If you have a child suffering from panic or anxiety at night, you know how terrifying it can be. No child should ever have to live through this type of night time experience. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help a child who suffers from these attacks. Here are some tips to help you manage this situation.
Experts recommend that if your child suffers panic attacks during the night, the first thing to do is get them back into a healthy sleep routine. It may sound obvious but there are so many factors that can contribute to a child’s sleep quality that sometimes making drastic changes in the child’s sleep schedule isn’t the best option. For instance, if your child’s bedroom is too hot, then changing the temperature to cooler is going to have a dramatic impact. On the other hand, if there is no such temperature control, then taking a warm bath before bedtime and using relaxing, calming scents (especially lavender) may help to relax the child and help them fall asleep easier.
Children often turn to their beds during a panic attack because they are attempting to regain control. This may be true, but it is important to remember that they are only human and, as such, often feel the need to regain their sense of control. Try talking to your child about the things happening around them and remind them that nothing bad is about to happen. This may be difficult for a child suffering from panic attacks at night, but if your child can hear you, then they will likely follow your command.
Don’t let your child have just one or two triggers, or their attacks could become more frequent. This would make things much harder to deal with and may keep the child awake and out of bed. Also, when trying to figure out what might be causing a child to suffer from panic attacks at night, talk to their doctor to see if there is a health reason that could be leading to this symptom. Certain types of sleep apnea can cause these attacks.
If your child experiences these attacks at night while sleeping in their bed, try putting a dark cloth over them to keep them as quiet as possible. If they are able to hear you or other people in their room, they may try to break free by shaking or sneezing so they can distract themselves. You may also want to consider placing an alarm on your child’s night stand or telephone. These devices can scare away any predators who might be listening in, giving you more peace of mind.
Help your child relax before going to bed by playing soothing music and making sure they have their dinner before they go to bed. Try to get them to think about happy things that they did today rather than negative things. Remember, kids often have nightmares in their dreams. Using this method can help your child relax and remove the fear and worry that may be keeping them awake. Hopefully, after some time, your child will stop having these child panic attacks at night.