suddenly he was anxious and terrified about everything (mostly irrational things like that the toilets at the grocery store might flush loudly even though he didn't need to go to the bathroom- and so he would panic and throw a tantrum outside the store and not go in). We talked to his pediatrician and she had no answers but set up an appointment to meet with a behavioral therapist (the appt. was months out). In the meantime he caught a cold and we had to take him in to see the pediatrician at the night clinic, whom we had never seen before. The night terrors were brought to her attention because we stood at the scale for 20 mins as he screamed and threw a tantrum because he was afraid of stepping onto the scale (everything overwhelmed him)! She said that his drastic change in behavior was due to the lack of sleep caused by the terrors. Basically he was so exhausted that nothing was rational in his mind. She suggested we start giving him melatonin to break the cycle his brain had gotten into. I didn't believe that it would work, but I was DESPERATE! We tried it and within a week he was not having terrors every night (only sporadically) and his behavior was returning to "normal"! She said the trick was to trick his brain and help him relax. We used the melatonin for a few weeks then took him off of it and he was fine. He did have a brief sleep walking spell, which we were told was common for kids with night terrors. She also explained that terrors are caused by parts of the brain that are developing faster than other parts and causes some connections to be interrupted. They do grow out of it! Also, they supposedly don't remember them. I didn't realize that my son was actually still asleep during them (since his eyes were open and he would look at me when I spoke) until I sneezed one night during a terror and it startled him awake. It was so weird.
All that to say, you may ask your pedi about melatonin. It is natural and non-habit forming, but like I said we did not use it too long! Best of luck! It's an incredibly difficult and heart wrenching time!

Aimee said...

Hi Melissa, poor baby boy, and I'm sure it's not easy on you either. My nephew got these terribly when he was 3 years old. The dr. Told us it was common but suggested no dairy within three hours of going to bed. It did the trick and he has never had them again. Katie switched him to almond milk and he didn't even notice. I just thought I'd offer that up in case it helps. Good luck! Aimee

Jenny Marrs said...

oh my goodness, melissa! that's so heartbreaking. i don't have any advice or tips. please keep us posted. poor grayson {and momma}!!

Amity said...

My daughter has them too! They are supposed to grow out of them as they get older, and she does have fewer now at 4 then when she started getting them. Hers usually run about three nights in a row, so maybe tonight will be better. She tends to get them when she is overtired and off routine. I really hope tonight is better for you! Night terrors are awful!

Stephanie said...

I don't have any experience with this, but could he be too hot? My nephew had this issue, and they basically had to let him sleep in his underwear for it stop. Also, pray over him and his room.

Hope it gets better soon! I'll be praying for you guys!

Angie said...

My son Axle has had Night Terrors since he's been born. He just turned 3 and they have gotten less frequent but he still has them several times a week. He actually has his eyes open and he fixates but he isn't awake. You can wave your hands in front of him and he never even notices. As a mom, I know how scary it is. The one thing I've found with him is that if he doesn't nap or he's played really hard and is really exhausted when he goes to bed, he does it worse. I don't have an answer for you. I wish I did. Hang in there momma!

Cari said...

This is going to sound so bizzare, but google it, it's a real thing! My husband used to get them all of the time as a kid. He still gets them bad as an adult and it's scary for me to watch. One thing that he caught onto from the beginning is that if he has any kind of chocolate before bad it can bring them on or make them worse. No chocolate shakes, ice cream or chocolate milk for him. Anyway, just look it up, they can be food/caffeine related. Best of luck. Such a scary thing for a parent to watch and then to add no sleep is so hard!

Miranda Robertson said...

Abi used to wake up all of the time scared when Gwen was a baby. It was awful because she'd wake up the baby and everyone would be tired all the next day. What worked for us was, I would make up a little bed next to our bed (right next to it so we could hold hands) every night before I went to sleep. She'd wake up in the night and come crying and I'd let her sleep next to us where she could reach up and touch me. It kept her from getting used to being in our bed, but allowed the comfort of having mom and dad right there. She eventually grew out of it and sleeps just fine in her own bed now. Now of course we just let Gwen into our bed. Haha. She is youngest and now that I know they outgrow it I guess I just don't care that much because she is so snuggly. I really hope you are able to figure something out and get some sleep! It's just terrible running on so little like you are right now.

Maydelin said...

I don't have kids, but I was a nanny, and the boy who I used to babysit, he used to had it... they started when he had like 1,5 years old, and I think that ended at 5... he didn't have it every night, just when he was too tired before bed.. I knew it when he was going to have one, I could never calm during ones of the nightmares, just her mom could do it...

I think that you have to watch the night routine, maybe something is stimulated him, so he has the nightmares... and I can guarantee that he don't remember anything

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