When I was young I suffered from nightmares. My parents put it down to an over active imagination. I remember at the time not being sure what that actually meant. Was it a bad thing? I had no idea. My dreams were always vivid back then, and I would often tell my Dad all about them in the morning when I jumped into my parents bed for early morning cuddles (and some of Dad's toast). I don't often recall my dreams now. I joke that it is because I sleep with one ear to the door, and so never sleep properly.
Olly has night terrors, as did Alfie before him. But Olly's are more severe. I've just come down from dealing with a particularly nasty one that lasted about fifteen minutes. Cuddles didn't work. A sip of water didn't work. Alfie didn't work. It is a horrible thing to witness. You can do nothing to alleviate their distress. And in fact you are advised not to, although that is easier said than done when your child is seemingly wide eyed with terror pointing at some unknown horror in the distance.
I think that Olly has a pretty good bed time routine. He doesn't always have a bath, because he's not keen. But from six until seven I do try to enforce quiet time. That means no Power Rangers or rampaging around the house with Alfie. It means changing into his pyjamas and settling down for a cuddle on the sofa. We used to catch some of the bedtime hour on CBeebies, but he is growing up and away from that now.
We climb the stairs, clean teeth (always a battle), use the loo and he hops into bed. I read him a couple of books, we kiss and cuddle goodnight and he snuggles down with Blue Bear. I turn out the light, and shut his door. He has always slept like this and hasn't got a problem with it. In fact he falls asleep very quickly, especially on nursery days. If he is going to have a night terror, it will usually be about an hour after he has gone to bed.
So I have been googling to see whether I can help alleviate or stop these blasted things. I should say that he has no memory of them in the morning, and it doesn't affect him the next day. While these terrors are going on, he isn't really awake. His eyes may be open, but he most definitely is not at home. It's me that gets upset. I worry about what could have happened, or what I have inadvertently exposed him to for him to be locked away in this scary place.
I think that I shall have a little chat to him tomorrow, and find out if anything is bothering him. I'm not sure how to go about it, but will give it a go. I am also wondering whether he gets too hot. Olly will happily strip to his bare bottom on the beach in December. Maybe a duvet is too much? Even if it is a children's one. Perhaps the trusty animal throw would be better. I could always tuck him into the duvet before I go to bed (I have a thing about my children being too cold).
Do or did any of your children have night terrors? How did you cope? What did you do to try and break the cycle? Should I wake him up, or should I enforce bath time as a way of calming him gently?