Learning About Nighttime Fears in Children – Day 03 #30DBC

Nightmare moon fear children
image by: shutterstock
I know I'm quite a ways away from having to deal with my child's nighttime fears. But I know I had nightmares growing up. As I mentioned before, my nightmares were mostly about a big gorilla that lurked in the dark corners.

(this post is back-dated to fit the #30DBC - actual posting date was 11/27/2012)

Ever since I can remember I have been curious about dreams and sleep, especially nightmares. So a post about nightmares and new research caught my eye earlier.

I read the whole thing and it was very interesting. It seems that night time fears and nightmares may be mostly problems in Western culture, and not across all cultures.

I also found this interesting:

Does communal sleeping reduce nighttime fears? It seems very plausible. It would be surprising if co-sleeping with parents didn’t reduce a child’s separation anxiety -- a panic response arising from a primitive part of brain that also processes information about physical pain...

And this:

Among these ancestors, children left alone at night would have been extremely vulnerable to predation. Leaving a child alone at night meant abandonment and (very possibly) death. Fear evolved to keep kids close and safe.

via Nighttime fears in children.

The article suggests that co-sleeping may be the reason why other non-western cultures' kids don't seem to experience as much night time fears. Perhaps they're onto something?

As a parent what is your opinion on nightmares and night time fears? And do you think co-sleeping is good?