It’s the usual—your kid wakes up screaming and sweating. However, this is the third time in a row. Also, she hasn’t been responding to candies enthusiastically these days. Is it her bedroom? Should you buy those fluffy beds for kids luxury department stores sell these days?
In Australia, 30-40% of children and adolescents suffer from sleep disorders. Most of the school-aged children suffer night terrors which are different from nightmares. Children can remember nightmares, but they can’t recall night terrors in the morning. Almost all wake up and go on like nothing happened. How do you know when to seek a pediatrician?
Normal vs Worrisome
In figuring out when to worry, learning what normal sleep is might help. Normal sleep includes two cycles: the non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) and the lighter sleep stage (REM). In order for a child to have a good sleep, she must complete the two cycles without any disturbance.
As with night terrors—they happen when the child is stuck between the two cycles. Night terrors are what is usually described as the body already awake while the mind is still dreaming. We all go through night terrors. However, if it’s frequent and your child is experiencing recurrent headaches and loss of appetite, you must seek a pediatrician.
Pediatricians will assess your child for other possible disorders that cause the night terrors. Your doctor may ask for some previous medical history and a physical exam. Medication may be suggested by your doctor if your child’s night terrors are severe. Anti-depressants like Imipramine may be given to her. This is when the underlying causes are emotional stressors like school bullying, poor grades, or fear of an intimidating adult.
You can also do treating on your own. One common remedy is observing your child when a night terror is about to occur. You can list your observations in a journal and figure out a pattern or a certain amount of minutes during the night terror. When the night terror is about to happen, wake your child and keep her from falling asleep until the night terror stage is over. This might help reset her sleep cycle.
Night terrors don’t have an adequate medication to prevent recurring, but you can manage it. You can try doing these: