Night Terrors | 5 Tips To Help Fight the Night Fright

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A night terror is also known as sleep terror which is often paired with sleepwalking. Kids of all ages experience night terrors and nightmares but they don’t cause any long-term harm. Parents can help them to sleep soundly again. A night terror is not medically significant but it can be distressing.

Preschoolers have an active imagination, they worry about monsters whereas older children have nightmares about real-life fears such as being shot or kidnapped – Dr. Mindell (associate director of the Sleep Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, US).

Continuous bad dreams are a part of normal developmental anxiety. The child must have been going through some stress at home or at school, figure it out and help him.

Skills that your child needs to fall asleep on his own:

  1. Early bedtime

Dr. Huebner suggested turning off the screen at least half an hour before bedtime. Electronics inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone – melatonin. Kids who go to bed too late are more likely to have a night terror.

  1. Learn to tolerate

If a kid is afraid of something, do not avoid it. Instead of shielding the kid, help him to learn gradually how to tolerate whatever he is afraid of. The more kid will see the thing that scares him such as any scary toy, gradually it will become less scary. Dr. Huebner explained this with the example of chewing a piece of gum – initially the flavor is very strong and it disappears when you keep on chewing it.

  1. Be supportive

Support your child by saying ‘I can imagine that would be a really scary dream but see there is nothing actually like here. It’s not real – you should try to sleep again. It won’t harm you’. You should know lori for child and it will help the child to go to sleep.

  1. Retrain the brain

After a nightmare, the child should think about something funny and happy. Teach him to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Encourage him to come up with a new ending to his bad dream which could be more silly or funny!

  1. Practice to relax

Dr. Dawn Huebner, author of What To Do When You Dread Your Bed has a technique – circle breathing. It helps them to relax and calm down their mind and body. In this, a child imagines breath is traveling in through the right nostril and coming out of the left nostril. Then it goes in through the left and comes out of the right. It goes back and forth as if the child is breathing in a circle.

A night terror might seem dramatic to you as the child might scream, cry or thrash around. In fact, the child is not fully awake and he might behave badly. Night terror mostly occurs an hour or two after a child goes to bed. These are more likely to happen when a child is anxious, overtired or suffering from sleep apnea (sleep disordered breathing). The kids who have been sleeping trained during the early years are less likely to have a night terror. For such kind of good information you can visit wonder parenting

Happy Sleeping!

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