Move over Melatonin: Harriet Hiscock at DFTB18

Cite this article as:
Team DFTB. Move over Melatonin: Harriet Hiscock at DFTB18, Don't Forget the Bubbles, 2019. Available at:

Professor Harriet Hiscock is a consultant paediatrician and post-doctoral research fellow. Amongst other roles she is co-director of the Unsettled Babies Clinic and it is with this role in mind that we asked her to speak at DFTB18.

Nightmares in Children

Cite this article as:
Andrew Tagg. Nightmares in Children, Don't Forget the Bubbles, 2017. Available at:

Standing outside a house that has seen too many years you wonder how you got here. Soil baked dry by a hundred summer suns tickles over your toes as you look down. No shoes! Why don’t you have any shoes on? The brown dirt crumbles between your toes as you take a single step forward, away from the decaying house.

A noise. The chitter-chatter of a feral Mogwai fed after midnight? It’s a sound you have heard before but cannot quite place. You turn and look behind you. There is nothing. The sound has stopped.

You take another step forward, earth becoming softer, wetter – feet sinking a little. That sound starts up again, except this time it doesn’t appear to be coming from behind you but from the field of never-mowed grass in front. As leaves bend and melt in the wind you can almost imagine them being moved by some small creature, darting away from you, making a path towards…

What the hell is that? The sky, once a dusty half-light is moving. Chunks of sod shifting, swirling, moving as if guided by some unseen agency, rising higher until…

The tentacles of some Elder God reach out towards you from the mess. They undulate unnaturally on a fast moving current of air. As they approach you feel the temperature drop. Hairs start to rise on the back of your neck. You exhale, a smokers exhale of white wisps.

They are getting closer just a few feet a way. If you reach out, you could almost touch them. Or they could touch you…

A fingers breadth now and you are rooted, stuck to the spot, paralysed, waiting for their not so gentle caress…

And – AWAKE.