- These are scary or vivid dreams that cause your child to awaken suddenly.
- Occur mostly around ages 3 to 5, but can occur in older children.
- Usually occur very early in the morning (4:00 to 6:00 a.m.), when your child is sleeping relatively lightly. However, they can occur at other times.
- Your child will probably recall the dream very clearly. The dream may involve something disturbing experienced that day. Your child may have the same dream repeatedly.
- Because nightmares are so scary, it may be difficult for your child to settle down and go back to sleep.
How to manage: Awaken and comfort your child; talk to him to ease any stress that may be bothering him; avoid watching TV before bedtime.
- Your child suddenly screams and sits up in bed. He or she may seem very agitated—sweating, heart racing, pupils wide.
- These episodes are most common in preschool and older children.
- Even though his or her eyes are open, your child may actually still be asleep. It may be several minutes before he or she finally wakes up.
- When your child does awaken, he or she doesn’t remember any bad dream. As a result, getting back to sleep after night terrors may not be difficult.
How to manage: Treatment with medications not effective; try putting child to bed a little earlier to avoid tiredness. Most children outgrow having night terrors.
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