Last night, Will awoke three times experiencing what we believe is a ‘night terror‘.
Basically, a night terror is when a child wakes up, after being asleep, screaming, crying and or hysterical and is completely inconsolable. Boys are more likely to experience them. Luckily, Will doesn’t scream but he cries and is inconsolable. Each time he awoke last night, we picked him up and rocked him in the rocking chair and it failed to comfort him. He continued to cry, squirm and display signs of distress. Normally, you just wait it out, 5-15 minutes and he becomes soothed and will quiet down and return to sleep.
Yesterday, and last night he complained numerous times of being tired, which is rare for him. And, the previously night, he had not slept well and yesterday he was home so did not nap. (he still naps at school but sadly refuses to nap at home). Being over-tired is believed to be a trigger for night terrors.
Will doesn’t experience Night Terrors very often, perhaps a few times a year now. (thank goodness) But, in 2010-2011, they would occur every month or so. Also, we’ve noticed they often take place when traveling (sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings) and this is mentioned in the linked article above.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is no treatment and these things generally peak at age 3.5 years and will simply occur less often until about age 9-12).
I really hope he takes a good nap at school today since he clearly didn’t sleep well last night.