I don’t know how many of you out there have experienced night terrors, either as someone who’s had them, or as a parent. I’ve been on both ends – and they suck for everyone involved. For those of you who don’t know – night terrors are nightmares where you can’t shake the fear even after waking up. I had them for years as a kid, and sporadically as an adult.
Well, it seems that Dru has them as well. He’s been having issues sleeping since late May/early June. In contrast to his former sleep patterns of 10-12 hours straight at night with the occasional nap, he started only sleeping 7 hours at night and skipping naps altogether. He was exhausted, I was exhausted, but he was terrified of sleeping. After a couple of weeks, we finally managed to find a routine that made bedtime not a war. At first it took him almost an hour to fall asleep, even with the new routine (we’d read his story, say his magic anti-monster words, then Kris or I – usually me – would sit in the chair in his room reading by a booklight so he could see that we were there). Then he was still waking up 1 or 2 times a night. The night after HamJam he actually slept all the way through the night, and the same with the night after. Kris and I were doing little happy dances over that. Then they started again. And they seem to have gotten bad again.
We’ve scoured the programs he watches, the games he plays and the stories he reads. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of any of them, so we’re really struggling to determine what it is that’s causing the terrors. And of course, he’s so scared that he can’t express the problem.
Last night, he was apparently quiet about the whole process though, because I woke up at 6am and almost did a happy dance, because he hadn’t woken us up. The first thought that went through my head was “WOOT! No terrors!” But alas, he had just ninja’d himself into our bed at some time during the night and fallen back asleep in between us on the bed.
I feel so bad for him, I just wish I knew how to fix it. Because how can you not want to fix everything for this face?