Are our children having more nightmares lately?
For a while now my three year old has been waking up at night and then waking me. Yes, even baby sleep coaches get woken by their children sometimes. But while usually I share how to use curtains, lighting and schedules to manage sleep problems, Noah's wake ups are a bit out of my control. It's because he's been having nightmares.
I'm sure many of you have experienced the helpless feeling of your child having a nightmare. You can't do anything but you're desperate for them not to feel afraid.
I was telling someone about this and they mentioned they'd been having an unusual amount of dreams too and many of theirs were nightmarish. They'd looked it up and found yes, plenty of people are reporting having extra vivid or more regular dreams right now and many are pretty unpleasant. It looks like this is another thing we can thank this virus for.
A Washington Post article suggests we may be remembering more dreams rather than having more because due to the lockdown we're sleeping later and waking up at night more often.
CNet has broken down some of the common dreams people are reporting right now.
The New York Times assures me someone, somewhere is always also having weird dreams but yes right now it's particularly common. It also suggests a correlation between the general weirdness of real life at the moment and the weirdness of dreams.
So for my little boy and perhaps also for your children what does this mean? Here's what I'm trying, I hope this will also help you:
- Trying to maintain consistency wherever we can still achieve it e.g. same bedtimes and wake up times as before, same bedtime routine.
- Doing something fun with the kids daily, like going for scooter rides at the park or playing a ball game together.
- Giving my kids time to talk to their friends on Zoom (or whatever you use).
- And finally just being there when they wake up from a nightmare and comforting them, letting them know I'm there and everything is okay.
This too shall pass my friends and just like a nightmare soon this will be a thing we talk about in the past tense.
Much love, Sofia