The scenario; you’re in Bunkers Australia looking for a new bed. You figure new bed could be a new start. This may not be the case, if only it was so easy. Nightmares are not simply caused by uncomfortable beds. Nightmares are scary dreams that everyone experiences in their lifetime, especially during childhood. They can wake up your children, seeming vivid to them. It’s this challenge to separate them from reality that can leave your child feeling upset. It seems real to them and you need to remember this. Their disrupted sleep also means you don’t get a good night of rest. The following talks about what may be causing your child’s nightmares and ways you can help.
If only it was as simple as finding the cause and stopping it at the roots. Finding the exact root is impossible but there may be a connection between the nightmares and the child hearing or seeing something that upset them. The exact reason nightmares occur is unknown. They generally occur in the second half of the night. Children normally have full awareness and remember the dream, if they wake up during the episode.
It may seem impossible to stop nightmares when you are not aware of the source. This is not true; you can decrease your child’s likelihood of experiencing nightmares. Firstly you need to insure adequate sleep. You want to have a schedule for your child to follow. This will insure that their sleeping pattern is regular. This will assist in cutting down the occurrence of nightmares. Before putting your child to bed insure the atmosphere is ‘light.’ Thirty minutes before your child is going to bed you should be preparing them for bed. This means no dramatic, scary or highly energetic activities or television. If your child does have a nightmare it should not be ignored. Discuss it during the day. You want to find out what was scary to determine a theme. This will make it easier to explain to your child there is no need to be scared whilst still understanding where they are coming from. Finally, comfort your child. There is no harm in letting your child know that they are safe. Stay with them for a short period and they will most likely fall back to sleep.
Remember that nightmares are something a child grows out of, you can’t stop them. This can make some parents feel helpless but all you need to do is be there for your child. You are their safety net. Be there when they wake up to reassure that it was just a dream they are safe.
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