Night Terrors

29 Jan

The house is quiet and still.  Both kids are sound asleep, I’m sound asleep, even the dog is snoring.  Then, out of nowhere I was startled awake by the most horrific bone chilling, blood curdling scream. Ladybugs arms and legs are thrashing around and the screaming keeps getting louder and louder.

There is absolutely nothing I can do to help my little girl.  Holding her makes it worse, and she’s not responding when I talk to her or sing lullabies.  All I can do is calmly reassure her that she is safe and mommy is here until the episode passes.

The first time this happened I jumped out of my bed so fast you’d think the house was on fire.  I ran into the nursery thinking my ladybug was hurt and was screaming from the pain, only to discover her eyes were closed and the screaming didn’t stop when I held her.  The first dozen times this happened I tried waking her, thinking that if I could get her to wake up everything would be better.  It wasn’t. Eventually she calmed down and drifted back to sleep.  I put her back in the crib, took a deep breath and tried to go back to sleep myself.  Less than two hours later the gut wrenching screaming and thrashing around started up again.

Aside from screaming, the worst part is feeling so helpless as a mom.  There is absolutely nothing I can do to help my daughter.  It’s like my baby girl is stuck in some twilight zone between being asleep and awake.

It never even dawned on me that it could be night terrors.  Truth be told until these past few months I really didn’t know the first thing about night terrors.  Night terrors are completely different form nightmares. Nightmares occur during REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) a person fully wakes up frightened and can usually remember every detail of the nightmare.  Night terrors happen in the NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep.  Children or adults will look frightened, scream, thrash their bodies around and their heart rates typically elevate all while still asleep.  Nothing can be done to help as the person having the night terror has no idea anyone is near them.

The only thing that gives me the slightest piece of mind during these night terrors is that Ladybug won’t remember any of it once it passes.

Unfortunately there is no western treatment that can fully help with night terrors, so I am trying alternative methods to stop if not alleviate the severity of them.  No more T.V. (even Tinker bell), I’ve hung a dream catcher from her I.V. pole, there is alpha wave music playing softly in the nursery, she gets a calming essential oil massage before bed, and I’m even placing crystals around her crib.  Some of you might think it’s completely bat s*!t crazy – but believe me if your child ends up being in the 6% that has night terrors and they occur up to 3 times a night lasting 15-45 mins each, you will do everything you can to help too.

If you have some other suggestions on what might help Ladybugs night terrors I am most certainly open to each and every suggestion. You can comment on this post or email me at littleladybughugs@gmail.com.

 

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One Response to “Night Terrors”

  1. Deb Newman January 29, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    I am so sorry Melissa, that must be horrible for you to watch. What about trying lavender scent around the bed since it helps them sleep. I dont blame you for trying anything, I would too, kudos to you for being willing to try anything. xo

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