Hey everyone. With this post I wanted to get onto the subject of Night Terrors. No not the little furry monsters that come and nibble your feet in the night, or your partner after a skinful on a night out.
Night Terrors as in Nightmares which go that little bit extra to attempt to scare the crap out of you. What I want to cover is more in children than us adults.
Going back 5 years or so.
Five or so years ago is when me and the mrs had our first experiences with Night Terrors. Mainly with Mouse. Pig and Titch we have had similar with but these were more nightmares compared to how Mouse used to be.
It would on Occasion be like a scene from an exorcism scene from a horror/thriller movie. The image of your daughter sat upright in her bed, blood curdling screams that would awake the neighbours 5 doors down the street. Hair soaked and head to toe drenched in sweat. Looking through you like you weren’t even there. Unresponsive when you ask her questions. To which once the moment passed or the next morning she would have literally no recollection of what had happened that following night.
Here’s a bit of info about night terrors.
Night Terror’s are most common in children aged between 3 and 8 years old. Episodes of Night Terrors may continue upto 7 minutes maybe even upto 15 minutes long.
Night Terror’s aren’t very pleasant to watch, as you may see your child Scream, Shout and Thrash around in extreme panic.
This snippet has been taken from the NHS website regarding Night terrors and Nightmares.
The best thing to do if your child is having an episode of night terrors is to stay calm and wait until they calm down.
Don’t intervene or interact with them, unless they’re not safe. Night terrors can be frightening to witness, but they don’t harm your child.
You shouldn’t attempt to wake your child when they’re having an episode. They may not recognise you and may become more agitated if you try to comfort them.Quote taken from the NHS website regarding Night Terrors and Nightmares.
One thing we found was a trigger with Mouse.
Mouse seemed to suffer most with Night Terrors between the age of 3yrs and 5yrs. A few factors can cause more frequent nightmares or Night terrors. One big thing we found with Mouse was her Diet.
With her Diet is was more what she ate from an hour to 2 hours before Bedtime.
Chocolate. – Like any young child, even adult. Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate before bed? Exactly. We found Night Terrors would occur more frequently especially on the night’s that mouse would have Chocolate before bed.
Another one was Cheese. I always thought this was an old wive’s tale of if you ate cheese before bed it would give you nightmares. In mouse’s case this was true. On occasion the Cheese induced Night Terrors would be the worst we had experienced with her.
What advice would I give you regarding this parenting challenge.
Best thing to do is try and softly comfort your child with your voice until they calm themselves down. Remember they are not awake, they are still asleep. Try not to panic, it can be a very disturbing and stressful sight to see.
One other thing that may work is an adjustment to your child’s bedtime routine. Something a bit more calming, maybe add in an extra bath before bedtimes, just to help them relax. Maybe a story, or an extra story if you already have this within your normal bedtime regime.
I hope you find this post useful and good luck. I know what you may be feeling going through this situation with your child.
Interested in other Parenting Posts, check out some of my other posts below.