Friday, November 30, 2012

Night Terrors Part.I

Some children have more nightmares than others, and frequency of bad dreams is not necessarily cause for alarm. It is not unusual for a child to experience nightmares for several nights in a row, followed by several nights of calm sleep. But recurrent nightmares may indicate that the youngster is having difficulty adjusting to a trauma, such as and accidents are to stress in the family. One other possibility to consider is a medical condition called apnea, in which the child’s breathing, is interrupted, causing him to awake frequently. The disorientation and fright that accompany this wakening may easily be confused with a nightmare. If your child has prolonged and repeated nightmares, you should consult your physician.

 Night terrors are much less common than nightmares and are often mistaken for bad dreams, although the two experiences are quite different (Box, right). The name ‘‘night terrors’’ is somewhat misleading, since the child will not always be terrify. He may scream or thrash about, but he may also talk quite calmly, sleepwalk or just stare into space. Parents frequently describe their child as looking possessed during such as episode. Because night terrors occur in the deepest stage of non-REM sleep, the youngster never fully wakes up even if he becomes very agitated.

 Night terrors tend to run in families. Researches believe that they are related to quirks in a child’s awakening mechanism: Instead of shifting smoothly from deepest non-REM sleep to the dream state of REM, the child partially rouses. But night terrors do happen more often when a youngster is very tried, so their occurrence can also tell you that your child needs more sleep.

One of the real problems in helping a child who is having night terrors is that it is not always obvious just what is happening. You may be groggy yourself and assume that the youngster is simply distraught from a nightmare. Keep in mind that night terrors most often occur in the first four hours of bedtime, when the child is most tried and spends more time in the deeper stages of sleep. Nightmares generally occur in the latter half of the sleep period, especially in the hours near dawn when REM sleep prevails.