Night Terrors… What is working for us!

I have talked openly about Sophia’s battle with night terrors. We have been struggling with this for over two years, and at this point they have become worrisome. Night terrors are different than traditional nightmares or bad dreams. The child is not awake, and cannot be woken up during this state. Sophia cries, screams, thrashes, and kicks during her night terrors and we can not wake her no matter how hard we try. They tend to last several hours as well. This causes a restless night of sleep for the entire family.

We have started to document Sophia’s behavior and what triggers her terrors for the past year. I have noticed that when she is sick or has a traumatic experience we are certain it will not only be a long night, but an even longer week. Her terrors do not just last one night, they come in cycles of weeks. I started to do a lot of research on different scenarios of these terrors. I found a medical condition called PANS/ PANDAS. I was shocked when I started to read more about the condition and just how many symptoms Sophia had. This is for a completely different post, but if your child has had the Strep infection a lot in their little lifetime or the Flu multiple times, this is something to research. Sophia has had Strep very frequently since she was 9 months old and has contracted the Flu in multiple strands yearly since before she was 1. This is even with the Flu shot. This brings me to my next point and my current blog post.

Sophia’s night terrors started two weeks ago after she got her flu shot. I didn’t think much of the connection until I started to think back to last year and her reaction to the shot…. it was almost identical. Sophia has had the worst night terrors to date. She has been angry during the day and displaying the worst temper tantrums we have seen. The saddest part of all of this is she is so remorseful. She doesn’t want to feel this way and knows she has no control of her emotions. She is completely exhausted in the morning and throughout the day. We decided to see the Dr and sure enough she had the Strep infection again. We are on the road of testing and hopefully a diagnosis to get her feeling better. It is amazing to see the difference in our daughter with just a few doses of an antibiotic. I am amazed.

The one thing that has made a world of difference in her sleep has been a 1mg dosage of melatonin. We found an all natural children’s brand. We give it to her about 30 minutes before bed. Now this is not an endorsement at all. In fact I am not even going to tell you the brand that I am using, just tell you what it is doing for our family. The very first night Sophia tried it the night terrors were gone. She was slightly restless, but actually slept without any terror symptoms. The second night was even better. Tonight is night three and she fell asleep on the couch peaceful. I have found that the anxiety of bed time has faded away. I am so happy that I tried this for my little girl. I was never into something like this, but I have tried everything else we could for these night terrors. The waking her up …essential oils… everything… and nothing has worked! This has honestly been amazing for her. I could not wait to share these findings with you! I will write another blog about PANS/ PANDAS soon!

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