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My son is having terrible nighmares almost every night! Help!

My 5 year old DS has been having terrible nightmares almost every night for 4 months! Mostly about spiders and bugs. It takes about 30 minutes to convince him there are not spiders in his bed. Then, he is up for most of the remaining night looking for them. We have to bring him into our bed so we can steal a few minutes of sleep between the panic. I have tried 'scary spray' in his room before bed, 'bug spray' (all sprays are mixtures of water and febreeze), dream catchers, protective stuffed animals, of course talking to him.
Any other ideas? He is healthy and has not seen a scary movie or book about bugs or spiders. He was being bullied by a friend (threats to beat up) but I have taken away exposure to him.

PS - I'm sure it will be asked... We don't yell, hit, or other in our house. We treat each other with respect. We are not having any large issues within the family.


Asked by mnrsmom900 at 8:40 AM on Sep. 14, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • he could be having night terrors....they are a little different than your regular nightmare...the dreams are so realistic that the brain cannot differentiate between real and to the peds. there is ways to treat this...

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 8:42 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • Big duh!!! I am so glad you said that blueeyedgrl2377!!! My husband had them!
    Is there any way to treat them without filling him with meds?

    Answer by mnrsmom900 at 8:45 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • im not sure as far as that goes...where it involves how the brain is firing i hate to say he might need meds....but new medical research is out there all the time...explain your concerns with your ped and he might know of any new methods available...hypnosis could be one....but he might be too young for that right now.

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 8:47 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • You rock!!!
    On hold with the peds office now. Also e-mailing mom-in-law for background on hubbie!
    Sounds like you have experience... Can you tell me what you know?

    Answer by mnrsmom900 at 8:54 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • my ex stepfather was like this...he had such bad nightmares as a child...he was to the extreme that if he thought someone was chasing him he actually got out of bed and would try to run out of the house..and if anyone stopped him he thought it was someone attacking him...unfortunately with him since he is much older he never knew of treatments...i remember him telling me how he really wishes there were treatments back then...but i know he was on meds to help it when he was an adult...he outgrew the night terrors, but not the sleepwalking.

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 8:59 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • Thanks! Sounds like the what mom-in-law has told me. Must be genetic...

    Answer by mnrsmom900 at 9:06 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • just keep me updated bout your son! and gl!

    Answer by blueeyedgrl2377 at 9:08 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • What I was told with my son was to keep him on a schedule. The one the doc had me do was so structured it almost had in there when it was time for him to pee. So far it's worked. He's only had 3 of them in the past 6 months and now we're starting to be able to have wiggle room in his daily activities.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 6:53 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • I had night terrors as a child also 5-7 years of age... and have experienced sleep paralysis too off and on since 16 years of age Im now 29. I just figured out this last year what it was after experiencing it often for a few weeksin a row.... I did some research online and bingo!
    Mine was caused from lack of sleep and falling asleep to quickly

    My mother stopped my night terrors as a child by waking me up before I fell into that sleep pattern.
    I think if you google it you'll find lots of helpful info.... good luck!

    Answer by janeenee at 11:27 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • So, I wasn't thrilled with the antidepressant option offered by the ped. However, light music... DS likes Enya best... seems to jolt his sleep cycle just enough!
    2 nights, no nightmares!
    Fingers crossed!

    Answer by mnrsmom900 at 7:04 PM on Sep. 16, 2009