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Can Night Terrors be caused by a death in the family?

My daughter just recently lost her grandma. She also had to switch daycare's because of this. I am thinking that this is causing her night terrors that she has been having for about a week now. Does anyone know how long I might have to deal with this, I need some sleep.

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Asked by BrierLisa at 4:44 PM on Jun. 18, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Usually it's caused by something scary they saw. My dd used to get them everytime something startled her or she saw something scary. I'm sorry about your loss, but I think it could be something else giving her night terrors.

    Answer by GinNTonic at 4:48 PM on Jun. 18, 2010

  • it depends on how close she was to her grandma.....but that young it most likely is something she is tv or movie or little girl used to love the movie Iron Giant....then all of a sudden she started having night terrors...after a few incidents i got her to tell me she said the robot was trying to get no more iron giant for a long time. and it was and animated movie really cute and to an adult not scary....she had been watching it for months before she got her first nightmare....try asking her about it see what she says.....however if she was close to her grandma it is unlikely but possible...i am 26 and lost my dad this winter. and i coulndt sleep for a few months because every time i shut my eyes i would see him in the hospital all over again. SO would have to wake me up because i would literally cry in my sleep. if it does that to an adult imagine what it is like on a child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:02 PM on Jun. 18, 2010

  • It isn't just because of something they saw. Night terrors can happen to kids that have been over-stressed or over-tired. Major changes in routines or lifestyle can cause them too. Heck, some kids get them for no apparent reason. However, you obviously have some family issues going on that would be prime triggers.

    Talk to her or have her draw you pictures about how she feels. She what she is trying to process and then give her LOTS of comfort and reassurance. She needs to feel safe on the inside. :-)

    As for time, really... who knows. But, once your life settles down and she settles into a new routine... I bet you'll notice her calming down. Maybe she could rest with you for a few nights? That might make her feel special and secure. You can be there for each other.

    Good luck.

    Answer by HistoryMamaX3 at 8:47 PM on Jun. 18, 2010

  • Thank you for all of the answers so far. The new daycare she is going to is also the one I work at, so everybody knows what is going on. She is in the room next to mine and she sees me at some times during the day. I have tried sleeping in the same bed as her on trips and she is a bed piggy. I think I would get less sleep that way. I like the idea about talking to her about them. The first time she had them they were about Swiper the Fox on Dora so we stopped watching Dora for a couple of days and those stopped. I don't think she has watched anything scary lately, but maybe she knows. I will have to see.

    Answer by BrierLisa at 9:16 PM on Jun. 18, 2010

  • It could also be that it is traumatic to go through a death. Sometimes it is just the reassurance that things will be fine. Maybe get her a special doll or something to remember her grandma by to sleep with and make it so she understands. good luck.

    Answer by carmadsmom at 11:20 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

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