Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Any suggestions please?

Good evening,Iam not sure if there is anyone up still but I need some advice.My 5 year old son keeps waking up crying and very distressed and I don't know why as he won't tell me what the matter is.He sleeps in my bed so it wakes me up and he has done it several times already since going to sleep.The first time he got up and wasn't with it and kept walking around crying and was distressed about something but couldn't tell me what.Ive heard of night terrors with kids,could this be one of them and what are they?Its very upsetting as I don't know what to do,I even gave him calpol as I thought his face or teeth might be hurting as he kept holding his face.Has anyone got Any ideas?xxx

12 Replies

Hi Haribo

My little grandson had one of these whilst staying over and my own way was to tell him he was safe and nice and warm and having a nice cuddle, and all the gentle things like stroking his hair and patting his back. He did settle after a while. It may have been a one off but worth trying.

My daughter in law asks him what is the matter but he doesn't seem to be able to tell her so it may be a nightmare or something similar that he can't break through. I didn't ask, just comforted.

My daughter in law, probably hates me now!!!!


very often, although they may seem awake, they are still asleep and just words of comfort and escorting back to bed are enough. patting lightly and getting lighter to finally just laying your hand on the back can lull them back to sleep. they aren't generally aware of doing it, but most likely they were only lightly asleep.

hope that helps.


Yes in deed night terrors car very scary for both the parent and the child. As Sandra says even though they can seen awake often they are asleep still, so calm gentle movements and reassuring calming words when you have managed to get them in bed gently rub their backs put a night light on dont worry to much about the content of his dreams you may never know. Try to give him a soft gentle place to sleep.

He will grow out of it be assured :) xxgins


It's probably the subconscious dealing with all the new scary things happening in his life. School, friendships, arguments etc. they come to the surface in the dead of night in dreams. Just gentle reassurance, make him feel ultra safe and secure. These will pass. How is he during the day?


Please don't worry. My daughter had night terrors when she was little but they went as suddenly as they came. The key is to put on an oscar worthy performance of being completely calm and un-worried. Your little boy is likely to still be half asleep and, like a sleep walker, won't remember when he wakes. Gentle hushed reassurance that it's just a bad dream and that he's safe and warm and a tucking back into bed with a kiss and stroking his head helps reinforce that it's nothing concerning. With both mine I used a bit of guided visualisation when they had trouble getting to sleep - getting them to close their eyes and think of a calm and happy place and describe it in detail to me. Then I get them to lie quietly and tell them to concentrate on and sense each of the features. This usually had the effect of getting them to relax and forget whatever was stopping them from sleeping. It was really useful when my daughter had her terrors as I could remind her of the safe place she'd imagined previously and help her calm down. Hope this helps the both of you get through this distressing phase x


Thank you to everyone who replied back to my message.When I asked my son about it this morning he said the roof of his mouth is hurting so maybe it was that but he doesn't seem to remember waking up last night.He is fine during the day.He has had what you all describe before and now I know what it is as it was distressing to watch when he seemed frightened and awake and didn't recognise me and kept saying he wanted mummy even though I would keep saying mummy is here.He has had them quite a few times.Iam really shattered now and feel like I haven't slept at all so it's going to be a bed day I think xxx


Hi Haribo.

My boy had night terrors for a few years, not every night, but 3 or 4 times a month. The doctors said he would grow out of it, which he did. Had it been more often I got the impression they may have done something, don't know what.

There was a programme which covered them some time ago. One of the things they did for a wee girl who had them every night was to get the parents to waken the girl up after she'd been asleep for about 50 Minutes as the terrors start practically an hour from when they fall asleep.

We timed our boy and it was literally after an hour of sleep that he kicked off.

They have absolutely no recollection of it and just need guiding back to bed if out and kept safe so they don't hurt themselves.

It's more scarey for the parent than the child.

Good luck and hugs for all of you.

Is xx


Thank you,it sure does sound as if that is what he has.Next time I shall see how long after he sleeps that it happens xxx


Might not be night terrors. Anything happened at school that's on his mind? X


Not that I know of crop but thanks anyhow xx


Hello Haribo.

Just about to say the same as many others that have replied. I could be Night Terrors, they are quite common and they grow out of them apparently but must be difficult for you at the time. Sending comforting vibes for little one and you too x

Here's the NHS advice for Night Terrors;

Hope this helps

Emma :)


Thanks Emma,I read that last night actually and it does sound like what he has xx


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