If you suspect your child is having night terrors, talking to your family doctor will definitely add clarity to your situation. But because you’re the one up late with your child, your doctor will be relying on you to gather information about just what’s going on. The good news is you’re not alone! 20-30% of American children experience night terrors. That means there’s plenty of help to be found.
We’re here to help you prepare for a doctor visit to discuss your child’s night terrors. Here’s everything you need to know.
Don’t worry! Your child’s exam won’t involve blood tests, x-rays, cat scans, or any other invasive, scary or expensive tests.
The good news is, these scans and tests aren’t necessary to determine whether or not your child is having night terrors. All it takes is your own observations and your doctor’s expertise. Keep track of each event so you can tell your doctor how frequently they’re occurring, and tell them if you’ve noticed any particular patterns. Learn about typical symptoms of night terrors and find out how other parents describe the experience. Here’s a helpful video that shows what night terrors can look like:
If your child is indeed having night terrors, then the examples in the video should ring true to your experience.
Know the signs of night terrors.
Night terrors are a far cry from nightmares or temper tantrums, though they’ve been mistaken for both. You can’t talk a child down from a night terror. Not only are they inconsolable, but they’re usually unresponsive, too.
Night terrors may involve extreme movements (kicking, flailing arms), extreme crying, and even sleepwalking or wetting the bed. If these occurrences have kept you up at night, chances are you’ve got night terrors on your hands.
Our Sleep Guardian can help you bring rich data to your doctor.
We created the Lully Sleep Guardian 2 to bring relief to families that lose sleep over night terrors. It uses automatic vibration to gently interrupt the sleep pattern that leads to night terrors, and turns itself off without waking your child. It’s been proven to stop 80% of night terrors, all while you get to sleep through the night.
While it’s cutting out night terrors, the Lully app is also collecting rich data about your child’s sleeping habits. You can mark your child’s progress on the smart dashboard and the app will automatically generate a heatmap that shows the diminishing of your child’s night terrors over time. When you check in with your doctor, you’ll be able to offer all the information they need to make an informed treatment plan.
What if my doctor suggests an overnight sleep study?
There are rare occasions where an overnight sleep study, (a.k.a. a polysomnogram) is recommended for children with night terrors. Sometimes this study is used to make sure nothing else is causing the night terrors, such as severe snoring or sleep apnea, which can only be proven with a sleep study. If your doctor recommends this route, he/she should explain the how’s and why’s so you can feel prepared and comfortable going forward. If you’re left with questions about these sleep studies, feel free to ask our experts by tweeting @lullysleep and we’ll be happy to help.
You’re in control.
You are your doctor’s eyes and ears when it comes to treating night terrors. The more information you have about your child’s sleep habits, the better. That’s why we designed the app to make monitoring and tracking your child’s night terrors as easy as possible.
If you’re looking for other proactive steps for reducing night terrors, we’re happy to help. You may find basic sleep tips handy, as well as more information on why the Lully Sleep Guardian is so effective.
Still have questions you want answered? Tweet us anytime at @lullysleep.