Hello!

My daughter started having night terrors when she was around 3. The doctor said she would just grow out of them. She is now 8 and while she doesn’t have them anymore, she consistently wakes up during the night and will have a nightmare about once a week that will cause her to become very upset. Has anyone else dealt with this? Did your child grow out of night terrors or is there something that can be done? Thanks


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  • My daughter will have one now on the odd occasion.


  • hopefully she does grow out of it. poor thing


  • While I can’t offer any solutions to this I can sympathize as a mother to a cronic night terror sufferer, my eldest (now 10 years old) suffered from night terrors from 2 years old, he was formerly diagnosed at 2 1/2 yo, I had to learn that no amount of intervention would help him and that I was more traumatized by it than he was (difference between night terrors and nightmares are they can’t remember the night terror and don’t respond during a night terror) as I said, my son is now 10, and while he doesn’t so much suffer from the terrors anymore he is a chronic sleepwalker, we have to lock the doors with the key at night so he can’t get out. So while they do grow out of the terrors sometimes they’re left with other sleep problems as a result, now I don’t know which I would rather more! the sleep walking or the night terrors lol


  • Listen to your daughter and get her to talk or draw what she remembers of her dream.Do not discount them as to her the fear is very real and frightening. If she can talk with you and be believed and even given solutions how to come out of dream. As a child I remember bad dreams and when I was really scared looked for a lounge in dream if I lay behind it I woke up! Hopefully she will grow out of them I did.But not being disbelieved or laughed at helps to reassure. Night light also good idea. Hope thishelps Jeannie bliss


  • Lots of wonderful advice from moms, do like MEEDEE idea about the journal though, it may take a while and be upsetting for some time but maybe you may find a constant thing that keeps popping up. Also love mom92463 “no more nightmare spray” very ingenious and lavender is so calming. Wishing you and your family all the very best of wishes and sweet dreams.


  • If your daughter has long hair, tie it back or plait it at night. My daughters’ night terrors stopped immediately when I did this. Good luck!


  • My daughter started having terrors at around 2 years old. She had them pretty consistently (about 2-3 times a week) for about 6 months and we haven’t had as many since then. She has only just turned 4 so I’m not sure about the long term situation, but I just sit with her and make sure she doesn’t hurt herself while she kicks and screams. I am a dreamer and can remember having a lot of very vivid dreams as a child, and I still do, so I am going to discuss this with my daughter as I believe she is a dreamer like me. I still have nightmares and they are recurring ones until I can sort out whatever the issue is when I’m awake. Try talking to your child about things that may be upsetting or worrying them as it may help them sort our the nightmare while they are asleep.


  • I had these as a child and I can still remember how i felt and it is very similar to panic attacks. I would get them when i was ill so during the winter months i had more. i remember the dream was like a big black spot coming down on me to crush me. My Mum just sat with me until i woke up and then calmed down. They showed me my reflection in a mirror once and apparently i went absolutely hysterical so i wouldn\’t recommend that!
    Now my little girl who is 3 has them and again they seem to be when she is ill or has had a very busy day. I just sit with her on her bed and cuddle her until she calms down and wakes up. It usually lasts only a few minutes but it feels like ages and she then has no idea about them. She also has no memory in the morning. Good luck.


  • My son, who is now 18 had night terrors for quite a few years. They started around 3 years old like your daughter. They were very upsetting for all the family and used to wake everyone. I noticed he would be extremely hot when he had one and so I always made sure that he wore lighter night clothing even in winter. I could never wake him before he had calmed down but I would go along with what he wanted and try to coax him to have a drink of water and when he seemed to be back with us then I could give him a big hug and take him back to bed. Sometimes all the lights in the house would be on and he would be looking for something but he could never tell me what it was. His terrors were slightly different to his brothers who only had them once or twice and he screamed a lot and was inconsolable, but that was it. She will grow out of it, but it just might take longer than the doctors said. Don’t worry, as long as you can remain calm and loving and just help them through all will be fine in the end.


