Nightmares in Children

by admin

What are the Causes of Nightmares in Children?
With the life with a baby, the order you have in your personal life and home for a long time begins to change. You may have to give up sleep, food, and time for yourself for a few years.

Families have the most difficulty with babies’ sleep patterns.

In the first few years, your baby will wake up frequently at night and have irregular sleep during the day, so you will not be able to sleep well. And when the nightmare called fearful sleep is added to this, it becomes even more difficult.

Nightmares are common in children; but it should not be confused with waking up crying from sleep called night terror. We will examine the differences between the two in this article.

Why Do Children Have Nightmares?
From the day they are born, babies take steps to complete their development at an incredible speed.

This can cause them to be excited both during the day and at night when they sleep. When they start to cry for the first time, crawl, walk, learn something new, their nighttime sleep starts to become irregular.

Some babies wake up excited in the middle of the night and want to play, walk or talk. Some babies, on the other hand, may have fearful dreams at night as a result of events that upset, anger or scare them during the day.

In general, families become uneasy when they wake up with this fear. These children are calmed by the immediate support of their parents. A child who has a night terror, unlike a nightmare, does not calm down no matter what the parents do at that moment. It is very important for your next step to figure out whether the reason for the child’s fear of waking up from sleep is a night terror or a fearful dream.

Children experience many things during the day that you cannot control. While playing with friends, spending time at school or daycare, watching TV or going out, they may have experiences that frighten them.

While you notice some of them, you may miss some of them. As in every adult, children’s sleep can become irregular in the face of these experiences during the day.

Their minds are so busy during the day that even if they do not realize it, they may not want to go to sleep alone in the face of the situations they are afraid of or they may wake up at night afraid of sleep.
When you hug children who wake up with nightmares at night, they feel safe when you say words to calm them. These children, who clearly remember what their dream was, try to relieve the stress they experience during the day in this way.

What Should You Do to Calm Your Child Having Nightmares?
Nightmares are common in children and it is up to parents to calm them down and create an environment of trust.

-Ask your child who has nightmares to tell about his dream. Until the age of 5, children do not fully realize whether their nightmares are real or a dream. Suggest that you understand what you see in your dream and that you are safe now, without belittling it or saying it isn’t real. Otherwise, your child, who thinks that you do not believe him, starts to be more afraid.
-If you are afraid of the dark, a small night light will do the trick until you fall asleep.
-Never deliberately frighten children during the day.
-Do not try to discipline your child by scaring them with characters such as police, dogs, doctors.
-If nightmares are very rare, there is no need to consult a specialist; but if there is a sleep interruption that disrupts your and your baby’s life, you should definitely consult a specialist instead of solving it yourself, in case your child has a problem that he or she cannot solve alone.

Scary Dream or Night Terror?
Is your child sitting in his bed 2-3 hours after putting him to bed, screaming and not calming down no matter what you do? Let’s see if your child is having nightmares?

-Night terrors are biological in children, while nightmares reflect their psychological state.
-Transitions between sleep stages in infants are not fully developed as they are in adults. This is why your baby needs to wake up frequently at night and put him back to sleep. The reason for the emergence of night terrors is similar to this.
-Babies who cannot fully transition between light sleep and deep sleep experience attacks that can last between 5 and 30 minutes. In the REM stage where we dream, we experience fearful dreams, and in the stage called non-REM, when we go to deep sleep, seizures occur. Night terrors, which are generally seen between the ages of 5-7, can occur at younger ages, although rare. –This situation, which will decrease towards adolescence, can panic families at night.
-Children are not fully sober when they have a seizure. A child who sits on his bed and screams may unconsciously harm himself and his surroundings.
-Unlike nightmares, when they wake up in the morning, they do not remember what happened at night. Children who wake up screaming then fall asleep spontaneously.

It is Very Important to Support your Child by Staying Calm!
Parents need to be careful about some issues against their children who have night terrors. Rather than the fears experienced during the day, this situation is related to sleep disturbance and therefore, it is absolutely necessary to seek the help of a specialist. It is very important to give yourself and your child time to overcome this problem, which can also occur due to genetic and psychological factors.

-Trying to wake your child up during an attack can make things even more difficult, making your child even more anxious who doesn’t remember what they’ve already experienced. Therefore, when he wakes up in the morning, be careful not to tell him what happened at night.
-Keep the area around the child’s bed free of elements that could harm him. At the time of the attack, if he is not doing any harmful behavior, stand by him without intervening and wait for the attack to pass. The important thing is that there are no sharp and penetrating elements in his room and around his bed.
-Some shapes and shadows in the dark may seem more frightening to your child. That’s why you can turn on the lights as soon as you experience night terrors and prevent them from being afraid any more.
-Remember, your child will fall asleep by himself when the attack is over. In this process, the more moderate and supportive your behavior is, the easier your child will get through this situation. It is very important at this point to calm him down and make him feel that you are with him. If she doesn’t want physical intimacy, don’t force it. Intervening by raising your tone of voice and cradling your baby in the lap further increases the stress level of the attack.
-If someone other than you is going to take care of your child at night, it would be beneficial to inform you in advance of this situation and explain what to do.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment