What Are The Reasons And Solutions Of Nightmares In Kids?
Nightmares are very common for children aged between 3 and 10. While nightmares are of no fun for anyone when it repeatedly affects a child’s sleep it can be particularly scary. From the sound sleep of the night, a child may suddenly wake up and start screaming and crying. Sometimes it can be difficult to console and calm him down to go back to sleep. Parents may have many questions related to nightmares like what are the causes, symptoms, and prevention of nightmares or how does it going to affect the child’s health. Preschool Sierra Madre, CA is here to help you out with your queries.
What are nightmares?
Nightmares are bad dreams that frighten children and cause them to wake up scared and nervous in the wee hours of the night. Children can have nightmares about their imaginary scary things or some real-life dangers that they have learned about. Young children may not be able to separate reality from their dreams and think that something bad has happened but as they grow older, they realize that dreams are unreal. Nightmares can often make children upset and afraid to go back to sleep again.
Causes for nightmares in toddlers:
- Medication: According to health experts, certain medication can lead to nightmares known as medication-induced nightmares. In most cases stopping the medication or change in the dosage can give some relief.
- Distressing or scary situation: Your little one may experience nightmares if he has been in any distressing or scary situation. Seeing scary images or spending time with unknown relatives may lead to nightmares in kids.
- Stress or anxiety: If your tiny tot is stressed or anxious about something, he may have nightmares.
- Tiredness: Acute sleep deprivation causes fatigue and tiredness which disrupts children’s sleep cycle and thus indirectly leads to nightmares.
There are some other reasons like a heavy meal before bedtime or gastroesophageal reflux can cause nightmares in toddlers and babies.
Symptoms of nightmares:
Here are some symptoms that your toddler will show when he has a nightmare.
- Waking up abruptly and immediately in the middle of his sleep and call out for you.
- Your child will be visibly terrified as if he has seen something scary right in front of his eyes.
- Your baby will be afraid to sleep again if he is sleeping in a separate bed or crib.
How to deal with nightmares and some preventing measures:
Below Preschool Sierra Madre, CA has discussed some tips to comfort your baby and ensure that he is not afraid of nightmares again.
- Assure, reassure and cuddle your baby
- Try to explain what has happened
- Take other family member’s help to change his mood
- Wait until the baby falls asleep and give a comforting toy or teddy bear as his sleeping buddy
- No nightmare talks in the morning
- Try to set up a relaxing pre-bedtime routine like taking a warm water bath or reading storybooks
- You can acquaint him with the objects he may see in the dark such as shadows or streetlights from the windows.