My daughter is the second of my children to experience night terrors and I know just how helpless you feel as you are trying to comfort a child through an episode. My eldest experienced them and eventually grew out of them, but with our daughter, I was hoping to prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you are looking for night terrors treatment to prevent night terrors from occurring without using medication, Lully may be an excellent choice.
According to Mayo Clinic, night terrors (otherwise known as sleep terrors) are episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep. Night terrors treatment can include identifying an underlying problem (like sleep apnea), improving sleep habits, addressing stress, or in rare cases – medication.
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How are Night Terrors Different from Nightmares?
When you have a nightmare, you can typically remember the details. This is true for children as well. When you have a night terror episode you remain asleep and do not remember anything about the night terrors in the morning.
Nightmares also usually occur in the last half of the night, while night terrors occur in the first half of the night.
During a night terror, a person might do any or all of the following:
- Scream, shout, kick, thrash, or become aggressive
- Sit up in bed
- Sweat, breathe heavily
- Be inconsolable
- Stare wide-eyed
- Get out of bed and run around
- Be hard to awaken, be confused if you are able to awaken
Examples of Night Terrors
Night Terrors are More Common Than You Think
According to Lully, The Sleep Guardian, night terrors are more common than you think.
It is estimated that sleep disorders like sleepwalking and night terrors affect 20-30% of young children. Night terrors also tend to run in families, so there may be similar experiences between siblings or between parents and their children. And, since night terrors are often underreported or mistaken for nightmares, the condition might be even more common than we think.
If you’re worried about your child having night terrors, learning the basics is a great first step to understanding the condition. And there’s still more you can do—from checking out treatment options and sleep tips, to how to deal with a night terror when it happens.
Night Terrors Treatment Options
As a parent who has been through this twice so far, my first instinct was to ease my child’s troubles by trying to wake them. But as anyone who has been through a sleep terror episode with a screaming and inconsolable child knows, there really isn’t much you can do once the terror has started. This is probably the most frustrating thing — feeling like there is nothing you can do to help.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to help combat sleep terrors from occurring in the first place.
Sleep Management and/or Scheduled Awakenings
Providing your child with consistent wake and bedtimes to promote a normal healthy sleep, creating a relaxing environment, limiting stimulating gadgets (TV, video games, etc.), and calming pre-bedtime routines are all things that can help give your child a better night’s sleep.
In addition to making sure the sleep environment and habits are relaxing and rest-promoting, scheduled awakenings may help. According to Lully, scheduled Awakenings have been used to prevent night terrors since 1988 and it’s proven to work.
How Do Scheduled Awakenings Work?
The gist of scheduled awakenings as a night terrors treatment is that you wake your child 15-30 minutes before their night terrors typically occur. This interrupts their sleep cycle so that the night terror never has a chance to get off and running. Starting back in 1988, clinical studies have shown that this method has a whopping 90% success rate of reducing night terrors (info provided by Lully).
Since this treatment can be tricky to get just right and requires you to be on top of your schedule, there is an easier method than trying to do the timing yourself.
The Lully Sleep Guardian, which uses a special algorithm to learn about your child’s sleep patterns and calculate awakening times, has been working for us for weeks now! It gently vibrates each night (emphasis on the gently) so that your child’s night terror is prevented but their sleep isn’t totally disturbed and you don’t have a wide-awake child in the middle of the night.
Simply place Lully under a mattress, download the app, and answer the questions when prompted.
It really is that simple. We don’t even have a boxspring and it still works for our bed. Here is a shot of how it is setup under our daughter’s bed.
Try Lully for Yourself!
Does your child suffer from sleep terrors?
Have you considered scheduled awakenings as a night terrors treatment option?
We’d love to hear your story – visit us on The Mommy Bunch Facebook page and let us know it goes, vent your frustrations, or just say hi to the rest of us mombies. 🙂
This post contains affiliate links, I will receive a small commission should you buy anything after clicking. Please see a doctor for any medical conditions as this post is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical issues and is purely informational in nature.