My oldest daughter experienced night terrors when she was around two years old. I never want to go back to that place because it was a scary, confusing time.
She would wake up screaming and moving around sometimes with her eyes open. We would go into her room and try and calm her down but nothing seemed to work. Then I read that it is dangerous to wake children experiencing night terrors up so we would try to soothe her very cautiously. Sometimes she would even sleepwalk, and it wasn’t until she fell down a small flight of stairs in the middle of the night that I began to really panic.
When you are going through something like this and wanting desperately to protect your child it is so stressful. My husband and I weren’t sleeping at this point because we wanted to make sure that she didn’t hurt herself. While laying awake one night I thought about why this would be happening. What was the trigger? Why now?
I had been trying to potty train her with little to no success. She wanted nothing to do with it so I did what I thought would work and bribed her with candy if she went. At the age of two my daughter was already smarter than me because she would sit on the potty and pretend to try to get a candy. I couldn’t not give her the candy for at least trying right? Oh my.
In the course of a day she would get so many treats that I lost count. I shudder to think of what that amount actually was. When this dawned on me I decided that I was no longer going to reward with treats, but instead affection. It was then that things in our house changed dramatically. When I cut her off of candy the night terrors literally stopped. Taylor was sleeping like a baby, she eased into potty training with some coaxing and my peace of mind and stress level were gone. How could such a small change have such a dramatic effect? Because her trigger had a huge effect on her, one that can’t be discounted.
It’s very easy to disregard the ingredients of things like candy because we think it makes our kids happy. When I took the time to read the ingredient list of her favourite candy at the time (Skittles) it gave me good indication that it doesn’t. ~ They boast “Experience the rainbow” (artificial food dye rainbow) That should have been my first clue. Here is a list of ingredients:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Apple Juice from Concentrate, Less than 2% Citric Acid, Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Coloring (Includes Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
Sugar is the first ingredient, and most candy is mainly refined sugar which is now being considered toxic. Corn, especially corn syrup has a neurological effect on my daughter. Food dyes have been linked to behavioural and attention deficit disorders. I think a combination of the three was responsible for her night terrors and that scares me. Are there any long term effects? Why are there no warnings? While ingredients like this may be in much of the food sold we have option not to buy it. It’s very important to decide whether or not they are doing your child any good. I am very thankful that I was able to help her easily by deciding not to buy it anymore and my little angel was able to sleep peacefully and feel good.
Thankfully we have a choice,