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Having night mares. Cure? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 30-May-2013
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Child Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions
User:Hello Doctor
Doctor:How can I help you?
User:Sir, I have a question wrt my son
Doctor:Proceed with your query
User:he is 3 years old and goes to school. My in-laws get him ready and send him to school since I start my day early at 6:30 and will be back home by 6 in the evening. After that I will be with him all the time. Everyday my son says "amma do not go to office, you have to be with me amma always" and all these. sometimes in between his sleep he gets up and starts screaming and crying (though not frequently). If I try to lift him he wont come and scratches my face,nose and all
User:I am not sure why he does that
Doctor:It is difficult to predict what is happening within your son, however my close possibility is that your son could be having night terror. In simple term, I would say a night mare.
Doctor:The current statistic says about 15-20% of children within 5 years of age can have this.
Doctor:This could be related to an underlying sleeping problem or probably an emotional disturbance during the day.
Doctor:Unless your child is left unattended during a day, the second possibility is rare.
Doctor:What I would suggest now is that you visit a psychiatrist to understand what exactly is hapenning - is it a night mare or an emotional disturbances.
Doctor:It is easier to treat these symptoms early in the childhood.
User:but why does he do that only to me not to any other member in the family
User:ya, sure
Doctor:Since his symptoms are at night - that is wakening up screaming; it is not related to a specific person.
Doctor:Rather it is associated with REM cycle of sleep.
Doctor:It could be incidental that such episodes occur in your presence
Doctor:What I am concerned is whether or not he has some sleep disturbance or if he has an emotional disturbance.
Doctor:REM cycle associated night mare will gradually decline and stop as he grows; however those 2 possibilities need to be ruled out.
User:Thank you doctor. That was helpful
Doctor:Do you have any other query?
User:I am worried whether he misses me during the course of the day
Doctor:As I said it is necessary that we rule out this emotional cause.
Doctor:Sometimes in a 3 year old it can be difficult to know that.
Doctor:The only option would be that you try an change your work time as to spend some quality time with him.
Doctor:Take him out for a walk, a park or an ice cream shop.
User:actually I do that.
User:I take him to park everyday after I go back home
Doctor:make sure you spend quality time whenever possible and see if that can bring about changes in him.
User:thanks again
Doctor:My priority at this point is to rule out a sleep disturbances
Doctor:which can become chronic if left unattended.
User:I dont think its sleep disturbance
Doctor:Is there any other query?
Doctor:Hope it is clear.
User:because all the other time he will be fast asleep
Doctor:Mind is awake but in an unconscious mode during sleep and its activity changes regularly in a cyclical manner during sleep.
Doctor:And such cyclical change is REM activity.
Doctor:Night mares occur during this REM activity of brain.
Doctor:People who have an underlying sleep problem can have REM activity lasting for more than usual and night mares occurs in them.
Doctor:A discussion with a psychiatrist to understand if there is a sleeping problem will helpful.
Doctor:Do you have any other queries?
User:no sir
User:have a nice day
Doctor:Thanks for consulting me.
Doctor:Bye for now.
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