Night Terrors


If you or someone you know has night terrors, what are the symptoms? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: jan, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 04

Both my daughters have night terrors when they eat eggs and in the case of my eldest, dairy as well. I never saw the connection until a friend told me about her child no longer having them since she stopped eating dairy. My eldest's overall behavior also changed drastically when she no longer ate dairy and eggs. She used to have 45 minute tantrums that made her beyond reason at least once a day. They stopped a few days after we changed her diet and return whenever she has eaten things with dairy.

Comment from: Liana, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 29

My son has been suffering from night terrors for a while now. Only recently I could put a name to it as night terrors. He was doing well for a long time and then suddenly he started again recently and it’s happening every night. I am very concerned, and wonder if I should see a doctor. He is going to be 12. He suffers the same what another post mentioned about a kid. He sees invisible things, screams and keeps on running around the house. It lasts for about nearly 10 minutes.

Comment from: Mary, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

My daughter is 20 months old. She wakes up from night terrors one or two hours after putting her to bed. She cries, screams, and sits up on her bed or starts moving and kicking. The crying freaks me out because she does it with her eyes closed and she does not stop. I let her cry and kick until she goes back to sleep.

Comment from: H, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 04

I have just had my first 2 night terrors in years. I awoke or felt I was woken by something I sensed in my room. They are always the same mostly. I'm paralyzed and screaming and nothing is coming out. It is the most terrifying experience. I hope my girls don't get them. I'm an adult of 44 years and I never had them as a child; well, I had nightmares like most children do, but I'm dreading going to bed in the night now.

Comment from: Janice, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 13

My son started having night terrors in about 2nd grade, (shortly after school began). He would awake, get out of bed, start walking around, sometimes hitting the dresser, crying, looking scared to death, and walking nonstop around the room, saying 'oh my God, oh my God’ over and over. Talking out of his head, I wasn't able to understand most of what he said. He would always be sweating. I talked to his teacher and bus driver to see if there were any problems there (which there wasn't). We had never heard of night terrors, and after searching on Google, there was no doubt that was the problem. That was about 2 years ago, he's 9 years old now, and in the past 4 or 5 months they have really decreased a lot. He just had his 2nd one this week in a long time, but tomorrow is the 1st day back to school. I just hope he doesn't start having them often again.

Comment from: mom from ny, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 01

My son had night terrors. He is now 35 years old and he did outgrow them as the doctor said he would (approximately 13 years old). There was little knowledge back then about night terrors but I would put a cool wash cloth on his face to try to calm him and wake him up slowly. Also I would sprinkle popcorn on the bedroom floor so when he woke up in a panic the popcorn under his feet would wake him. As he got older he would only have them when his breathing was affected with a cold or when he had a fever. I hope this helps some little one because it is very frightening to them and their family.

Comment from: mandy, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 29

My daughter has night terrors she will usually start by walking around the house looks like she is looking for something or lost. Then if you say anything to her it sets off the crying spell and something different will usually hurt but she is not really hurt. This last time she said her teeth felt like they fell out. Her eyes look like they are floating that’s how I usually know because she is not awake. She also will see stuff that is not there or jerk her head back and close her eyes as if something just almost hit her. It is a very frightening ordeal but if I just follow her around to make sure she doesn’t get hurt and slowly direct her back to her room it takes about 30 minutes to get her back to her room and asleep.

Comment from: Pastor, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 17

My son has suffered from night terrors for two years or so, he will be six in a few weeks. His symptoms are classic night terrors with the exception of associated vomiting. This is one more horrible thing to have to deal with as a parent, but I'm thankful he is otherwise healthy.

Comment from: snewstime, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 03

My sixteen year old son has experienced night terrors since he was very young. We were told that he would probably outgrow them. He had a few years where they were very infrequent, but lately they are recurring about every month. He wakes up repeatedly screaming at the top of his lungs and doesn't stop until we get to him and hug him or rub his back to calm him down. He is sweating and his heart is beating quickly by the time we get to him. His body is usually very tense. After about a half an hour or so, with one parent lying next to him, he usually will fall back to sleep.


