Can a Dream Changer remove kids’ knightmares
Most parents and kids have looked for ways to change their nightmares and sleep better at night. There is research that was conducted using psychological strategy ad a device that looks like a television remote control that shows that we may be able to do that.
The new study from Finders University in Australia that tested if children aged 3 to 10 can turn off their bad dreams by pressing a button on a small device called a “Dream Changer”.
The results that the nightmares that children used to have had decreased from 3.4 to 1.6 per week, another thing that had decreased was sleep anxiety.
How the “Dream Changer” works
What is a dream changer, and can it potentially stop nightmares? The Dream Changer is a small, skinny, single button stick that researchers say was developed in the United States. It is not available for purchase yet.
According to a YouTube video narrated by Flinders University professor Michael Gradisar, the intent was for the 56 children in the study to press the device’s button and “wave it around” when they awake from a nightmare.
The parents that were involved in this study told their children to try and think about the good dreams that they wanted to have and to use the device if they have bad dreams. The study found that the psychological strategy helped the children have fewer nightmares and less sleep anxiety, leading to better sleep. Children of those ages need 9 to 13 hours of sleep per night.
Psychological Strategies to Improve Sleep
Researchers say that there are two possible reasons why Dream Changer helps with nightmares and sleep anxiety:
- The device changed the way children perceive nightmares.
- A physical device gave children a better understanding of control over their bad dreams.
This approach is like imagery rehearsal therapy, which was established to be the best practice by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Imagery rehearsal therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which traces depression, anxiety, insomnia (CBT-I), and other psychological issues to unhelpful ways of thinking and behavioral patterns. It suggests using coping strategies to address the patterns.
Results showed that children’s nightmares decreased from 3.4 to 1.6 per week. Kids also had fewer nightmares and less anxiety three months into use
According to the results of this study conducted in 2017 demonstrated that combining CBT with parent-involved play also helped kids have less nightmares. The children in this study used their imagination to change their thoughts about sleep, reducing nighttime fears.
In 2012 a similar study was conducted from Tel Aviv University explored psychological strategies using stuffed animals to help children reduce nighttime fears. It was found that the children had less fears and sleep problems after sleeping with a stuffed animal for one month.
Every study looked at how children could reframe disruptive thoughts and emotions that prevent them from sleeping. Children could feel more in control of something that scared them and sleep better.
A licensed clinical psychologist and sleep expert called Wendy Troxel said parents can practice a “low-tech” version of Dream Changer’s technique by reassuring their kids before bed, as she did with her children when they were younger.
She also said promoting positive feelings before bed can reduce fears of sleep and avoidance of going to bed which can be good for both parents and children.