Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Nightmares and Other Sleep Problems in Children
NOTICE: For the safety of our patients and employees, masks are still required at all Cone Health facilities.COVID-19 Info: Current Trends | Vaccine Scheduling | Visitor Guidelines | COVID-19 Testing | More
A good night's sleep helps your child to grow, to form memories, and to learn. Sleep helps your child stay alert and focused at school and play.
Children who don't get enough sleep over time can have behavior problems and trouble learning. They may become moody, sad, or angry.
Most sleep problems occur when the child is only partly asleep. Problems may include:
Children spend more time than teens and adults in a deep stage of sleep that happens early in the night. Sleep problems such as night terrors often happen during the change from this phase of sleep into lighter sleep. Nightmares tend to occur later in sleep, in the early morning hours when children are dreaming.
It may take some time for your child to go back to sleep. Children usually remember a nightmare, but they don't tend to remember night terrors, confusional arousals, or sleepwalking.
Night terrors and confusional arousals
Children outgrow most sleep problems. But you may want to take your child to the doctor if:
The doctor may look for health problems that could cause sleep problems. For example, children who are under stress because of problems at home or at school may be more likely to have nightmares.
Your doctor may suggest counseling if your child has a lot of stress and often has nightmares.
Most children don't need medicine. In rare cases, a child may take medicine to help control the phase of sleep in which sleepwalking occurs.
Current as of:
February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineSusan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.