Nightmares gone - update

cephMarch 6, 2009

Anybody remember when I posted about A__ having nightmares and night terrors?

They seem to be gone.

He hasn't had a screaming, sweating terrified episode at our place since before Christmas. I don't know about at BM's.

He's always had the odd "bad dream", and still has those once in awhile (he turns on his lamp and goes back to sleep). I expect he will continue to have those.

But no full on nightmares, night terrors or fakes in about two and a half months!!

I'm so happy!


My almost-10yo SS, A__, has had "bad dreams" all his life. He would wake up a little afraid, but know it was a dream and could usually go back to sleep without parental intervention.

But for about six months he'd been having full-on nightmares in the middle of the night, where he'd wake up terrified, drenched in sweat and YELL for us to come to him.

And for a few months, he'd also been having night terrors, ~30 minutes after he fell asleep. He'd be thrashing, screaming incoherently, but still asleep. Once one of us would get to him and hold him to calm him down, he'd go back to calm sleep without ever having woken up. if we woke him up, he'd disoriented, scared and his heart would be pounding out of his chest.

He also faked it. If he didn't feel like going to sleep, he'd call for us about 3 minutes after lights-out, claiming to have fallen asleep right away and have had a bad dream.

BM's side of the family lets him watch and play terribly inappropriate "entertainment".

He's had some major changed in his life in the past year.

But I just wanted to give an update, and thought I should give the background for those who didn't know it.

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That is great news. None of mine have ever done that But I am sure it is hard on everyone.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:49PM
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Hi Ceph, I wasn't around back then but I am now! :-)

It's great to hear A_ is doing better. Do you have any idea what might have helped him?

My SD12 has bad dreams EVERY NIGHT. Not like she's screaming but she does wake us up with her moaning. She has it several times a night. We've talked to her counselor about it but she's just started counseling so it's still early days. SD12 does not remember her dreams or even that she has them. According to BM SD12 only has them at our house (of course) because she's never heard it at her place (of course not).

I wish I could help SD12 because I feel bad that she always goes to a bad place in her sleep. But I suppose she doesn't remember it herself, at least that is something.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:23PM
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I'm so glad! Maybe he feels a little calmer and more secure about his life in general, and this could contribute to better sleep? Just a thought.

How's married life? :-)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:35PM
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Some of the contributing factors:

Emotional Stress.
- BM got pregnant shortly before the night terrors started, and told A__ that he would be moving schools midyear to move in with her BF.
- We got engaged shortly before the nightmares became much more frequent.
- He was having some social trouble at school and with his obnoxious sh17 of a cousin (I can find something redeeming in EVERY kid, except A__'s cousin. He's a dreadful child)

Physical Stress.
- A__ began a pretty major growth spurt last fall. I think he's grown about 3" since August. I think he gets overtired when he's growing and often doesn't have a good sleep (I know that seems counterintuitive)
- During the summer his sleep schedule was all over the place, which I think was contributing to the nightmares.

We didn't really do anything to stop his nightmares and night terrors. We just tried to make sure that he was well-rested, relaxed and secure when he was with us and rode it out.
Oh, and I noticed that it helped a lot though if I went in and read with him for awhile before lights-out (we take turns reading aloud). He was much less likely to have a night terror, but only slightly less likely to have a nightmare.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 1:06AM
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Glad to hear A is doing better!

My DD had night terrors last summer and fall and we attributed it to change and stress. It was VERY hard on her when we did not see SS for almost 4 weeks last summer, when BM withheld custody. :( It was so sad, DD would write little notes to him and stick them in his bedroom. That was a factor, and then I was planning the wedding which was fun, but also very stressful! Then she started 1st grade and we were both surprised by the change in expectations from SK to 1st grade--a lot more homework, much more structured during the day, and her teacher this year is extremely strict to boot. (She is a GREAT teacher, and DD has adjusted really well, but she is just not the warmest person on earth, and was a big change from the grandmotherly SK teacher.)

There was just lots going on and she had night terrors from late July through September. Thankfully, not very many, maybe only 3 or 4 episodes, but they were so upsetting!

Anyway, I am really glad to hear that A is doing better. I think some of it can be genetic, as well. Some people are just more prone to vivid dreams than others. My grandfather is a sleepwalker and in his younger days, he actually woke up outside on the front lawn a few times!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:11AM
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I am glad SS sleeps better. it could mean that his life is more stable now. plus your household is probably quiet and structured ( i assume)

Both i and my brother suffered from nightmares. DD never had any. I always thought it is somehting to do wiht how the household runs. We grew up in a very tiny place wiht a lot of people there, everone was in everyone's face all the time, you always heard noise, either TV or music, or talking or people coming over. plus my parents argued a lot when we were little. even when they didn't argue, my dad is AAAA type personality. he is loud and always runs around. Plus we ate dinner often late and stayed up late. my parents are not very structured people, they are nice but they aren't into "eat at 6, in bed at 9 etc". they are very flexible that can be a good thing but not always...

Both i and X are quiet people, and run our separate households similarly, it is quiet, no one argues, eat at specific times, dinner early, and everyone goes to bed rather early. X does not even watch TV. I do watch TV but it is never anything too crazy plus I go to bed early. no overstimulations. I think that's why DD never had that problem. she always slept through the night and no bed dreams. So i do believe it is something to do wiht how household runs.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:30AM
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