There are many factors that can cause your child to wake up in the middle of the night. Most of the times, night waking episodes are caused by tiredness and over-stimulation during the day – both of which may lead to nightmares and night terrors.
What are Nightmares?
Nightmares are scary dreams and it is common for children to get them from time to time. Most nightmares happen during the second half of the night (usually after 2am), when dreaming is most intense.
Your child may wake up crying and come to you for comfort, and might even have trouble going back to sleep.
What Parents Can Do:
- Go to your child as quickly as possible
- Assure him/her that you are there and will not let anything harm him/her
- Encourage your child to tell you what happened, and remind him/her that dreams are not real
- Allow him/her to keep a light on to help him/her feel and sleep better
- Once he/she has calmed down, encourage him/her to go back to sleep
- See if there is something that is scaring your child (e.g. shadows). If so, make sure to remove them.
Are nightmares and night terrors the same thing? Find out more about night terrors on the next page.