Night terrors vs. nightmares
While both night terrors and nightmares can be effectively helped by homeopathy, they are distinctly different in the way they present.
With night terrors the the child often appears to be awake, often with their eyes wide open. They can sit up in bed, thrash around screaming, and act very distressed and fearful. Night terrors tend to occur quite frequently and can last for a few weeks, months, or even years. The child is in a deep sleep during the night terror episode and does not respond to comfort or reassurance from the parent. Night terrors happens during the first 2-3 hours after falling asleep vs. nightmares which most often occur in the later stages of sleep, towards morning.
It can feel very dramatic, and outright frightening for parents to witness their child having night terrors, especially when being unable to reach their child to soothe and comfort them. The child usually calms down after a few minutes to half an hour, and goes back to sleep without having any memory of the night terror the next day.
During a sleep terror episode, a person may:
- Begin with a frightening scream or shout
- Sit up in bed and appear frightened
- Stare wide-eyed
- Sweat, breathe heavily, and have a racing pulse, flushed face and dilated pupils
- Kick and thrash
- Be hard to awaken, and be confused if awakened
- Be inconsolable
- Have no or little memory of the event the next morning
- Possibly, get out of bed and run around the house or have aggressive behavior if blocked or restrained
It’s not always possible to say what might have triggered the night terrors. However; some factors may play a role:
- Sleep deprivation and extreme tiredness
- Stress and trauma
- Sleep schedule disruptions, travel or sleep interruptions
Night Terror in 9 Year Old Girl
Lydia’s (name has been changed) mother contacted me for help with her daughters severe emotional reaction to the trauma of living in a war zone and fleeing with her family.
Lydia is the oldest of the family’s three children. The family of 5 fled their war torn country when Lydia was 6 years old, and she has vivid memories of the war in her country, as well as memories from the journey as a refugee.
Lydia is doing well in school, and has lots of friends in the small town where the family currently live.
The trauma of Lydia’s experience mainly expressed itself during the night where she would frequently start screaming with night terrors, sleep walk around her bedroom, pounding the walls in great distress. Lydia was very anxious at bedtime. Afraid of the dark, needing the light on in her bedroom, and constant reassurance that her parents were nearby. Most nights it would take Lydia a long time before she was finally able to settle down and fall asleep. The night terrors and sleep walking occurred several times a week, leaving both Lydia and her parents tired and exhausted from lack of sleep.
Lydia received the homeopathic remedy Stramonium based on her overall symptom picture. Lydia quickly improved following the remedy. After two months of taking the remedy she was no longer having anxiety at bed time, or any episodes of night terrors. Lydia did not need further homeopathic treatment. She continues to do well.
Homeopathy Shines in The Treatment of Night Terrors!
There is a considerable treatment gap in conventional medicine when it comes to night terrors, which is really a nice way to say that there’s nothing anyone can really do about it. What happens if you’ve done everything you can to prevent the night terrors from happening and you’re still woken up at all hours of the night by a child with recurring night terrors? It’s not something you once want to witness in your child, let alone on a regular basis. This is where homeopathy really shines, as it offers one of the very few effective treatments for night terrors.
The child has a fever (often with dilated pupils), red hot and throbbing, dryness of the mouth. The child’s sleep may be accompanied by moaning and tossing about. Dreams may be described as anxious, terrible, frightful and vivid. They may be about fires, robbers and assassins. When they close their eyes the patient sees frightful visions and experiences jerking in the limbs.
Is a wonderful remedy for both children and adults who experience multiple fears and anxieties.This often leads them to having poor sleep patterns and nightmares or night terrors. Visions of fire, rats and mice. Visions of somebody else in the room. They jump at every noise, Dreams of the dead and of monsters.
The child (or adult) who need Stramonium for night terrors or nightmares may 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. Stramonium is often particularly effective for those who have witnessed or experienced violence and are incapable of forgetting it (post-traumatic stress disorder).
These are just some examples of a host of homeopathic remedies that may help to quickly resolve night terrors, nightmares, or other sleep disorders in both children and adults, regardless of the underlying cause or trigger.
Get in touch, or book an online appointment with me here. I see all of my patients during online consultations regardless of where you live in the world.
Classical Homeopath Lone Pedersen DCH, MNHL – Homeopathy for the whole family!
Homeopathy has a long history of success in treating all types of sleep disorders in children and adults – insomnia, restless sleep, frequent waking, night terrors and frequent nightmares can all be successfully addressed by seeing a professional homeopath.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
― John Lennon