Is your child experiencing night terrors?

Tips to help your child overcome bedtime worries.

What are night terrors?

Night terrors are completely different to the more common nightmare and have been disturbing an increasing number of families. It’s estimated one to six percent of children experience night terrors.
One minute your child may be fast asleep and then suddenly they start kicking and screaming, which can be terrifying for parents. 

Most night terrors happen before midnight when the child is between the light and deep stage of sleep and can last for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the sleep pattern.

What causes the common night terror?

  • Fever
  • Taking a new medicine
  • Sleeping in a new environment
  • Traumatic events
  • Sleep deprivation

Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fast breathing

How can you prevent it?

  1. Make sure your child has a bedtime routine, such as bath, book, bed.
  2. Make the environment safe.
  3. Offer comfort.
  4. Keep track of when your child has a night terror every night and schedule an awakening at that time. Gently rub your child and tell them to wake up. Comfort them during this time until you know it’s safe for them to continue sleeping.

By Abby Hudson