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Children and night fears

Children and night fears

What is night fear?Night fear, also called sleep terror, is a type of sleep disorder that is frequently seen in children between the ages of 3-6. This state of fear occurs in children about 1-2 hours after bedtime and suddenly breaks sleep. It is characterized by tension, crying or even tremor in children.
Causes of night fearThe exact causes of night-time fear in children are still unknown, but if the child is stretched or excited during the time period just before bedtime, it creates an environment suitable for the development of night-time fear. It is thought that factors such as tensions at home and the child's psychology being exposed to intense stress may cause night fear.
How is night fear seen?In fear of the night, the child wakes up fearful of sleep and reacts like crying and screaming. There may be fearful dreaming or dream recall. It is considered normal that the astonishment and tension persists at the first awakening. In the meantime, children have the desire to share the nightmare with their parents, the need to cuddle, and fear of falling asleep. With the support of parents, the child can be persuaded to sleep. In this sense, the reactions and behavior of the parents are very important.
Symptoms of night fear- Heart palpitations - Tension - Confusion - Crying or shaking - Sweating
How to treat night fear?In the event of night-time fear, the mother or father should be with the child to support the fear. Following the child's appease; leaving the night light or door open and saying that he will be there when he needs it helps to alleviate the child's fear of the night. However, if these measures are not sufficient, help should be sought from an expert. It is thus possible to determine whether the cause is night-time fear or a symptom of neurological disease. Once the condition is identified, support may be obtained from medication and psychotherapy.
What to do against night fearEven if the child cries trembling at night, parents should keep their calm attitude. Otherwise, the child will be even more scared and will not feel safe. After the child is calmed down, he should be put to bed, and if possible, accompanied by him until he falls asleep. Children should not be allowed to watch horror and thriller films. In addition, if there are factors that can increase the stress of the child in the house, solutions should be brought to them and the child should be able to sleep in a quiet and calm home environment.


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