Nightmares and Night Terrors | Treatment


What should I do?

If your child has night terrors, speak to him or her calmly and gently and try to get your child back to bed. Do not shout or shake your child.

Night terrors and sleepwalking require that you protect your child during sleep. Be sure your home is safe (use toddler gates on staircases and don't use bunk beds for children who have nightmares or night terrors often). Talk with your doctor if your child ever gets hurt while sleeping. Your doctor may want to study your child during sleep.

Tips to Help Your Child Sleep Better

  • Follow a regular routine before bedtime. Pleasant activities, such as reading, may help your child relax.
  • Fatigue may contribute to night terrors. Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night.
  • If your child is stressed or anxious, talk to your child about what is stressing him or her. Together, try to come up with a plan to handle the stress.


Nightmares and Disorders of Dreaming by JF Pagel, MD (American Family Physician April 01, 2000,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 09/00


Nightmares and Night Terrors


Causes & Risk Factors