Your child awakens in a panicked state, screaming as if he is in
excruciating pain, you run in to his room to find him drenched in
sweat and that most disturbing "looking through you" as you
desperately try to rescue him from his trauma. He does not react.
What is going on! Well , you have just entered into Night Terror
world. Kerrin Edmonds Family
Certified Child Sleep Consultant and Founder of Meet
You in Dreamland shares
some helpful facts to better understand what night terrors are, who
might be destined to get them and what can you do about it.
Fact 1: When Do They Occur:
Usually a couple hours after falling asleep when our children's
bodies are making their way out of a deep stage of sleep. The body
is basically stuck for a short time, exhibiting characteristics of
both sleeping and waking.
Fact 2: Do Children Remember These Episodes?
Nope, they are in the same family as sleep talking and sleep walking
so even though your child appears to be awake he's actually
Fact 3: What Causes Night Terrors:
Well if it runs in your family then your child might also experience
them if the triggers that start them activate it.
Fact 4: What Are Some of the Triggers and How Do We Counteract?
Being over tired! This is most likely the case for children who have
them periodically. Usually by adjusting bedtime a bit earlier, even
by 30 minutes, can help keep the body in a well-rested state.
Sickness and medication can also cause night terrors. It is very
common for episodes to occur when children are running a fever.
Usually once the sickness passes the episodes do as well.
Upsets in the normal schedule is another reason for night terrors.
It is quite common to have episodes when the normal schedule has
been changed or big events are happening such as; school starting, a
birthday, the holidays, family hardships, vacation, and even having
company or family visit. Making the bedtime earlier can help keep
these terrors at bay.
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Fact 5: When It's Happening What Do We Do?
The best plan of action is to do as little as possible and let
that terror ride itself out. Stay close by to make sure that
your child is safe and can't hurt himself. Remember he's asleep
and completely unaware. Waking him could actually frighten him
and trigger another terror.
Night terrors are farily common and most children grow out of
them before their pre-teen years. Knowing the triggers can help
you prepare for your child's next episode and being proactive
and making the appropriate changes to counter act them could
keep them at bay or minimize the duration. As always if you are
concerned about your child's night terrors or are unsure if they
are night terrors its best to discuss it with your
[Text received; FAMILY SLEEP
is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant from San Luis Obispo's North
County. Growing up with a Mom who owned and ran her own preschool,
as well as being the oldest of three kids, Kerrin has always been
around children from the start. But her passion for babies and more
particularly, for baby sleep issues, was born with her first baby.
After weeks of crying and sleepless nights, she felt there had to be
a better way……So she started her journey to a better sleep for her
whole family. She is a certified Child Sleep Consultant through The
Family Sleep Institute and Founder of Meet You In Dreamland, a baby
and child sleep consulting practice, workign with the whole family
to get everyone sleeping the way they deserve to. You can find out
more at her website at www.meetyouindreamland.com.