Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beating Bedtime Blues

Night terrors are frightening to watch in children, although they are often not harmful and do not demand medication or complex medical tests. Night terrors are part of the group of disorders called parasomnias. These undesirable movements during sleep range from teeth grinding to sleepwalking to overlapping states of confusion or arousal. Most children outgrow them without long-term psychological effects. If your child gets night terrors, start a good bedtime routine and keep him safe, especially if he tends to sleepwalk. Lock doors and windows, have him sleep in ground-floor room, and put him to bed in a sleeping bag for some restraint. Night terrors tend to occur at about the same time each night, so it may help to gently nudge him awake about 15minutes earlier and then let him driff off to sleep again. Often, after four to five nights, the terrors will stop.

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