3 doctors weighed in:

Is there any significance to my son having nightmares a few times a week?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Snead
ADHD & Autism
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not necessarily

You need to distinguish between a nightmare, which means a scary dream which is remembered at least in part, and night terrors, where the child seems scared and awake but is really still asleep and has no recall of the experience.
Terrors are common and usually eventually stop. Nightmares may indicate some significant stress or danger, or highlight a fear the child experiences when awake also.

In brief: Not necessarily

You need to distinguish between a nightmare, which means a scary dream which is remembered at least in part, and night terrors, where the child seems scared and awake but is really still asleep and has no recall of the experience.
Terrors are common and usually eventually stop. Nightmares may indicate some significant stress or danger, or highlight a fear the child experiences when awake also.
Dr. Gary Snead
Dr. Gary Snead
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1 comment
Dr. James Ferguson
Night terrors often improve or disappear with as little as a half hour additional sleep/night. Many consider them evidence of a sleep deficit.
Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Maybe overtired?

Nightmares are more common in children who are fatigued and tend to happen in the latter half of the night (between 4-6am).
Make sure your child has a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine and an early bedtime. Night terrors are different; they happen earlier in the night, and the child often is screaming, yet does not remember anything in the morning. Talk to your dr if worried.

In brief: Maybe overtired?

Nightmares are more common in children who are fatigued and tend to happen in the latter half of the night (between 4-6am).
Make sure your child has a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine and an early bedtime. Night terrors are different; they happen earlier in the night, and the child often is screaming, yet does not remember anything in the morning. Talk to your dr if worried.
Dr. Laura Webb
Dr. Laura Webb
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