The night terrors are back, this time with a vengeance

A couple of months ago I wrote about how Emily was really struggling with night terrors. Unfortunately, we have come back to that stage. In the last week Emily has really struggled to sleep properly. Going down for her bedtime routine, has been a little tricky although eventually we get there in the end.

But for some reason, in the last week, Emily has not only been exceptionally clingy, sleeping beyond 2 am, means a horrible night terror happens, followed by an overwhelming fear there is a monster or someone is in her room, and then her need to stay awake, in fear something might happen, but needing me to be holding her or really close.

I know it’s a common thing. Most children at this age experience night terrors. I don’t believe it’s a full on nightmare. Some days Emily has a really bad night, where she’s not even aware of what’s happening in reality, sometimes she screams, sometimes she thrashes around, and other times she has no idea that I’m there in the room with her, comforting her. Some days she wakes up completely, other moments she is still fast asleep. All I do know is, I wish it didn’t happen that often. Currently it’s happening pretty much every night, more-so in the last week. And then it might not happen for months. But whatever the cause of it, I wish it didn’t cause her discomfort. And I wish I could do more to comfort her.

Night terrors are common in children between the ages of three and eight years old. Usually a child experiences night terrors may scream, shout and thrash around, sometimes in extreme panic, and sometimes even jump out of the bed. Between Sam and I, a history of bad sleeping only has ever affected one of us. When I was a youngster, I often slept walked. It was almost a common trait of my youth. I can’t tell you the reasons why I did it, but it all felt so dream like. Even to this day I remember certain things that I did in my dreams or in reality, but it’s been said there is a common link between night terrors in children with a family history of night terrors or sleepwalking behaviour.

A couple of weeks ago, Emily had a pretty high temperature. It often meant that she napped more and became more clingy. Other than sleeping a lot, she wanted reassurance that mummy and daddy were close by. I have noticed in the past, when her daily activities are reduced, getting ready for bed usually means it’s a sort of a game. Emily went back to nursery on Wednesday, hardly noticing when I left. For four hours she ran around like a nutter, inside the nursery and out in the garden, with her friends. It was refreshing to learn that she thoroughly enjoyed her morning. I believe all kids need it, but need to exhaust themselves through learning and play, whatever their age. And so I’m hoping, that by being back in nursery these few mornings a week, would make a difference to her sleeping patterns. I hope!

I really do hope the night terrors that Emily has been experiencing, is just another phase and that they will end soon. I hate it knowing that she thinks she’s alone, scared, worried. As always, before bedtime, when she’s tucked up in bed and after the night terror episode, I reassure her that mummy and daddy are not too far away. Being a light sleeper myself, something I’m sure a lot of mums can relate to since the birth of their children, if a pin dropped, I would hear it. If Emily so much as moves differently in her sleep, coughs, cries, laughs – I hear it all. And usually, I’m up before it even happens. I think that’s what they call a Mother’s instinct!

Even so, whether a phase or not, I hope it die down a little bit.

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