: My 7
year old boy suffers from "night terrors". He suddenly wakes up
Shrieking and trembling
and if no one is there in the room then at times he wets the bed.
I have been to child specialists but the treatment they give makes
him very sleepy and I have observed that his performance at school
has suffered. My husband and I are extremely worried. Could you
please guide us correctly? Also if you can advice some homoeopathic
Ans. Night terrors
are sudden, dramatic interruptions during a child's sleep. During
a night terror a child looks frightened and may scream or thrash
violently. His pupils maybe wide, breathing and heartbeat maybe
very rapid. Often a child with night terrors does not respond when
his parents try to offer comfort. After about 5 to 10 minutes the
episode usually ends and the child falls asleep. When he wakes
up the next day he may not remember anything at all about this
About 1 to 5 % of
children suffer from night terrors especially boys between the
age of 5 to 7 years. Sometimes these terrors run in families and
are occasionally triggered by a fever. Although a few children
with night terrors have emotional problems most do not and their
terrors stop by the time they are teenagers. About one-third also
have problems with sleep walking.
WHAT TO LOOK
No one knows why
but most night terrors happen between midnight and 2 am. Suddenly
your sleeping child will scream or cry, move violently and look
very scared. He will seem confused and disoriented and may even
complaint of seeing things that are not there. Breathing is very
rapid and his heart will pound but no matter how hard you try to
console, he probably won't respond. Soon he will fall asleep again
without ever remembering the episode
Although your frightened
child may seem to be totally alert, he is really more asleep than
awake. Turn on the lights in the room and talk to him calmly. Touch
him gently and try to pacify him. If he is thrashing violently,
move him away from sharp objects and bed corners. If he is sleep
walking guide him back to bed but do not try to wake him up. For
the sake of safety, if your child has night terrors and sleeps
in a bunk bed, move him to the bottom bunk. To prevent midnight
accidents clear away the toys from the floor near your child's
bed and put appropriate coverings.
Most children outgrow
night terrors by the time they are teenagers but if you have any
concerns or questions ask your doctor. If your child is having
serious emotional problems at home or in school counseling or psychiatric
treatment can help.
There are a number
of homoeopathic medicines for helping and relieving night terror
syndrome. One of the most important remedy is STRAMMONIUM.
In this remedy the child becomes aggressive and violent, cannot
bear solitude and darkness, says he sees ghosts, hears voices.
They are extremely afraid even though they know they are not real.
These are children who always want the light on and the presence
of someone else in the room till they fall asleep.
Here the severity
of violence (like Strammomium) is not present instead the child
keeps picking on his bedclothes, plays with hands and reaches out
for things that do not exist.
This drug is useful
in children who get convulsions especially from fright. They have
a tendency to talk, cry out while still asleep. This child will
fear being alone. There is involuntary urination at night and from
hearing running water sound.
Hyoscyamus 30, 5
pills at bed time will help the child considerably.
Gelsemium is excellent
when the child goes to bed with "fear". Fear could be due to anything,
it could be of darkness, going to school next morning, sleeping
alone, fear of exams etc. Due to this fear the child may pass urine
or stool in bed or may wake up with fever. Constitutionally also
they are very nervous, fearful children. They wake up frightened
Gelsemium 30, 5
pills at bed time will help this child tremendously.
sees horrible apparitions and starts in his sleep. Dreams about
fatal accidents." Wakes up as if he had awful dreams. Child whines,
cries and stutters about everything. Constitutionally they are
very irritable, aggressive, impatient, peevish children who want
to be carried all the time for comfort.
Chamomilla 30, 5
pills at bed time will help the child.
The causticum child
is afraid at night, in the evening with fearful ideas. "Timorous
Always anticipating some dreadful event. Fear of death, fear that
something will happen to his family. Anxiety before falling asleep.
Causticum 30, 5
pills at bed time will soothe the child.