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sleepwalking + night terrors

Posted by motwo (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 18, 08 at 10:15

what is a parent to do when a child is having sleep walking and night terror issues. My daughter has had night terror issues since she was about 2. Then we could put up a gate and at least know she couldn't hurt herself in her room as she had the episode. It was better when we watched from the doorway she if we came near her she was thrash about and scream louder and hit and bite and do whatever she could to hurt us. Wheras when we watched from the doorway she would just cry. The episodes seemed to get further and further apart untill she was 4 and a half and then she scared the crap out of us (husband and i)good one cold winter morning at 3 am. She came down to have me do up her coat. she was in her pj's no boots just a coat on and very cleary not awake wanting to go outside, she was also chewing gum, which she had gotten into. that was in Feb of this year and there has been nothing since then till 3 nights ago. At her grandparents she was caught by her aunt going through her aunts room looking for socks to add to the pile she had started in thier spare room where she was staying for the night.And the the night after she was up twice at 12 am and at 2 am with night terrors. And then last night she got up and just ran through the house for no reason upstairs and downstairs and this was at 10:30 pm, and I was able to coach her into my bed with mewhere as soon as she hit the pillow she was out again. I have read online to be waking the child before the episodes so as to prevent them from happening. but hers are so random and at different times. and she goes months in between having night terror and the sleepwalking up intill now. it isn't like i can write down what day and what time and hopes she follows the patern like the online sites tell me to do.But hers are just so random at different times after she goes to sleep and again she sometimes goes months without having any issues. I am worried that if i take her to her dr there won't be anything he can do other then put her on a medication, which i would rather not do, because she is only 5. has anyone else had thier kids sleep walk or have night terros and what did you do and was there anything that helped with your kids?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

Yep....you worry, sleep with your door open,double lock all doors, put bells on everything and wait until he outgrows it.
Staying at the lake worried me the most. People said to just lock the door....but they didn't understant that he could un lock it and try to take the boat.
Linda C


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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

Oh, this brings back memories! When my daughter was little she began to suffer from terrible night terrors and if we tried to gently awaken or comfort her in any way, she screamed as though zombies were attacking her. After trying everything before her bedtime to avert the problem (no t.v. or food at least an hour prior to bedtime to give her mind and digestive system a chance to settle down), her doctor finally consulted a sleep specialist for us.

We were advised that children who suffer from night terrors and sleepwalking have become only partially aroused from an overly deep sleep cycle that they cannot disconnect from. He suggested putting her to bed with a radio (easy listening music at low volume) playing in her room. Apparently the brain adjusts enough to the sound of music/D.J. talking, to fall into a peaceful sleep, but provides just enough stimulus to prevent one from falling into that too deep sleep that precipitates a sleep terror episode. We tried it and it worked, after 2 years of chronic problems!

Today she is a healthy, happy 20 year old. The only drawback...to this day she keeps a clock radio on her nightstand on low volume, can't seem to fall asleep without it, lol. Don't know if it'll work for your DD, but it's worth a shot. Good luck.


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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

Wow, Pickyshopper, that's a good idea. I wish that I had tried that.

My DD is 21, now, and she had night terrors. Between the ages of about 6 to 9. It wasn't as bad as some,but enough to really scare us and leave us floundering about, not knowing what to do.

We figured out that if she got hot, whilst asleep, then she would have an nt. Even in winter, if she was under a doona, and really snug, if she overheated a little bit, then things would start.

At that time, she changed schools, moved house, and had to start new friendships..so who knows, that could have caused her a lot of stress. I think, she was also struggling with her place in the family, and had some issues with her younger brother.

Now... she is fine, sleeps a lot !

I think just riding out the terror, keeping her safe and she will grow out of it. Perhaps you could get her checked out by the doctor. The sock thing, is very curious.


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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

MY SON ALSO HAS NIGHT TERRORS. WE FOUND THAT IF WE ASK HIM TO GO POTTY AND MAKE HIM WALK TO THE BATHROOM AND PEE, IT AROUSES HIM ENOUGH FOR HIM TO CALM DOWN A LITTLE. WE ALSO PLAY OCEAN MUSIC FROM HIS CLOCK RADIO. IT PLAYS FOR AN HOUR. AFTER PEEING WE GET HIM BACK IN BED AND START THE MUSIC AGAIN. HE WILL STILL BE WIMPERING A LITTE BUT MUCH, MUCH LESS SEVERLY. HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL.


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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

Funny you who who talk about being gentle with a child experiencing tight terrors. My son who walked in his sleep also had night terrors as a toddler. When he would waken screaming it sometimes took 1/2 an hour to settle him down again. A friend who had a son who suffered the same way, told me to waken him thoroughly, so the dream state would stop. I would take him into the brightly lit bathroom wash his face with a wet wash cloth and give him a drink of cold water....by then he might still be sobbing but not terrified of something in a dream....and after taking him back to his room and soothing him for a few minutes he would quietly go back to sleep.
Now the sleep walking was something different....he would get out of bed and go into the kitchen to get something to eat....and only when you talked to him did you realize he was asleep. He would walk around the house snapping on lights...once I found him in the den sitting on the floor "reading" a book held upside down, once or twice he tried to go outside but we heard him trying to open the door.
It stopped about age 12...but he continued to talk in his sleep....scary when his voice was beginning to change and you would be awakened to "a man in the house!" LOL! His poor wife says she doesn't even hear him any more!
Linda C


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RE: sleepwalking + night terrors

Thanks for all your comments...it is nice to know others have/gone through the same thing and I am not alone. My daughter has had low music on in her room everynight since the terrors began, and I do find it does help.It is just so scary and worrysome when she does get up and do things while sleepwalking.My daughter has also complained about being too hot when falling asleep and even though I dress her in pj's, most nights recently, checking on her before I go to bed I find she has stripped down to nothing and crawled back into bed..lol... nothing really new has been happening in her life other then the talk of moving closer to her grandparents who she spends lots of time with, after the school year is over. we have all been talking about how much better it would be when we are closer cause then her and grandma can go out shopping more and both my kids can have more sleep overs , which they both love more often. to me that sounds exciting, but maybe thats what sparked the issues again. The fear of leaving what she has like her school and friends behind.


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