ailments

Night Terrors

By Janet Marshall

Advanced Diploma Naturopathy. Diploma Nutrition.

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A night terror is when a sleeping child suddenly displays agitated or distressed behaviour, usually in the form of screaming. While she may look awake, the child is still asleep. For this reason, she is very unlikely to recall the episode after it happens. According to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, night terrors occur in approximately five out of every 100 children. Though distressing to witness, night terrors are not a sign of emotional or psychological problems. Night terrors do not cause any long-term harm to your child, and most children grow out of them. There is no known cause for night terrors. They are more common in families with a history of sleep disorders such as sleepwalking. They occur more frequently when children are overtired. See Sleep Problems.

Remedies

Aromatherapy

Use aromatherapy for creating a calming environment. A sache of Chamomile leaves, Lemon balm or Lavender can be placed in a stuffed toy or in the child’s pillow light.

Melotonin

Ensure the room is as dark as possible as this encourages the production of melotonin, the brain's sleep hormone. If the child is frightened of the dar, use a night light.

Magnesium

Magnesium 250mg for children aged 2-12 30 minutes before bed has a relaxing effect.

Diet

In the evening include: bananas, turkey, dates, figs, milk, wholegrain crackers or yogurt as these food increase tryptophan which promotes sleep.

Reviewed by Janet Marshall 25 February 2015 references
  • current version

    Evelyn Lewin
  • PEER REVIEWER

    Evelyn Lewin
  • document id

    879786
  • next review

    27.08.2017

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

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