U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-09-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
16,842 posts, read 10,994,998 times
Reputation: 31529

Advertisements

So my sons have both had odd behaviors that would disturb the household in the night...

My oldest had "night terrors" or sessions of screaming and being rigid and shaking as though in a state of panic or terror, and there was NOTHING I could do to wake him or get him to stop, all I could do is try to be there for him until it ran its course. Sometimes it would go on for a good solid 10 minutes of screaming, tendons standing out on his neck, body completely rigid, fighting any attempt I made to comfort him. Now THAT was disturbing. Fortunately he seems to have outgrown this, he's 13 and it hasn't happened in at least the last few years, not even once. (Pattern used to be every night for a week or more and then no disturbances for a longer period--weeks or months with nothing before it'd start up again with no apparent reason.)

My younger son on the other hand, does not freak out, he just sleepwalks and talks. He wanders about and speaks gibberish nonsense. Sometimes it's actually pretty funny. Sometimes it's a bit scary. Once he woke us all up shouting and banging and I discovered he had wandered outside the front door and closed (but not locked) it behind himself. It was winter and he was in his "tightie whities" (underwear) banging on the door in the wee hours of the night. Most often he will either sit up in bed and say or even shout nonsense, or he will wander up to my room and touch my arm, say something, or just stand there staring at me. I wake up and take him back to bed, and the night passes with no further issues.

Well last night, for the first time ever, he wandered over to his Dad's side of the bed, and quietly touched him on the arm. My husband is a soldier, he has seen combat, and he doesn't do well with being snuck up on or suddenly woken up like that. He reacted by grabbing my kid by the head and throat violently like he was trying to kill him. My son screamed and I woke up and got my husband disengaged from him and got my boy a drink and back to bed.

Now my husband feels terrible, but I talked to my son this morning...normally he doesn't remember his sleep wanders, but this one woke him up and he did remember it. He actually thinks it's HILARIOUS that his Dad tried to kill him. Yeah, I'm sure we'll be telling this story for years, and it's kind of funny in a way, but it's also really scary to me.

I'm trying to decide what to do here...I'm tempted to start locking my bedroom door at night, but I always (since having kids) like to have it open in case something happens in the night, and I need to attend to it. Could be anything from a confused, wandering kid locked outside the front door, to an intruder...I want to hear what's going on in my house. What do you guys think I should do, if anything?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-09-2013, 02:26 PM
 
1,515 posts, read 2,085,925 times
Reputation: 3134
Ouch Sonic, sorry to hear of your troubles. My son too is also a sleepwalker and has suffered from night terrors. It can be very disconcerting and a bit scary. He usually wanders into my room and just stands there or touches my arm. I'm a pretty light sleeper and many of his sleepwalking excursions happen a few hours a after he falls asleep.

We keep our bedroom door closed. The biggest reason is that we have an elderly cat (almost 20) that wanders the house at night, howls and poops and pees in the closest corner. Although I prefer our door open, confining her to our room makes it w bit easier to control her whereabouts. When my son does wander, I can hear our bedroom door open and it wakes me up. One thought is maybe put a chime or alarm on your door or perhaps his? I f he starts his nocturnal wanderings, you could hear it?

Does your pediatrician have any advice?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2013, 02:47 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 10,794,197 times
Reputation: 12712
Get an alarm for your son's room. You want to know when he leaves the room at night. Make sure he uses the bathroom and gets a drink of water before he goes to bed. There is then no reason to have to leave for another 6 hours or so. Or you could use both an alarm and a baby monitor in his room. He can use the baby monitor to let you know if he does have to leave the room so the alarm won't frighten you..

What you can't do is have him wandering around the house at night and possibly out the front or back door. Locking yourself in your room so you don't know what is going on is probably not going to be helpful.

As with your other son, sleep walking tends to disappear before a child reaches the teen years.

Other things that can help.
Very regular bedtimes and awake times in the morning
Make sure he pees before going to bed - a full bladder can cause sleep walking
Try having him go to bed earlier an hour earlier- tired children who stay up to late and then crash from exhaustion often sleep walk
Keep his room very quiet- make sure he goes to bed with no background noise from TV's, computers, etc.
Have him get away from TV, games & computer half an hour before he goes to bed- his body needs to mentally unwind before he sleeps.

