There are many things that can cause a child to wake up at midnight. Most often it happens when children are very tired or under stress. But this stress can generate one of the biggest terrors of children when they are young, these are nightmares. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help prevent many of these problems, but sometimes it is not so easy, we must take into account many factors in the development stage of our children to help them end these bad times at bedtime .
Most parents have comforted their children after an occasional nightmare. But if your son ever had a night terror, his fear will have been impossible to calm down, no matter what he did. It probably happens to me as a child that I called my parents more than 2 or 3 times at night until the moment it was up to me to accompany me until I could sleep again or until one had to scold me to calm me down and many will say that a father must support his son and not make him feel bad for having a nightmare that in the end the child does not have the power to handle, but I will say that the scolding sometimes served and sent me to sleep. But so that they do not have to do this we will give them some tips or elements to keep in mind to prevent the nightmare or simply to calm their children and explain that they are safe and nothing will happen.
To explain them in a technical way, the dream takes place in several phases. We have dreams (including nightmares) during the rapid eye movement stage. Night terrors occur in sleep that is not rapid eye movement. Technically, night terrors are not a dream but a sudden reaction of fear that occurs during the transition from one phase of the dream to another. This is why a child can wake up on more than one occasion in a single night for more than one nightmare. Night terrors usually occur in children between 4 and 12 years old, but have also been seen in children as young as 18 months. They seem to be a little more common among men.
In case of a nightmare:
- Go immediately to care for your child
- Assure him that you are by his side and that he will not allow anything to happen to him
- Try to convince him to tell you what happened in the dream. Remind him that dreams are not real.
- Let him leave the light on if it makes him feel better
- Once your child is ready, encourage him to go back to sleep.
- Verify that there is nothing that is frightening the child, such as shadows, and if this is the case, be sure to get rid of them.
We must take into account factors in the lives of our children that may be generating these problems, they can be from simple things such as going to bed very quickly after eating to bullying or stress and pressure problems in our child. For this we must talk to them and assure them that they can trust us with any problem they are going through.