My newly 8-year-old DS has been having nightly nightmares for the past week. He has a tiny head-cold and trouble breathing through the nose, but nothing serious. Every night, mostly right after he goes to sleep, probably during the REM sleep phase he wakes up 2-3x hourly, terrified, crying, sleep-walking at times. I'm unable to wake him up and he is completely incoherent. When he wakes up, he doesn't remember a thing. Neither in the morning, memory erased! One early morning I heard a bumping noise and when I got to his room, he had taken the vacuum out of a closet and held it in front of him like weapon to protect himself. Tonight, when he finally woke up and I asked him if he could tell me what scared him, he said it was none of my business
My kids have been excellent sleepers since babyhood and I only remember one short phase of him having bad dreams when he was much younger, probably about 3 years old.
Nothing has changed for him. He has been having a very defiant period in his life, since probably last summer, but it's not really new, he is always pushing the envelope. He is still doing very well in school and has friends. The only shift I have noticed since last summer is that he is much much more drawn to the computer and playing Nintendo, which has led to the time being limited. He wants to read less which was his great love before. But even so, he mostly doesn't spend any time on the computer during the week and probably 30 minutes of TV on one night when the homework for the week is done. The content hasn't changed. He is not watching any more or any scarier TV, if anything it's probably less intense content than a while ago. He is into Lego Ninjago, but I don't think this is the source. On the computer he is mostly watching youtubes of Lego or is on the Lego website. He plays club penguin, but I don't think that's it either. He is reading the 4th Harry Potter book, maybe this is getting too gloomy for his age, but he is such a good reader he is just no longer into the Magic Treehouse etc. books!
Will I be able to find out? Is this normal for this age group? I was thinking about not letting him watch TV or play on the computer for a week and see if this does anything, but it will seem like a punishment to him and that doesn't seem fair... Any ideas?
The nightmares, sleep walking, and upsets at night are not within his control - related to his neurological development - and the sensitivities that hormones can bring on. Choices about behavior, including defiance and back talk (not sharing what scared him), are within his control. Yes, I would definitely take measures to curb that behavior - to get him to understand that being unkind to people carries with it a price.
Having said that, I would change nightly routine to try to wind him down at night with: earlier bed time, dimmer lighting, less high-octane snacks before bedtime (beans and chocolate trigger vivid dreams for me, for example), opt for quiet reading time instead of tv, etc.
dx'd high fsh at age 30
ttc 6 years
5 failed clomid cycles
2 failed IVF cycles
#3 IVF/ICSI worked out fine
FET 2 years later didn't work out
Proud mom of an amazing miracle boy.