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5 Y.O. Son Started Having Sleep Terrors Running From His Room to the Living Room In Sleep

by Krystal
(San Antonio, Texas)

About a month ago (July 2011) my son had woken up crying his head off and rubbing his knees repeatedly... After about 5 min. of me being in tears in fear of what was going on with my baby and ready to run to the ER... he finally was able to say his knees hurt bad.. and so i gave him tylenol and rubbed his legs with lotion and he smiled hugging me..

So i figured my baby was growing up and going thru a growth spurt where ur joints hurts... Now what seems its been two weeks now my husband and i have heard my son crying/ screaming as i in fear of something running from his bed to the living room. The other night we opened our bedroom room door bc we heard him whimpering in fear almost like he was running for his life from the kitchen thru the living room back to his room (our bedroom door is to the left of his) it scared the crap out of us of what the heck he was running from!

I used to talk and walk in my sleep as a child but i never ran in fear of something! Tonight i so happened to be awake in the living room and i saw it all!!! I heard him whimpering getting up from his bed which i figured prob afraid he wasn't going to make it to the restroom in time but before i knew it i see him eyes wide open as in fear running towards the living room!!! Bc i was on the sofa and i saw his reaction i ran to him n held him tight then he put his head on me n closed his eyes!

Ive tried getting him to stay awake n talk to me but he says 'nothing happened.. Nothing scared him!" when i ask if he was running from something or if something scared him!! My bedroom is right next to his. Why doesn't he just go lay/ sneak in bed with us instead he runs in fear past our bed to the living room!! Why???

Comments for 5 Y.O. Son Started Having Sleep Terrors Running From His Room to the Living Room In Sleep

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Aug 22, 2011
Sense of direction
by: Hawkmoon

Behaviour of your son is a bit strange, but it's not abnormal. When running away, humans essentially have to options: to run towards safety or to run as far away from the danger. Avoiding your room might just be the case where he feels it is still too close to danger, and in his dream fright your son just can't recognize your room as safe haven. How is your bed oriented towards the door, are you lying closest to door or your husband? Safest option would be to catch your son every time he tries to run, but maybe switching places with your hubby could also help. Also, does your son sweat a lot when sleeping? I have a son aged 7 with similar problems, but noticed that having hot surroundings increases likelihood of frights, so i try to have him sleep lightly dressed and it helps.

Nov 12, 2011
my daughter who is 5. NEW
by: ash

My daughter who is 5 is also doing the same however she shouts she hates people and hates herself. This is really worrying. She gets all sweaty whilst having these terrors and can take up to 1 hour and a half to calm her down.
The first time she had these she was nearly three and sometimes has these four times a week of which i try to calm her down.
My daughter runs around the house hitting herself and hiding. Its not only our house she has these its also in my mothers and she shares a room with them.
I have also noticed my daughter has to use toilet this can be in middle of terror. Many of times i have held my daughter and tried to talk to her to calm her down however this does not work. Lately my daughter has been saying she has a bad stomach i think this could be to do with all the upset. please reply bk thanks ash

Jan 22, 2012
I Had the same when child NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi! Don't be afraid. I'm 23 now. I had night terror since 5 years old, to about 10. Trick thing is that I also have a bad case os SP (sleeping paralysis)with hallucination and stuff like that. My mother always tells me how scary my episodes were. I would woke up in the middle of the night, choking and screaming. She tried to wake me up but always failed. Sometimes I just sat on the bed and scream. Sometimes i ran randomly to the kitchen or living room. Mom used to splash water on my face, in front of the mirror... These usually helped. I had about 10 or 15 episodes per month.

The terror stopped. But the SP continued. I think they are associated cause the feeling i still experience is the same as when i was a child. Just the reaction of my body is different.
But don't be afraid. It must be terrifying to see your soon acting like this. But he would barely remember it, and eventually it will stop. I'd grown up to be a normal person, with no attention disorder, and a helthy body and mind.

Oct 11, 2013
I wish I wasn't replying to this so late... NEW
by: Anonymous

I just found this site tonight. Can't sleep. I wish that were funny.

PTSD from childhood/adolescent sexual, physical and psychological abuse caused my sleep terrors, nightmares, sleep walking, sleep talking, bruxism and insomnia. I'm nearly 40 now and can only sleep at night with medication (my "coma pills") and a beta-blocker that prevents nightmares/terrors. I have to wear a mouth guard to halt the damage I've already done to my teeth and jaw joints from constantly grinding my teeth. This is despite years of therapy, countless psych hospitalizations, suicide attempts, ongoing treatment with a psychiatrist, as well as other meds.

Please make sure that no one is hurting your son.

Dec 14, 2015
Similar! NEW
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 9 soon to be 10. She's been having episodes since she was 5. I was relieved when they stopped for about a year. She's now having anywhere from 1-3 a week, but she's now running through the house crying screaming shaking in fear she can't speak coherently. My kids don't watch anything scary. Her heart is racing and eyes are dilated almost to the point you cannot see her blue eyes. Last week it lasted about ten minutes. The running has me worried I don't want her hurt and she sleeps on the top bunk.

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