Good luck-
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2013, 02:55 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,495 posts, read 24,619,547 times
Reputation: 27911
I would put a latch on the front door somewhere so he can't sleepwalk outside. Other than that, a chime for your door sounds like a good idea, or an alarm for his. You can get a really simple, inexpensive door alarm, the kind they make for dorm rooms or hotel rooms, that will wake the house if he starts wandering.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
16,842 posts, read 10,994,998 times
Reputation: 31529
Thanks, I think some kind of alarm on his door is probably a smart move. I'll figure something out. And with any luck, as he is 11 now, he'll probably outgrow it soon.

Willow, my boys don't stay up late, have a very regular bedtime, and don't sleep with the TV on or anything like that. We've got a pretty solid routine.

However I wonder if this sort of tendency might be hereditary...I was a sleepwalker, as was my Dad and a number of others in the family. In all cases, the activity seems to wind down and go away by puberty. Perhaps some pattern in brain development is the cause. It's interesting...honestly the behavior doesn't bother me that much so long as my kids are safe. Even though he left the house one time (I don't think he got far, the cold woke him up) this is the first time I've really felt like there was DANGER from this...and as I said, like 99 times out of 100, kiddo comes pretty much straight to the Mom, and I handle it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2013, 03:34 PM
Status: "Live Free or Die!" (set 15 hours ago)
 
Location: Kansas
21,442 posts, read 18,068,737 times
Reputation: 20488
You might try something along these lines, we have bought the door wedge: Epinions.com - Search Results: Techko S184 Vibration Activated Security Door Alarm and Door Chime
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-09-2013, 06:20 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 10,794,197 times
Reputation: 12712
Yes, there can be a strong inherited component of sleep walking, especially if a first degree relative did it.
A parent would be a first degree relative.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-10-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,287 posts, read 3,595,990 times
Reputation: 926
Your best bet is to talk to your pediatrition about what's going on with your kids.

Is your husband 'on edge' like that a lot? Maybe he needs to be seen by someone as well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-10-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
16,842 posts, read 10,994,998 times
Reputation: 31529
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodmanm View Post
Your best bet is to talk to your pediatrition about what's going on with your kids.

Is your husband 'on edge' like that a lot? Maybe he needs to be seen by someone as well.
I find it funny how so very many posts, in forums all over CD, get at least one if not several "see a Doctor" or "see a therapist" responses. Why? So that they can try and reprogram my family members' brains with therapy or drugs? I'm thinking not. I'm not refuting the usefulness of these means in solving some issues that some folks have, but these suggestions are not one-size-fits-all for every problem encountered by every person.

In fact when the night terrors were plaguing my older son, I did ask our pediatrician about it. I was given a pamphlet about it which said basically most of the stuff Willow said in her first response but also that those steps may not eliminate the issue and many kids with sleep issues outgrow them by puberty.

It's not that uncommon really.

I'm looking into a door alarm for his bedroom door--something that would chime or vibrate by my bedside in another room when tripped would be ideal. Thanks for the input, CD community, that is a great idea!

EDIT: It is also reasonably common for soldiers, even those not particularly suffering from PTSD or other issues, to awaken in a violent manner if suddenly startled out of sleep. Ask any soldier who has had to wake his buddies for duty. If you go walking up and shaking them by the arm or shoulder, you are liable to get punched. And these soldiers don't want to lose that violent edge. They have no particular desire to become peaceful individuals...they are soldiers.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-10-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
904 posts, read 1,296,488 times
Reputation: 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I find it funny how so very many posts, in forums all over CD, get at least one if not several "see a Doctor" or "see a therapist" responses. Why? So that they can try and reprogram my family members' brains with therapy or drugs? I'm thinking not. I'm not refuting the usefulness of these means in solving some issues that some folks have, but these suggestions are not one-size-fits-all for every problem encountered by every person.


EDIT: It is also reasonably common for soldiers, even those not particularly suffering from PTSD or other issues, to awaken in a violent manner if suddenly startled out of sleep. Ask any soldier who has had to wake his buddies for duty. If you go walking up and shaking them by the arm or shoulder, you are liable to get punched. And these soldiers don't want to lose that violent edge. They have no particular desire to become peaceful individuals...they are soldiers.
What a great post! I'm quite convinced we have become an over-medicated, over-doctored group. There are, indeed, times when that is necessary (I had to take anti-depressants and see a therapist for several years), but that being the port of first call is a very sad commentary on our ability as a society to stand on our own two feet.

My wife could never serve in combat, however, she did spend two tours in the beautiful middle east courtesy of Uncle Sam. There are regularly times when things happen and her response is not what a civilian would consider "normal."
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:02 AM.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top