Many children experience nightmares and night terrors, but most grow out of them. They don't cause any long-term psychological harm to your child. A child having night terrors may scream and thrash around in extreme panic, and may even jump out of bed, and may not recognize you if you try to comfort them. This behavior occurs on waking abruptly from deep, non-dream sleep. Your child won't be fully awake during these episodes and will have no memory of it the next morning.
Nightmares occur from dream sleep (REM sleep). Your child may wake up from the nightmare and, depending on their age, may be able to remember and describe the bad dream to you. Both night terrors and nightmares in children are described in more detail in this book along with advice about what you should do.
Night terrors are common in children aged between three and eight years. The episodes usually occur in the early part of the night continue for several minutes (up to 15 minutes) and sometimes occur more than once during the night.
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