Fright Nights

Night terrors aren't the same as nightmares

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(HealthDayNews) -- Night terrors are scary -- not just for kids but for parents, too.

They're different than nightmares, which are disturbing dreams that happen during deep REM sleep and can be remembered for years. With night terrors, your child may wake up with a blood-curdling scream and look terrified, but not remember a thing.

According to the Nemours Foundation, night terrors are common among children between ages 3 and 5. They usually occur about an hour or two after a child goes to sleep.

While these events can be disturbing, they're not harmful to your child.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Ensure your child gets enough rest. Fatigue may spur an episode.
  • Know what upsets your child and try to minimize the distress.
  • If your child's night terrors tend to occur at the same time each night, wake him about 30 minutes before they usually happen. Get him out of bed and have him talk to you for about five minutes before letting him go back to sleep.

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