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7-Year-Old Daughter With Sleep Terrors Nightly

by Heidi

My son has periodic sleep terrors, but they are getting fewer and fewer and we have learned

to counteract them.

My daughter has had a few throughout the last year, but in December started having them
nightly. There are maybe 7 nights in the last two months that she did not wake up trembling
in fear, crying and breathing heavily. She gets up and walks around the house quickly as with
a purpose. She is impossible to get up in the morning.

Any suggestions?

Comments for 7-Year-Old Daughter With Sleep Terrors Nightly

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Jul 04, 2012
Same problem with 7yr old son NEW
by: Jessica

My 7 yr old son does the exact same thing! every night of the week he wakes up no matter what time or place he goes to sleep. having him sleep in his own room is very hard because of this. he awakens 1-3 times a night. its not so bad if he is in my bed. im a single mother of one with a king size. he doesn't snore but every night he wakes up usually screaming mommy while jolting up he gets up to run stand or jump around. he has been diagnosed with adhd takes adderall to help concentrate at school but recently its been harder to get him to sleep so doc wanted to try clonidine. (sp?) an old BP medication. since typing this he has sat up and spoke twice. this seems pretty deep..

Oct 20, 2014
A difficult road NEW
by: Anonymous

I hope your children grow out of their Sleep Terrors. Most do. Mine (at 13) has not. We've had two sleep studies. One indicated that perhaps a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy might help. (They noticed some apneas, but borderline.)

That helped decrease his frequency from 6 nights per week down to 1 or 2.

A second sleep study (after the t/a surgery healed) indicated that he had fairly dramatically bad sleep architecture. Only 1 to 2 % REM sleep per night vs I think 20% as per normal. They prescribed melatonin after the second.

Melatonin has helped a little to decrease the severity of the attacks but has had little affect on the frequency. Also, although he's no longer screaming, we believe his sleep walking/talking still stays high, so we don't think his quality of sleep has improved. We still see disruptions in his cognition and emotions after bad nights. Also, when he has a night terror night, we've decreased from a night terror night consisting of 4 episodes to 1 or 2 episodes.

We haven't had a 3rd study to see if that's due to some correction in his sleep architecture or the melatonin is having some other effect.

All of this is predicated, of course, on impeccable sleep hygiene. Regular bedtimes, no stimulating activities (computer, tv, etc) for at least an hour before bed, soothing baths/aromatherapy, etc. Easier said than done, but we do our absolute best.

There's no magic bullet. Many kids grow out of it. Some don't. Get a 504 plan from your school that allows your child to come to school late after a bad night so s/he can catch up on sleep. Sleep deprivation is cumulative and also seems to trigger further incidents. If you break the cycle by letting them sleep once they finally fall asleep, you'll decrease the frequency. I think that did more good than the t/a or the melatonin, but it's hard to say for sure.

Best wishes for sweet dreams,
Sleepy Dad

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