{Night Terrors}

There is nothing I hate more than to wake up to Mason screaming, kicking and thrashing out. Even though he's had several of these episodes it never gets easier. It still scares the fire out of me. And my heart sinks a little more with each terror. I pray for the day we do not have to face these anymore.

What are night Terrors??

A night terror is a sleep disruption that seems similar to a nightmare, but with a far more dramatic presentation. Though night terrors can be alarming for parents who witness them, they're not usually cause for concern or a sign of a deeper medical issue.
During a typical night, sleep occurs in several stages. Each is associated with particular brain activity, and it's during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage that most dreaming occurs.

Night terrors happen during deep non-REM sleep. Unlike nightmares (which occur during REM sleep), a night terror is not technically a dream, but more like a sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another.
Night terrors usually occur about 2 or 3 hours after a child falls asleep, when sleep transitions from the deepest stage of non-REM sleep to lighter REM sleep, a stage where dreams occur. Usually this transition is a smooth one. But rarely, a child becomes agitated and frightened — and that fear reaction is a night terror.

During a night terror, a child might suddenly sit upright in bed and shout out or scream in distress. The child's breathing and heartbeat might be faster, he or she might sweat, thrash around, and act upset and scared. After a few minutes, or sometimes longer, a child simply calms down and returns to sleep.

Unlike nightmares, which kids often remember, kids won't have any memory of a night terror the next day because they were in deep sleep when it happened — and there are no mental images to recall. 

What Causes Night Terrors?


Night terrors are caused by over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during sleep. This may happen because the CNS (which regulates sleep and waking brain activity) is still maturing. Some kids may inherit a tendency for this over-arousal — about 80% who have night terrors have a family member who also experienced them or sleepwalking (a similar type of sleep disturbance).
Night terrors have been noted in kids who are:
  • overtired or ill, stressed, or fatigued
  • taking a new medication
  • sleeping in a new environment or away from home
Night terrors are relatively rare — they happen in only 3-6% of kids, while almost every child will have a nightmare occasionally. Night terrors usually occur between the ages of 4 and 12, but have been reported in kids as young as 18 months. They seem to be a little more common among boys.
A child might have a single night terror or several before they cease altogether. Most of the time, night terrors simply disappear on their own as the nervous system matures.


The facts about 7/13:

Bed @ 11:30 pm
Terror @ 2:50 am
Lasted 10ish minutes

We went to Chuck E Cheese on Saturday. I know without a doubt that is the reason for this particular night terror. Over-stimulation to the highest!! Dang you Chuck E Cheese!!!! Combine that with a late bedtime and bam!

In his night terrors he was saying things like, "I want a different prize" or "over here" or 'that one". 

What helps us?

Stay calm
Be patient
Talk as little as possible and when we do talk we talk with soft voice
Keep them safe - move anything out of the way that may hurt them as they thrash it out

We've only learned this after 2.5 years of him having them. Usually Mason gets these after a major transition, or every 3-6 months. This one was a little different for the fact that it happened almost 3.5 hours after he went to sleep. Usually they're like clockwork - 90 minutes after going to sleep. 

More of Mason's Night Terrors can be found here

Does your child have night terrors?
How do you cope with them? What helps you/your child?


  1. My daughter has them. We hold her and talk softly until they go away. Hers tend to last about 30 minutes

  2. I've never witnessed this but it sounds scary! I bet when it first happened you were terrified! I would be! Sounds like you've got it figured out how to handle it. I'd be a mess! My hubby keeps me sane! As I am sure yours does too!

  3. Oh Bless his sweet heart and yours too! I'm sure that makes for a long tired day the next day for all of you.

  4. So scary, AJ has had a couple & I don't know if its night terrors or him working on teeth all I know is it is different from a usual wake up. The only thing that helps us is to turn on his bedroom light then go into the living room and watch one of his shows.

  5. Poor baby! I have been praying that these will go away. Hugs sweet friend!


Thanks for the comments! Hope you are having an amazing day!!