“There’s a monster under my bed”: all about nightmares, night terrors, night wandering and bedwetting

Just last night my ten year old sounded the “MOMMY, MOMMY!!!” alarm in the middle of the night. Almost without opening my eyes I went to his room and calmly walked him to the bathroom where he emptied his bladder with gusto and went right back to bed. Witness: A nightmare with a purpose.

Ever wonder when you, the parent, get to sleep through the night? Now that your child has graduated from the crib, tune into this podcast to learn how to handle situations that sabotage sleep in children: nightmares, night terrors, night wanderings, and bedwetting.

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  • Reply DrGritsInABowl March 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Great podcast! Just remember, if you have a sleepwalker, you may want to check your shoes in the morning – I had a sleepwalking patient who would often empty his bladder in family members shoes, though never his own. Hmmm.
    Also, I think repeat offenders of the “Night Visitation” usually just get in the habit when they arouse at a natural transition in their sleep cycle (say between 2 to 4pm)- kind of like the Dunkin Donuts guy (“Time to make the donuts”) One good technique for the night visitor is one that can be used for savvy 3 year olds and certainly 4 years old and older is a “pass” system. Make 3 passes, one each with a sticker or doodle of,say, a cupcake, one with Spongebob, and one with a book, representing dessert, TV time, and a bedtime story. Tell your child, “if you come out and wake me up , I will take you back to your bed and take a ticket. All I will say is “ticket, please” (we still want to model good manners, even though we are tired and not happy). “If you have tickets left in the morning, you can turn them in for a reward for whatever you have. Let’s see how many prizes you can get!!!!!! “(obviously, you have to sell this. Try to channel Billy Mayes – well, except for the substance issues), and make sure both parents are real clear about the rules and limits on interaction. No extra yacking! (We like doing that as parents – yes we’ve become our own parents, but that’s another blog post I hope you will write)

    I have found 3 year olds can usually figure the system out within a week. 4 years and older, it takes about 3 days before they keep all the tickets. However, make sure you have a child whose personality is such that they like games, like to show you what they can do, and obviously likes the rewards you have promised. If you have the kind of kid who is going to have a meltdown cause they lost a ticket (think John McEnroe as a 4 year old), you may want to think twice. Then again, McEnroe was probably competitive enough he demanded 6 tickets.
    Keep on Blogging!

  • Reply Alana March 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    This is a great podcast! My son often has night terrors which make it hard for him to get a good night sleep. I found a lot of great advice though about sleeping techniques at http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-sd. He hasn’t had any night terrors lately so the sleeping techniques seem to be working. Just thought I would pass this website along to other parents since it was so helpful with my son’s sleeping problems.

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