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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
For the past 2 nights, Jackson has been waking up with night terrors.
Now, I don't mean he was dreaming of a monster under his bed. That would be easier.
That would be called a nightmare.
From what I have found:
Children who have night terrors are usually described as 'bolting upright' with their eyes wide open, with a look of fear and panic, and letting out a 'blood curdling scream'. These kids will usually also be sweating, breathing fast and have a rapid heart rate (autonomic signs). And although it will seem like they are awake, during a night terror, children will appear confused, will not be consolable and won't recognize you.
The diagnosis of night terrors is usually made by the history of a child 'waking' early in the night screaming and being inconsolable. Night terrors are most often confused with nightmares, but unlike night terrors, a child having a nightmare is usually easily woken up and comforted.
The other worry for many parents is that these episodes are a type of seizure. Although different types of partial seizures, including temporal lobe and frontal lobe epilepsy, can appear similar to night terrors, they are usually brief (30 seconds to a few minutes) and are more common in older children and adults.
No treatment is usually necessary for routine night terrors. Since they are often triggered in children who are overtired, sticking to a good bedtime routine and making sure your child is getting enough rest can help to prevent them.
For children who get frequent night terrors, it might help to wake your child up before the time that he usually has a night terror. This is thought to interrupt or alter the sleep cycle and prevent night terrors from occuring (it also works for sleepwalking).
Rarely, sleep medications might be used for a short time if your child gets very frequent night terrors.
We have read of some other ways that people were able to eliminate these terrors.
1-Not having socks or footed pajamas on for bedtime. (We will try this tonight)
2-Waking him up 45 minutes after he falls asleep.
But, first, we are going to put him to bed even earlier this evening to see if this will allow him to get the rest he needs. He is an early riser who doesn't nap at school since it is kindergarden.
If any of you have tips on dealing with this, I would love to hear them!
As a sidenote: remarkably enough, Parker slept through this night terror. Told ya he sleeps like he was at a keg party. :-)