Family Magazine

Sleep, Dreams, Nightmares, And Everything In-Between

By Peppertan

Sleep can seem like the last weird and wonderful mystery of the human body. You might think that the occurrences and causes of things that can happen while you’re asleep have no physical cause. A lot of variables of sleep can and have been explained by clever scientists.

It is worth understanding how sleep works and what happens when things go wrong. Particularly, if you’re a parent because most issues with sleep start around adolescence, around the time when your kid enters the terrible teens.

Sleep is important for the human body. It rejuvenates the systems, ensuring that everything is working as it should. It guarantees that you have the energy to get through the day, get up and conquer the challenges that you might encounter. So sleep is important and to understand the benefits, we first need to uncover some of the misconceptions about sleep and discover what really happens when we close our eyes.

You Restless Sleeper?


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Feeling restless? Perhaps you’ve heard or seen your child toss and turn in the bed through the night. That’s a problem because if this is happening the body is not resting as much as it should. If the body continues to move during sleep, the mind might be resting, but the body is wide awake. This is one of the reasons why some people feel completely exhausted when they wake up in the morning. Their body hasn’t received the level of sleep that it needs. If you or someone in your family is having this problem, it could be related to diet. You just need to make sure that they are getting more potassium in their diet. Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium so you should think about adding one of these to your child’s packed lunch each day.

Bear in mind that too much sugar can also have the effect of causing the body to stay awake through the night. Reduce the levels of sugar in the diet, and you should find it far easier to sleep without tossing and turning. You might even fall asleep more quickly.

Scary Occurrences



Have you ever had your child describe a terrifying night encounter? They might have started by saying that they were unable to move, they felt a presence in the room, and there was something crushing their chest. The worst part? They don’t even think they were sleeping. Their eyes were wide open. Your first thought might be oh dear Lord my child is possessed. Or, if you are a more rational thinker, you might determine that it’s probably a neurological issue and you’d be right. This is often referred to as sleep paralysis, and it can be terrifying. What is sleep paralysis? Well, it feels a lot like having a nightmare while your eyes are wide open. And if that doesn’t chill you to the bones remember, you won’t even be able to move.

There are various causes of this condition, and it can be common or a random occurrence. If you’re curious and we don’t know why you would be, you can trigger it yourself. Lie in bed very still, focus on one point of the wall and count back from 100. Try not to move a muscle. Eventually, your body should sent signals to the brain to say you are going to sleep. But you will still be awake, and that’s when the hallucinations tend to begin.   

There’s a section of the internet that believes that is a way to reach a new plain of existence, but of course, it isn’t. People believe once you reach this point you can actually leave your body. It is peculiar how many people describe the same sensations once they actually manage to ‘float’ out of their body.

If you want to prevent sleep paralysis  occurring, less sugar, more exercise and  a proper sleep schedule should prevent it from happening.

Lucid Dreaming


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Let’s say that your child is being haunted by bad dreams. This is quite common, particularly in the early years. A scary film can trigger a nightmare that will have you up all night telling them it was just a bad dream. Wouldn’t it be great if you could control your dreams and choose what you dream about? Well, you can if you learn the skill of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming means that your dreams are clearer and that you are in control. To get started once you wake up you need to try and write down everything you can remember about your dreams. Next, while you’re dreaming, you need to come to the realisation that the scenario you’re dreaming about isn’t real. And yes, this is where the idea of Inception came from. Although no, there is no evidence to suggest that we only use ten percent of our brain power while we’re awake.

Lucid dreaming can lead to some incredible experiences while you’re asleep. If you don’t believe this, you should read some of the encounters people have had with it online. They are quite remarkable.

Insomniacs United


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Finally, as your child reaches the end of the terrible teens, you might find they experience levels of insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by anything from high levels of stress to a poor diet. Though for teenagers, it’s often a body clock that has been thrown completely out of whack. So, if you want to correct the situation you just need to make sure that they aren’t sleeping through the afternoon, even in the summer. Of course, if it is stress, you need to find out what’s bothering them and try and fix it. You shouldn’t find it that difficult to fix the issue, but if it has a deeper root cause, it can be more complicated.

The answer? Make sure you talk to your child and find out if anything is bothering them. Usually, by talking it out, you can tackle it head on, and hopefully, this will allow them to stop worrying and drift to sleep the next evening.

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