Saturday, May 8, 2010

Children - Sleeping and Dreaming

We know it is important for children to get their sleep in order to feel well, grow and develop properly, and function academically. But, many parents may not know why their children have trouble sleeping at night. It could be their bedtime routine that is hindering a restful night's sleep.

There are 15 fascinating facts about dreams in the article from which the facts below were taken. You may read the entire article at I've selected and posted those points that deal specifically with children.

1. Late-night snacks can cause nightmares: Nightmares in adults are much less common than in children, but there are some factors that can trigger scary dreams. Besides stress, medications and depression, late night munchies can interfere with your body's metabolism. Eating late will make your brain feel like it needs to stay active for your body, which can lead to crazy dreams if you fall asleep instead of use up your energy.

3. Daydreams are real: The psychology department at UC Santa Cruz explains that our bodies and brains don't necessarily require actual sleep to dream. As long as certain forces are in effect and the environment is right — when we tune out external stimuli but our brains are still active, for example — we have the potential to dream.

5. Blind people don't "see" in their dreams: For people who can see, it can be hard to imagine dreaming without lifelike imagery. But blind people dream, too, though not in the same way. According to The Accidental Mind, people who were born blind or who became blind at a very young age generally experience dreams according to their other senses.

8. Your dreaming ability matures by 5th grade: Young children do dream, but UC Santa Cruz's psych department explains that their dreams are usually more "bland." We don't realize our dreaming potential until 5th grade or so.

9. Dreams help depression: It's still debatable whether or not dreams hold any true meaning, but many scientists do believe that dreaming is therapeutic, as it lets your mind freely associate feelings and explore emotions.

11. Night terrors affect you when you sleep and when you're awake: Night terrors usually occur in children 4-12 years of age and are much more intense than nightmares. Sleepwalking may occur, and also unlike nightmares, they last even after you've woken up. Scientists believe that night terrors happen earlier in the night for kids, but at any time of the sleep cycle for adults.

12. iPads, video games, and other tech gadgets can make you have crazy dreams: Reading a book in bed is a good way to fall asleep, but not if you're reading your iPad or similarly faux-lit object. The unnatural glow from gadgets keeps your brain active, which can trigger restless sleep and even nightmares or crazy dreams.

13. Your body uses outside influences to keep you asleep: Unless you are in a very deep sleep, your body tries to use external forces — like music or other outside noises — and incorporate them into your dreams as a way of keeping you asleep.

Excerpted from "15 Fascinating Facts About Your Dreams" found on MRI Technician Schools' Web site.

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  1. Excellent post. I dream awake frequently. I'll be making sure those video games go off a few hours before bed now for my teens. Thanks!


  2. So glad to have helped someone with that article. I really appreciate your comment here.

  3. awesome post and such deff wa san eye opener!


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