Posted by: Worried Mom | 2004/10/19


Bad Dreams

Hi, my 8 year old Son is having bad dreams, which occur about an hour after he goes to sleep at night, about 4 times a week. He wakes up, comes running to me, and is very dillusional and frightened. I comfort him as much as I can and try to reassure him that everything is OK. He cannot tell me what he is dreaming about. He just looks at me and cries uncontrollably, saying that I must not let anything happen to him! I have questioned him about being bullied at school, even maybe thinking that he might be being abused in some way. He denis all of this and says "everything is alright Mom." I am very worried. He is a very bright, well behaved child and he has always gone to bed at his bedtime without any fuss. After reading a few articles about nightmares, I have established that they happen after a few hours of sleep, when a child is in a very deep sleep. This is not happening with him, as it happens about 1 hour after he has fallen asleep.

Expert's Reply



What you describe sounds like classical "night time terrors" that may occur in children of this age. Normally the child does not wake up during these episodes and the best is to guide him back to bed and comfort him, without waking him. It is not necessarily an indication of emotional stress or other problems and usually passes with time. He is not naughty or misbehaved and you seem to be handling the episodes in the correct way. No medication is indicated, as long as these are the only symptoms and he is otherwise healthy

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Maggie | 2004/10/21

What we dream or in your case have nightmares about is definitely attributed to what we see in that day, monitor what your child reads, watches on tv. At that age they are very vulnerable and gullable and are at one of the peak ages of being influenced. Never mention monsters, ghosts reassure your child there are no such things, we make mistakes as parents to scare our children into being "good" and not doing certain things and that may attribute to his nightmares. My son often used to wake with nightterrors they are the scariest things as they cry uncontrollably and nothing you say calms them down because they are infact still asleep but in what looks like to you as awake. The best thing that you can do for your child is pray for their safety and protection and their mental wellness, afterall God gave you your child, why not thank him each day for that blessing and ask for his protection over your child, I never forget to cover my children with prayer each night

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