Poor Lil' C has been experiencing Night Terrors for a few months now. It usually happens once a week and Scott and I feel so helpless during the whole ordeal. She sits up, screams and violently shakes with her eyes wide open. There are moments in the beginning where she wants to be held and moments where she pushes us away. We have to stay close by because there have been times where she has almost hurt herself. After a few minutes she will let us hold and rock her. It takes her about 15 minutes to get to a relaxed state and another 15 minutes to go back to sleep. It is exhausting for all of us.
Thankfully in the morning she does not remember a thing and wakes up her happy little self. We have tried to note what has happened during the day when these Terrors occur and wonder if watching Z play Super Mario Bros. has had something to do with it (she does not like Bowser's Castle). There didn't seem to be any direct connection but I asked Z to stay out of Bower's Castle when Lil'C is around and then turned to the Internet for help.
The best suggestion from my reading online was to wake her up right before the Night Terrors are about to begin. The is done so that her sleep cycle will be altered. Thankfully her terrors are consistent and usually happen around 10pm. I have been going in and waking her around 9:30 and this seems to be working (knock on wood).
The Night Terrors might be gone for now but she is back to waking most nights at 2 AM and unable to go back to sleep until 4 AM. Scott and I call this her "Party Time" and she has been doing it on and off for over a year. Thankfully she no longer asks for too much of us during this time but we can still hear her "partying" in her bed. The child has never been a great sleeper but her sleepless nights and Night Terrors are definitely starting to take their toll on us. Those nights where I sleep straight through the night are rare and such a gift!