Why do children have nightmares?
Children have nightmares more often than adults – this is a scientifically proven fact. Child may see a nightmare when he is just 1 year old. Researches have shown that nightmares bother about 40 percent of children aged from 3 to 7 years.
Mostly nightmares occur during the fast phase of sleep or after midnight closer to the morning.
Rare nightmares do not cause serious problems and usually they stop at the age of 5-6 years.
Frequent and intense nightmares can become a problem. Often they happen to sensitive and emotional children with rich imagination.
Nightmares can be caused by various factors:
Failure in observing sleep-wake mode:
- Playing games that cause emotional excitement before sleep
- Lack of certain time for sleeping
- Lack of usual sleep preparation
- Changes in the quantity and composition of food
- Eating indigestible food post meridiem – it gives the load on cerebral cortex that may cause anxiety sometimes.
- Unhealthy family environment, lack of close relations with parents
- Fear of punishment
- Fear of doctors and medical procedures
- Conflicts with peers
- Emotional overstrain, fear
- Inadequate distribution of physical and intellectual stress
- Different kinds of phobias
- Stress because of changing teams;
- Age-related fears
- Malfunction of the child’s internal organs
- Cold diseases
- Bladder overflow
Firstly, you need to find out the cause of anxiety and then look for ways to solve the problem in order to save your child from nightmares. It is possible when the reason is open. It is necessary to observe and determine which events can affect the psycho-emotional state of the child. It may require a specialist’s help if the cause of nightmares is deeper. The main thing is not to ignore your child’s anxious state of mind.