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My Inconsolable Son

Questioner

H (30-female-UK)

Reply Date

Aug 12, 2018

Question

Last night, my son started screaming out in the middle of the night. But when I would rush to his room, he'd be inconsolable until he falls fast asleep. By morning, he would have no idea of what had happened. Is it normal?

Counselor

Answer


son

In this counseling answer:

Sleeping disorders could be either a nightmare (bad and scary dream) or what is called a night terror which is sometimes misdiagnosed with ordinary nightmares, in your case it is so difficult to tell what was it because it only happened for one night, and in my opinion it was just a bad dream, but I will tell you the difference between both less (God forbid) it happens again.”


As-salamu`alaykum,

May Allah bless you and your son, I am fully aware of the mother’s heart, how delicate and compassionate it could be especially when it comes to her sweethearts’ health and safety. I will try in sha’ Allah to help you as much as I can.

Your question was “Is this normal?”. Well yes and no! Yes these sleep disturbances could happen at any age especially that of your son and usually fades away afterwards, in a study of the dreams of four- to 12-year-old children published in the Journal of Clinical Child Psychology in 2000, researchers found that:

  • 67.7 percent of four to six year-old
  • 95.7 percent of seven to nine year-old
  • 76.3 percent of ten to 12-year-old reported having had a nightmare experience.

And no it is not normal to leave our children screaming in the middle of the night and rush every now and then to help them.

Sleeping disorders could be either a nightmare (bad and scary dream) or what is called a night terror which is sometimes misdiagnosed with ordinary nightmares, in your case it is so difficult to tell what was it because it only happened for one night, and in my opinion it was just a bad dream, but I will tell you the difference between both less (God forbid) it happens again.


Check out this counseling video

https://youtu.be/jpIA4gPvWNM


Night terrors can occur anytime in a person’s life span, the most common is reported in children between the ages of three and five, usually fifteen minutes to one hour after going to sleep, unlike nightmares which can occur anytime in sleep.

Many people who remember their night terror have talked about seeing animals, people, or a dark and shadowy person who is going to hurt them. Others see snakes and spiders, or just things they are afraid of during waking hours. Some people remember the night terror. Some don’t, to which there is no explanation.


Nightmares
are a normal maintenance function of the developing brain and are greatly influenced by the particular stressors My Inconsolable Son - About Islamand anxieties present in the child’s waking life.

Now What to Do?

*If you went to his room and found him quietly asleep, don’t wake him up or switch on the lights just sit beside him for some time and recite some of thedhikr ( stated below), you can only wake him up if he looks like having a bad dream and unable to wake himself up.

*But if you find him awake looking around and frightened then this is probably a night terror, the best thing is to hug and reassure him and tell him that everything is all right. Make sure that there is not anything nearby that could hurt him or others. And don’t go through what happened the next morning unless he brings up the subject, just try to reassure him.

*Try to calm him at least two hours before his bedtime. Do not let him watch television or read stories about topics that might be scary for him, and be sure that no one is disturbing him at school.

*Keep a nightlight on in the child’s room. Keep the door to the child’s room open. Avoid eating or exercising before bed especially fatty foods or spicy meals that may bring about digestive distress at bedtime may trigger sleep disturbances and awaken a child out of an otherwise peaceful slumber.

*If a child’s nightmares increase in frequency and intensity, it is important to consult a physician or pediatrician to determine if the sleep disruption is due to any injury, illness, or infection, or if it might be caused by the use of or change in medications. But if it happened just once or twice, then the best thing is to ignore and forget it.

Now looking at the problem from another angle: Children are under the trust of Allah that He keeps in our hands so we need to protect them using the guidance He gave us in the Qur`an and the Sunnah.

•Pray two rak`ahs of Salat-ul Hajah and mention the name of Allah before entering or leaving the house, it keeps away evil from house.

•Don’t let bad scenes from TV played in your house we need angels to enter not Shaytan.

•Read (or set a recorder ) Surat Al-Baqarah in his room as much as you can.

•Protect him with  du`aa’ to guard children, and du`aa’ of bad dreams

•“ I commend you two to the protection of Allah’s perfect words from every devil, vermin, and every evil eye”

Also Ayat Al-Kursi (Al-Baqarah 2: 255) in the morning, will keep him under the protection of Allah Most High until the evening. Similarly, whomsoever reads this during the night, will keep him under the protection of Allah Most High until the morning.

“Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great” (2: 255.

•‘I take refuge in Allah’s perfect words from the evil that He has created”

•“I place you in the trust of Allah, whose trust is never misplaced”

•“I take refuge within Allah’s perfect words which no righteous or unrighteous person can transgress, from all the evil that He has created, made and originated. (I take refuge) from the evil that descends fro the sky and the evil that rises up to it. (I take refuge) from the evil that is spread on Earth and the evil that springs from her, and I take refuge from the evil of the tribulations of night and day, and the evil of one who visits at night except the one who brings good, O Merciful One” (Bukhari)

And in sha’ Allah every thing will be fine, just put your trust in Allah and He will suffices you.


And finally, any good is from Allah and any mistakes are from myself.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 




About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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