It is 8:57pm. Jake has just begun to snore. I said good night to him about 8:30. We had talked and I told him I'd be back in 10 minutes. About 10 minutes later, he asked from the top of the stairs. Mom? Has 10 minutes passed? Yes! I said as I finished the dishes. I'm bringing my computer and sitting in your room.
In now one hour, 10 pm, I am going to wake Jake to go pee and have a drink of water. I will make the time he's up on his feet - even if he's sleeping - last about 5 minutes. It's exactly what I did last night, as per a website I found about night terrors, and it worked. No nightmare/terror!
The other night, when he spent the night at his buddy's house, we got a call at 1:30am. Jake wanted to come home from White Plains and was crying and asking for me. He had slept over there dozens of times since nursery school and this had never happened. This was now the 4th difficult night in the past 6 nights. I chatted with him. He preferred for me to get him right away instead of waiting until the morning. I got dressed and was ready to go get him but my friend said to just wait. Let's see if I can get him back to bed. He went back to bed. I spent the rest of the night, though, not able to sleep and fully clothed to drive over.
By the next day, Jake was convinced we never talked. He didn't have any recollection at all. And so that is how I came to realize that maybe these are night terrors, after all. This is also how I came to find (and remember) that I should interrupt his sleep before he goes into deep sleep, within 90 minutes of his first passing out and before the nightmare/terror typically begins.
I explained to Jake, tonight, that this is what I did last night and plan to do tonight, for as long as it takes if it works. Okay, he told me, as he entwined my arms in his. He ran 2 miles with my husband, this morning. They biked 20 miles together, this afternoon. They played Mario Bros. together, tonight, and we spent the evening cuddling and hanging out. This is a kid who is deeply loved and tended to. Sweet, sweet dreams, my boy!