Night Terrors

Has anyone ever heard of this condition in small children? Both of my boyfriend’s kids went through this. The oldest has pretty much grown out of it, but the youngest, who is nearly 6, still has these episodes pretty frequently. She starts crying and screaming in the night for no obvious reason, and it can go on for at least an hour. It really sounds like she is terrified, but what’s even crazier is that she isn’t really awake and has no memory of it later. No one knows what triggers it or why she can’t wake up and come out of it. My boyfriend and his ex can only sit with her and keep her safe, like preventingher from getting hurt if she sleep walks or thrashes around. They try talking to her in a soothing tone, but there’s nothing else they can do. It’s really horrible, not only for the child, but for everyone else in the whole house, because she’s so loud that there is no where anyone can go that is quiet, and there is nothing anyone can even do to help. I feel so sorry for my boyfriend and the girls’ mother. Just watching them deal with this, it’s impossible not to see how hard it is for them.

Has anyone else experienced this with children? If so, how did you deal with it? Was there anything that helped?

Published by Jessica Urquhart

First off, who am I? My name is Jessica Urquhart. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, which got its start in middle and highschool, when I'd write short stories for the amusement of my friends and classmates. Currently, I'm working on my first book, my one true love of a story I've been saying I would one day write. Well, that day has come. If you'd care to follow my musings on the adventures and hurdles of writing my first fantasy book, then please, read my blog.

10 thoughts on “Night Terrors

  1. Yes, have you heard of Esso petrol, ‘put a tiger in your tank’. I liked, the Tiger I like tigers My Mum worked at a petrol station, she got me a poster. My Dad put it up for me I got night terrors, but not just about that. Ones about the fear of. Not waking up, which I did, wake up, planes coming in through my window pinning me to my bed, which never happened.

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  2. My Dad slept on the floor by my bed, they left the light on. And said, the next morning asked, “has it come true?” I Replied, no “consider for this it could not happen, that you wake up, storms also did it so he sat by me we would count the thunder between flashes of lightening. I would write what scared me, they just stopped Dad read to me. We listened to pleasant music.

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    1. Thanks. That must have been really scary for you. I don’t know if my boyfriend’s daughter even knows why she’s having these episodes. In her case, she really is not aware of anyone trying to help her, or if she is, she is unresponsive. She just screams and cries at the top of her lungs and no one can get through to her. Plus, no one knows what triggers her, so it’s hard to predict. Like you with storms. At least your dad knew that was a trigger and could be prepared. With this girl, there’s no telling. It used to be nearly every night, from what I was told, but fortunately has gotten less frequent.

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  3. I get it and im 32. Not frequent but my wife has been woken up by me shouting out loud Fuuuuck you!… i think i had some nightmare about my dad. I saw him slowly dying due to cancer a few years ago. It still catches me. Id suggest the dad or mom need to find out what it is that has truamatized them. There might be something behind the terrors.

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  4. This is one the strangest conditions I’ve ever heard of. My younger sister used to speak in her sleep a little sometimes (it was always something arising from fear), but she would then usually wake herself up or be half awake. I think this has declined over the years. I wish this girl and her family the best.

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  5. I get them too and I’m 38. I read that with small children, you should wake them up 15 minutes after they have gone to sleep, keep them awake for 5 and let them sleep again. It’s because night terrors happen in the first half hour of sleep. That’s when it happens to me. It’s quite scary for an adult, let alone a small child but they say it goes away eventually and no medication is needed. A specialist though is the more suitable person to help, since they may be able to find what triggers it in each individual.

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    1. Hmm… Sometimes it happens earlier in the night, but often it’s a few hours after she goes to sleep. She did tell her father that when she sees the cigarette packages at the grocery store with all the morbid pictures on them, that it gives her nightmares, and at least once the night terrors and the cigarette nightmare happened in the same night. I keep telling him to take her to a specialist, but he has no faith in the medical field, which I can understand, but therapists are a little different. Some are worthless, but there are also some good ones out there.

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      1. From what I have read, there is no medication involved, just a specialist can posibbly help detect the root of it all. It’s really freaky waking up in panic. Hope it doesn’t last long and she manages to sleep peacefully

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