There is a big difference between nightmares and night terrors. There is no cure for night terrors, but they do not cause psychological effects and they tend to go away as the child gets older. We have been dealing with them for 4 years. They come and go. Some weeks he will have several every night. Other times, they seem to disappear for weeks. I almost hate it when that happens because I get excited thinking they are gone for good. They always seem to come back. I am hoping he stops having them at some point. It really inhibits the amount of sleep a child gets. They wake up and don't feel rested. They are sluggish and irritable the day after a night with night terrors. It can be really debilitated to a family. So if your child wakes up screaming and yelling, ask them the next day whether they remember the episode. If they don't remember, they may have night terrors. The more you know about the disorder, the better you can respond.
Here's an article from CNN. I was really excited to see this article from a doctor in Evanston, IL. I was hoping she was a night terror expert and would have some new ideas on how to treat them. After reading the article, I think she has the same advice as the numerous other doctors we have talked to. Bummer!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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