Friday, May 3, 2013

Night Terrors

The other day on Instagram another Mum had written that she'd been having a horrible time with her little one having "Night Terrors" then suddenly something clicked in my head, night after night Alexis has been screaming the house down like she has been possessed, screaming until she is red in the face and crying like she has been horribly traumatised.

I had never heard of the 'night terrors' (Once thought to be devil possession, with exorcism as the "cure") so of course the first thing I did after settling her at 3am one morning was Google away. I found some amazing information and then it all came together in my head like a puzzle, when I would walk in to her room she would't notice I was there, even if she was looking straight at me, she was still asleep. 

I would pick up my distressed little girl and tell her "everything is all right now Mummy is here" and she would look at me as if she didn't know what I was fussing about, she had only just woken up, not knowing about the screaming.
I go back to bed after settling her and lay there for hours with a horrible feeling, wondering what could have made her so horribly upset. 

The behaviour is believed to be caused by electrical currents in the brain that arouse the child from deep sleep but not enough to fully wake her. It can go on for as little as five minutes or last up to 45 minutes depending on the child and the child will not have any recollection of their night time activity and will be bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. (Unlike her very worried Mumma).

In most instances there is a first-degree relative who suffers from sleep disturbances, this would be my sleep walking and talking husband, not a night goes by with out him having a conversation or two in his sleep and he walks about the house in a slumber, weekly.  

Most children seem to grow out of the night terrors the best thing to do is to do nothing at all, the worst thing a parent can do is to touch or wake the child. Such action will only make the child sleep deprived, which can make the sleep terrors even worse. 

So I'm not left with many options, I'm grateful Rory sleeps soundly in the cot next to her (I have no idea how) and Poppy also sleeps through the horrible noise in the room next door. I'm not looking forward to more nights of these terror attacks but I do feel relieved to have put a name to them and knowing that she wont remember them or isn't scared makes a huge difference. 

Is there a little one with the "Night Terrors" at your place?

Have you heard of them before?

Is you place alive at night with sleep walkers and talkers?


  1. We have thankfully missed all of this but I have quite a few friends whose children have suffered the terrors. I can only imagine how awful it must be! Hopefully your little one grows out if it soon xx

  2. We have experienced night terrors with my 2.5year old. They are just awful to watch. It is hard because a mothers instinct is to pick up your distressed child which I did each time before realising what was happening. Ruby hasn't had one for a few months now & hopefully doesn't again. It seemed to be an age or phase she went through?! Hopefully yours stop soon too :)

  3. I didn't know about night terrors either until little Mia screamed our house down for about 1/2hr one night about a month ago it was the worst thing ever I really don't wont to experience again we talked to her walked her sat her down, popped her back I. Cot and lots more but nothing worked until it seemed like she woke up.
    Very scary moment for this mummy and daddy :(


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