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Neurofeedback for Nightmares/Night Terrors in Children

delete-5.jpgDid you know that nightmares are more frequently experienced by children? Children have wildly active imaginations and at young ages, they are beginning to learn about fear. Therefore, nightmares are a common result. However, if a child frequently has episodes of intense screaming, crying, and feelings of fear and anxiety while asleep, and the parent or guardian has trouble waking the child in the middle of the episode, this child is likely experiencing night terrors. 

Night terrors effect about 1-6% of children, and can be triggered by sleep deprivation, stress, and traumatic experiences. Typically, episodes occur approximately 90 minutes after the child falls asleep. Often the child appears to be awake during an episode, but may not be responsive to any comforting attempted by the parent or guardian. The child may look confused and disoriented while screaming and/or crying in fear. For a child to be diagnosed, there must be frequent, recurrent episodes where it is difficult to wake the child up as the episode occurs. Other symptoms include increased heart rate, fast breathing, and sweating. While most episodes only last a few minutes, they can last up to about 30 minutes before the child is able to settle down. It could be even longer before the child is able to remain calm long enough to fall back to sleep, impacting the child’s quality of sleep for the whole night and the child’s performance in school the following day. Not getting enough quality rest will impact the child’s attention span, emotional control, and memory.

delete-6.jpgA quantitative EEQ brain map can identify where in the brain is causing the night terrors and targets these areas during neurofeedback sessions. The brain will naturally learn to function more healthily and efficiently, correcting what causes the nightmares and night terrors to occur. After several neurofeedback sessions, the child will begin to sleep much easier as neurofeedback reduces the frequency and intensity of night terrors, and improves overall quality and duration of sleep. The child will wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day, no longer tired and groggy from waking in the night. Additionally, neurofeedback improves the brain’s executive functions, resulting in strengthened attention, emotional control, and memory, which helps children excel academically. Neurofeedback requires no medication, and does not have any unwanted side effects other than mild sleepiness after the first couple of sessions as the brain is working hard to naturally improve.

“We stop nightmares in both adults and children,” says Dr. Jolene Ross, director of Advanced Neurotherapy. “I had an adorable little five-year-old girl who used to call me the “Bad Dream Doctor”. It took a few sessions to get rid of the bad dreams, but they stopped happening. They were awful.” Would you like to see the quality of your child’s sleep improve and eliminate nightmares and/or night terrors? 

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First image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Second image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Posted in Insomnia, Neurofeedback, School Performance, Sleep Disorders, Brain Function, Nightmares, Night Terrors Tagged Insomnia, Neurofeedback, School Performance, Sleep Disorders, Brain Function, Nightmares, Night Terrors


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