Why does my child wake up crying?

Young Parents Team


Dr Kenny Pang, clinical director of the Pacific Sleep Centre, explains:

When night terrors happen, your child wakes up crying and screaming, his eyes wide open, with a look of fear and panic. 

Although it will seem like he’s awake, he will be inconsolable and might not recognise anyone. In the morning, he would have no recollection of the event.

Night terrors are common, but they may be made worse by stress, fever, sleep deprivation and medication that acts on the central nervous system. 

They typically last five to 30 minutes. And afterwards, children usually return back to sleep by themselves.

Related: What to do when your child has a nightmare

So what’s the cure?
There are no specific treatments. Most grow out of it…

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