sweet dreamDreams are an involuntary yet habitual response to emotions. Nightmares in children are often linked to their emotions (mood) prior to sleep. When a child is experiencing anxiety in the form of stress or worry, there is an increased likelihood that these feelings will manifest as a scary or unsettling dream.

A powerful way to calm fears before bedtime and “prime” the mind for dreaming pleasant dreams is to tell fun and light-hearted stories just before falling asleep.

In our house, I do this with my children by lying in bed with them at night. With lights off (night light on) we exchange tales of fun and light-hearted adventure. I often include my children as characters in the stories, and always end the adventure with their characters feeling positive and triumphant.

Especially if one of my children is feeling scared or worried before bed, storytelling is often just the right medicine to shift their mood and allow them to forget their worries before they drift off to sleep. This has proved to be a powerful method to set the stage for sweet dreams for my children.