Cognitive therapy,Night terror,Behavior,Child,Sleep,Cognitive behavioral therapy,Therapy

Cognitive therapy improves behavior issues in kids with night terrors

January 14, 2017
in Kids

(Reuters Health) - Young children who receive cognitive behavior therapy to help them cope with night terrors may have fewer behavior problems tied to poor sleep than kids who receive therapy that doesn't include advice on how to manage symptoms, a recent study suggests. The study focused on 90 children, ages 4 to 6, with severe and persistent fears that interfere with normal functioning and cause considerable stress for kids and their families. These night terrors affect about 10 percent of children, and are much more debilitating than the occasional nightmares that wake kids every so often. Researchers randomly assigned the children into two groups. One group received cognitive behavior therapy involving structured play with their parents designed to build coping skills. The other group received non-directive therapy involving playtime with parents but no guidance on how to manage the sleep issues. Four weeks after treatment, all of the children had significantly fewer nighttime fears and sleep disruptions. With cognitive therapy, however, parents reported more improvements in sleep and behavior. This suggests that cognitive behavior therapy, an established treatment for older kids with sleep problems, may also work with young children when a play component is added, said lead study author...

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