What To Do When Your Child Is Having Nightmares Or Night Terrors

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What to Do When Your Kid Is Having Nightmares

Have you ever wondered why a child wakes up in the middle of the night crying or fearful and has trouble going back to sleep?

My child has experienced nightmares and as a parent, I hate hearing him wake up in the middle of the night, crying. Luckily for me he doesn’t have a lot of them.

If your child has nightmares, they are most likely linked to something that happened just before bed, like listening to a story that can scare the kid or watching an upsetting show. Nightmares happen during the stage of sleep when the brain is very active. The vivid images the brain is processing can be seen as real as the emotions they might trigger.

Night Terrors Are Different Than Nightmares

Nightmares are not the same as night terrors (which my son has had in the past). A night terror is a sleep that causes a fear or another negative feeling  that takes place  during the beginning of their sleep cycle- usually within the first few hours.  It is far more dramatic than nightmare.

Children that are having a night terror episode usually are fast asleep and stay that way throughout their night terror episode. However , they are very  upset and most of the time hard to calm down.

Much later, they can go back to snoozing soundly being content in their sleep  and might not remember the night terror the next day. Kids having night terrors may also scream and thrash around and may not recognize when their parents try to comfort them. Their behavior occurs on waking up abruptly from deep, non-dreaming sleep.

Nightmares on the other hand occur from dream sleep and a child may wake up from their nightmare and may be able to remember and describe the bad dream to their parent, depending on their age.

What To Do If My Child Experiences Nightmares And Night Terrors?

Let’s Start With Nightmares:

Kid nightmares are not completely preventable, but parents can set the stage for a peaceful night rest. Godly parents may seek Christian parenting advice to know what to do when their kid is having nightmares.

Parents may take the opportunity to solace their kid with affection and comfort. This is important because you would be showing your child that you love them, care for them and want to make them feel safe.  And when you help your kid in such way, you tend to give them a clearer illustration of how Christians can run to their heavenly father.

Another Christian parenting advice tip to stop nightmares is to do this action when your kid is having nightmare; go to the place that is scary to the child (especially if your kid thinks there is something in their room). You can turn the lights on and show them what is bothering them so as to reassure your child that there’s nothing to be scared of.

You can also remind your kid that God is  protecting and watching over us always (because he never sleeps). Another important Christian parenting advice to adhere to is reading the scriptures and praying with your child. Always take out time to pray for your kid when they experience nightmares.

Thus, you will be teaching your child on how to take all of their troubles and trials not just to mom and dad, but to God.

Also, scriptures about protection and comfort can be shared with them.  Remember, never to leave your kid’s side until he or she is comforted. And by so doing, you might have succeeded in reflecting our heavenly father’s love and character to your kid.

What About Night Terrors?

Depends on the frequency.

If the sleep terrors can cause harm, are disruptive, or cause your child  to not get a deep sleep or if your child becomes embarrassed because of their sleep terrors, treatment may be needed. Treatment usually focuses on safety measures and trying to eliminate what causes or triggers the terrors.

Here Are Some Ways To Help Stop Sleep Terrors:

As stated earlier when talking about faith, remind your child that God is always protecting and watching over them. Many of the tips that were used to help your child with nightmares are applicable to helping them with night terrors.

Some other important tips:

  • Make sure your child is getting an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Have them follow a daily routine.
  • Eliminate potential things that can cause stress in their life since nigh terrors can be stress induced.

Hopefully you found this article useful in helping eliminate your child from experiencing nightmares and/or nigh terrors.

-Holly, the imperfect momma.

The Christian Working Mom Blog

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