Why do we sleep? See Answer
Comment from: Caquista, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 03

I have always talked in my sleep for years. I used to have terrors when I was a child. I started counseling and bringing back all the repressed memories. I started having night terrors again. All I know is that I wake up every other hour or someone wakes me up because of screaming in the middle of the night. My doctor raised my dose to 700 mg of Seroquel. So, far I haven't had them again, but I’ve only had three nights of good sleep.

Comment from: Night terror, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 11

My son has had night terrors since he was about 15 months. He will be 5 next month! What helps my son is turning the lights on when he has these episodes and putting lit on a happy favorite cartoon on TV.

Comment from: Red1969, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 17

My daughter suffered from night terrors, and after keeping track of what she had before bed, I noticed a correlation between dairy products and her night terrors. At that point, I cut out all dairy products at least two hours before bedtime, and her night terrors almost entirely disappeared. I also told a friend whose son suffered from night terrors, and after cutting dairy out before bedtime, his son's night terrors were almost nonexistent. I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but it is worth a try.

Comment from: reyesfam, 7-12 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

My son is eight and we have been dealing with night terrors for about a year now. It seems to have started with a disagreement that we had with a neighbor. Once we moved away they seemed to have stopped. But they did not. It is terrifying to see him awake but not really. He gets to screaming and sweating and his heart is racing. There is nothing that I can do. He would run around the house yelling and screaming things. Then as fast as they come it was gone. They seem to come and go.

Comment from: mommapatrick, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 21

My child has night terrors. It’s awful. He wakes everyone in the house and there is no calming him down. I can’t find a way to comfort him and he will slap me and pull on me. I haven’t a clue as to what will spark these but it’s awful. I am going to go for medical attention and see what i can do. I don’t know how to make things better.

Comment from: carly, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 06

My daughter has been having night terrors for at least a year now (she is 6). She will have weeks or even months without them and then it seems she'll have them almost nightly for a few weeks. I think routine has something to do with it. When our routine changes, such as returning to school after the summer, she seems to have episodes. It is really scary. She will scream and cry and often yell for me. She sits up in bed and opens her eyes but is not awake. Some nights they last for only a few minutes - other nights they can go on for 30 minutes or more. She never remembers them. Occasionally wakes herself up. I usually just comfort her as best I can. I am just hoping she outgrows these soon.

Comment from: A French child, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 22

During WW2, I was a young child (4-8). I had frequent nightmares and night fears. Dreams of people cut into bits; afraid of pipe shapes (guns?), of propeller shapes. This must have been due to stories I heard, perhaps also to some extent to some more mysterious form of perception. Then, around 10, I had fears of fire at night, I almost thought I saw fires; I have no explanation for this. Later as an adult in Algeria, in conditions of immediate physical danger, all irrational fears of the dark disappeared for good!

Comment from: terri, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I suffer from Night Terrors, and am 26. I have always had this issue, but it gets worse if i've had a particularly stressful day, for example, a family upset or argument. Also, if I am not tired enough, I will also have them. Sometimes there is no cause for it, and I have different episodes in different places. My Husband comforts me and tells me to go back to sleep, which works, or if I wake myself up, I sit with the light on until the fear has gone. Outwardly, usually, I will sit up in my bed screaming, or rush to find a light switch, or sometimes, just be rooting around in a panic. For me, there is often a csue for this reaction: a person I can see in my room, rats, spiders, etc. Sometimes I don't remember, but if I wake myself up I do.

Comment from: jrprell, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 23

My son is dealing with night terrors right now. He is 3-1/2 years old and wakes up yelling for Mommy but does not recognize me when I go to him. He is sweaty and is thrashing around. He is breathing faster, kind of panting, and his pulse is racing. It is a very scary occurrence.


Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake See Slideshow
Comment from: andysmom3, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 30

My son is 3 1/2 he starts screaming and I can’t wake him up. He looks around like something is getting him. Sometimes he acts like he is hurt and nothing is there. I just grab him and hold him and sing sometimes that help. SOMETIMES but not all. It’s so scary when your child acts like that and you can’t do anything to help.

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