  • My daughter started at 2 and is now 9 and is very similar to your daughter. I find avoiding late nights is helpful and ensuring a calm period before bed time. Not much else you can do unfortunately. Love & patience! Take care. X


  • My daughter is 10 and still has them occasionally. We have had a bad run of deaths in grandparents which seemed to set off some anxiety for her. She still wakes most nights, she seems to sleep better with some background dimmed lighting on and some kind of noise e.g. boring talk back radio. A lovely family friend concocted a ‘no more nightmare spray’, so easy to make up yourself from supermarket items. Purchase a pretty water spray bottle (we chose pink), fill it with 3/4 water, add a touch of glitter, a teaspoon of glycerine (to suspend the glitter) and some water soluble Lavender oil (to assist with sleep & relaxation). Since having this gorgeous smelling spray my daughters terror events have dramatically decreased. She knows it is there if she needs it and this has helped her to settle back to sleep. Good luck and may your daughter have sweet dreams from now on.


  • My daughter is 10 and still has them occasionally. We have had a bad run of deaths in grandparents which seemed to set off some anxiety for her. She still wakes most nights, she seems to sleep better with some background dimmed lighting on and some kind of noise e.g. boring talk back radio. We concocted a ‘no more nightmare spray’, so easy to make up yourself from supermarket items. Purchase a pretty water spray bottle (we chose pink), fill it with 3/4 water, add a touch of glitter, a teaspoon of glycerine (to suspend the glitter) and some water soluble Lavender oil (to assist with sleep & relaxation). Since having this gorgeous smelling spray my daughters terror events have dramatically decreased. She was so proud of it working she shows it to her friends. Good luck and may your daughter have sweet dreams from now on.


  • Are the nightmares about the same thing, or different? If you can find out then you can ask her what would make it better. When my daughter was young she went through the scared of monsters in the night stage, we solved it by making a big sign that said NO MONSTERS ALLOWED and putting it on the window of her bedroom – that solved it for us!


  • I know from my own experience a lot of it is due to what is going on in the daytime. If you can try and keep a very low,lit calm enviro memo at least a hour before bed with nothing it stimulate her it should calm her enough to not overthink whilst she is sleeping.


  • Mention this to your GP. My little one at about 4yo started waking, wanting to check I was all right, etc. She seemed fine during the day. The GP said it could be night terrors and referred her to a child psychologist. Three visits and the behaviour stopped. Another friend whose child also had trouble sleeping was referred to a hypnotist. That helped her child. Good luck.


  • More than likely she will grow out of them. A night light is helpful and make sure leading up to bed time that every thing is calm and relaxing. Give her a special toy that is like her own superhero who is looking after her while she sleeps. If she is a day care , keep an eye on stories, activities ect to make sure something isn’t frightening her there.


  • I have not dealt with this at all but I wonder if perhaps you should keep a notebook and write in it what she has to eat and what main things occurred that day and then you can perhaps start looking back on the 24 hours before these events. If you keep a note of all foods and drinks she has and then simply note things like “out until late..home at 7.30…in bed by 8.30″ or “quiet evening…watched tv, read a story, in bed by 8″….that sort of thing….perhaps you will discover that everytime she has chocolate topping on Ice cream she as nightmares or everytime she gets to bed late or its on nights that things are busy before bed.


  • Moniter her diet and see if anything she eats before bed etc makes any difference.


  • I would take notice as to what is happening during the day and before your little one goes to bed all so ask your little one what the bad dreams were about. Only time I have dealt with them was always related to a high temp or when they were sick. If it continues ask your doctor if they know of any reasons or what you could try to help prevent them. I do hope you can get it sorted as it hurts you as a parent to see your child distressed


  • I had nightmares as a child, and thankfully I grew out of them by the age of 10. Have you spoken to your daughter about what is upsetting her so much? Is she able to explain what it is in the nightmares that causes her such distress? It’s hard to address the problem if you don’t know what’s at the root of it. Some movies, books or stories can cause nightmares, and as strange as it may seem, some foods can also cause digestive upsets which can lead to sleep disturbances. I do hope that you find a treatment for it, or that she grows out of it, because it’s obviously distressing for you and her.


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