Terrors of the Night

I usually hear about people having night terrors as a child and that they grow out of it. I am a 32 year old woman and I still have night terrors. I can go for months without having one and then having several in a week. I think one time I had 4 in one night.

I never really knew I had this problem until I stayed at my SIL’s place one night (long before she was my SIL). I was sleeping in the guest room and I guess (as she tells it) she heard me screaming in the hallway about a spider. She came running out assuming that I was being attacked by someone (luckily she’s a marine) and saw that I wasn’t awake. She told me there wasn’t a spider and sent me back to bed.

Looking back I remember a few times jumping out of bed, when I lived with my parents, in fear of a spider. I also remember a time I freaked out and ran downstairs, completely sure a spider had fallen on me while I was in bed. I was so terrified I slept on the couch in the living room the rest of the night. I think I may have had at least one in college with my roommate but I’m not sure, since I don’t usually recall them unless someone was there to tell me about it.

Since living with Manly Man I’ve had more than either of us could count. He’s gotten (mostly) used to me jumping out of bed screaming my head off. Of course every time it makes him wake up immediately but when he realizes it’s a night terror he calms me down and we go back to bed. Often he has to reassure me several times that there is in fact no spider or no animal in the corner of the ceiling.

It seems to me I get these particularly when I’m in a high stress time of my life. I’ve had 2 this week already and I think I had at least 1 last week.


  1. Jennifer

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Wow. That SUCKS. Did you have a traumatic experience with spiders when you were younger? 🙁

    1. Robin

      July 23, 2010 at 7:48 am

      @Jennifer, I’m not sure but I have a couple spider memories. My parents showed me a movie like the movie “Them” but with HUGE spiders, after that I had a nightmare of a huge spider capturing me when I was 6 and Mickey Mouse saved me. I also once slept in our barn (not really a barn barn, it had a carpet and a bed) and I woke up in the morning covered in spider bites. I’m not sure if those memories have anything to do with it or if I just have a natural fear of spiders for whatever reason.

  2. Pauline

    July 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I’m also wondering the same thing as Jennifer, if you had a traumatic experience with spiders when you were a kid. It seems odd that that is your main night terror.

    Also-Have you spoken to a professional about this issue? Perhaps they have some suggestions. 🙂

    1. Robin

      July 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

      @Pauline, See my response to Jennifer above. I haven’t actually mentioned it to any therapists, which is weird. I think I usually forget they even happen and unless my husband mentions them I don’t think about them at all.

  3. Shelli

    July 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Meditation? During the day, I mean, to help with the stress. My daughter had them when she was little. There was absolutely no way to console her. They just had to run their course. Of course, by the time she went back to sleep, I was so wide awake that there was no sleeping for me. It makes your heart beat out of your chest to hear someone you love screaming like that.

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