Sleep Medicine Specialist Questions Night Terrors

Child wakes up screaming every 40 minutes

My child is 3 years old and will not sleep more than 1 hour at a time. She wakes up approximately every 40 minutes and is crying. I am starting to think there is something wrong besides her just being a fussy kid. It seems like she physically can't fall into a deep sleep. Is this something a sleep medicine specialist would evaluate and if so, what would they do, or what could the problem be? I thought she would grow out of it, but it only seems to be getting worse. Please help!

3 Answers

This would definitely be appropriate for your daughter to see a pediatric sleep specialist. They would take a history and they might arrange for monitoring sleep for a night in a laboratory environment. It's hard to know without more information if this is something abnormal or not.
There is more history needed to be able to determine the cause of your child's crying in sleep. I definitely would seek out a sleep specialist with a pediatric background if possible.

Dr. Gingras
It is almost a certainty that your daughter has Sleep Terrors. If so, usually a very small dose of clonazepam will suppress them after one or two nights. If this does not arrest the attacks, show this message to your pediatrician. Have him/her check your daughter for narrowing of the upper airway (at her age most likely enlarged tonsils or/and adenoids).

As I wish to have an idea as to how often I am right and how often I am wrong, I need to have this feedback!

Best wishes and good luck,
Dr. Roger

Roger Broughton MDCM,PhD,
FRCP(C), FAASM