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Night Terror Is A Sleep Disorder That Affects Children

Night Terror Is A Sleep Disorder That Affects Children

To solve the problem, parental participation is the most important issue, says psychologist Maria Cristina Capobianco. First, you need to minimize aggravating factors such as bedtime and wake-up irregularities and a diet based on spicy or fatty foods.

Night Terror Is A Sleep Disorder That Affects Children - Photo: Getty Images

It is advisable not to yell at the children during the crisis or to wake them up quickly. Otherwise, what would last for about 15 seconds may be slow to pass. "If parents are willing to listen to the reports without fearing or devaluing them, they will be listening to the child's unconsciousness, which is obviously bringing some appeal," says the therapist.

Another resource parents can use to help the child to deal with the problem is the assembling of a kind of play with the story of the nightmare. "The child can be the monster, the parents another figure, and everyone can invent a new outcome for the plot, this will give the child his magic powers to fight these creepy animals," explains Maria Cristina. With babies, the orientation is to hold them in their arms, talking quietly or even singing until the feeling of terror diminishes.

How to make the child sleep?

In cases where parental attempts do not work, participation of a psychologist may be effective so that the child does not feel threatened and fragile in the face of difficulties.

In severe cases, the use of tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines (diazepam) may be recommended. However, because the result of these medications is not guaranteed, it is advisable to avoid this option to the maximum.

Nightmares can indicate difficulties in family dynamics. Children who witnessed or were directly victims of situations of domestic violence, lost significant persons or suffered sexual abuse, among other traumas, may present an intensification of bad dreams. This is a sign that the experience still needs to be worked out.

Night terrors can still be triggered by stressful situations, such as school change, separation of parents, loss of a pet, a fight with a brother and pain of growth.

The consequences of night terrors are distress and distress for the child, in addition to possible development of early insomnia. Fear of staying in the dark, sleeping alone and dreaming are other problems brought about by the disorder.


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