3-year-old Sleeping/Behavior Issues
About a month ago, my daughter was watching a Hello Kitty movie and in that movie there was a "flea monster" A big monster made up of millions of fleas that attacked Hello Kitty and her friend. Since then, she has been waking up multiple times during the night screaming and crying and saying there were fleas on her, or bugs or spiders. I can hear the absolute fear in her voice as she clutches onto me. No matter what I do, open the light, show her there are no fleas, bugs, etc., she still wakes up an hour later screaming the same thing. I've tried to explain the concept of a dream and that she's just having bad dreams, but I don't think she understands what a dream is. I've tried "happy dream spray" which I spray on the bed every night. I've told her the exterminator was at the house and cleaned everything and only found one little ant, which he took out of the house. She begs to sleep on the couch, or anywhere else, but it's the same thing when we do that, so now I've been keeping her in bed (is that torture when she's so afraid?). I am literally about to lose my mind. I've been crying non-stop for the past two weeks from lack of sleep and have been having a lot of problems at work because I'm late and can't focus at all when I'm there. I've gotten FAR less sleep in the past month than I did when she was an infant. I am a single mother so there's no one else I can get to comfort her in the middle of the night, but if this keeps up, I am seriously going to lose my mind ... which leads me to believe that she is also feeling the results of not getting enough sleep, although she does get a 2-hour nap at school every day. Her teachers are telling me that she has been having a hard time listening and following directions lately, which probably has to do with the sleeping issues.
Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Sleepless in New Jersey!