My daughter has nightmares that sometimes wake her up. Should I be worried?
Nightmares are pretty common in childhood, especially in kids younger than 10. Aside from making for a restless night's sleep for everyone involved, the occasional nightmare is generally not a cause for concern.
There's no proven way to prevent the occasional nightmare, but you might try having your daughter avoid scary books, movies, and video games before sleep. Having a happy, peaceful bedtime routine also can help. Using a nightlight, sleeping with the bedroom door open, and having a security item (like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal) can help kids feel safer. Some kids even like to keep a flashlight next to their bed.
Recurring nightmares may signal fear or anxiety worth exploring through discussions with your child or with the help of your doctor or a behavioral health professional. If you're concerned about the nightmares, your child has them often, or she seems afraid during the day, talk to her doctor.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
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|What Causes Night Terrors? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Nightmares Nightmares aren't totally preventable, but parents can help kids feel better when they have one and ease their transition back to sleep.|
|Nightmares Nightmares may be upsetting, but they are not "real" and can't harm you. And if you have one, you're in good company: almost everyone gets them once in awhile - adults, as well as kids. Read our article on nightmares to find out more.|
|Night Terrors A night terror is a sleep disruption that seems similar to a nightmare, but it's far more dramatic. Night terrors can be alarming, but aren't usually cause for concern or a sign of a medical issue.|
|Common Sleep Problems Sleep problems can keep some teens awake at night even when they want to sleep. If that sounds like you, find out what you can do.|
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