Night terrors: What to do if the child startles in the night screaming?

Post-stretching-seizures look dramatic, but usually harmless

Sleep problems in children are not uncommon and most parents are familiar with in one Form or another. Some sleep disorders seem to be quite terrifying, and the corresponding concern in the parents. These include the so-called night terrors, for example, seizures. Affected children Wake up screaming, and have a first wax, however, are not receptive, and often do not recognize their parents. After a few minutes the nightmare is over and the children are sleeping normally.

Although the symptoms of night terrors seizures (Pavor nocturnus) is quite dramatic, is the sleep disorder “is usually not a concern and goes on by itself”, the professional Association of child and youth doctors (BVKJ), in a recent communication. If this sleep continues for disorder no longer, or older children, however, a more detailed examination is required to psychiatric disorders or to rule out other causes.

Enigmatic forms of sleep disorders

The spectrum of sleep disorders includes some of the especially enigmatic complaint images, such as, for example, the REM sleep disorder where the Affected person in the sleep, screaming, and wildly beat. Also, the Pavor nocturnus is one of these mystery forms of sleep disorders, which occurs often together with the sleepwalking. “The night terrors of little children horror about one to two hours after falling Asleep, always in the first half of the night – to act in a panic and screaming, often make defensive hand movements and don’t seem to realize often the parents,“ said Dr. Monika Niehaus, a pediatrician and member of the panel of experts from the BVKJ. The next day, the children can remember the rule.

Night terrors-seizure-takes up to 15 minutes

From night terrors for around a third of small children are affected, according to the BVKJ, where at the age of about one and a half years, a highlight of this so-called “Arousal disorder”. The night attack lasts about five to fifteen minutes and the children were all the while really awake and receptive. Nevertheless, the parents should tell “softly and reassuringly to your child,” advises Dr. Monika Niehaus.

Prevention is needed

For the avoidance of night anxiety can contribute according to the indication of the BVKJ a good sleep hygiene with a stimulus-free environment, before going to bed. No television or no use of screens, such as Tablets belong to, for example, about an hour before bedtime. Also soft lighting and a regular Ritual, like a bedtime story before Sleep, the BVKJ, positive. Loud noises had to be avoided before bedtime and if the child wishes it could remain a weak night light turned on, said Dr. Niehaus.

In case of doubt, seek medical attention

If there is uncertainty as to whether a child suffers from night terrors, parents can show their child during a seizure with the cell phone films and a children and youth doctor, in order to enable a technical evaluation, the note of the BVKJ. Ideal the time of going to bed and the time of Pavor nocturnus collected will way. Where appropriate, further investigations may be required to rule out other causes of symptoms such as, for example, a latent epilepsy ruled out. (fp)