Surely each of us, at least once in our lives, have woken up at night scared and screaming due to a nightmare.

Many parents fear the “spectacle” that their children suffer at night and go immediately to a psychologist or neurologist to try to solve nighttime tantrums. But the reality is that night terrors in children are an absolutely normal phenomenon and many children experience them. Recurring nightmares are usually more common in children ages three to five , usually occurring about two hours after the child has fallen asleep.

At the boundary between deep sleep and light sleep, the child begins to dream. If the child is tired because he has had a hard day, what happens during sleep is a small dichotomy in his brain , that is, one part of the brain suggests that it is necessary to move on to the next phase of sleep, while the other part of the brain is trying to stay in the deep or REM phase. As a result, part of the brain is immersed in a deep sleep, and the other part in a state of excitement, and as a result of that so-called “nightmares” appear.

What to do if a child has nightmares

With age, nightmares are less common, but if you notice that your child continues to have them very often, we must help him to have a more comfortable sleep. So what should we do if our child wakes up at night?

  • The most important thing is to remain calm , even if the child during the nightmare looks very scared or afraid. Note that this is not a fit of insanity or anything like that, so it is not a bad thing.
  • When your child starts with a nightmare, don’t wake them up suddenly , just make sure the child doesn’t accidentally self-harm.
  • If we finally wake up the child, we must not in any case remind him of the nightmare . The child may feel very embarrassed or strange and lose control of himself.
  • If your child has several nightmares during the night, it is best to wake him up for half an hour to calm him down and then put him back to bed.
  • In the evening, try not to let your child eat too late or in large quantities.
  • Avoid having your child watch television for at least an hour before bedtime , replacing it with reading a book or a warm bath.

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