Bully victims more likely to suffer night terrors

“Consistent with previous studies, being a female, having persistent sleep problems, and emotional and behaviour problems in childhood additionally increased the risk for parasomnias at age 12 years.”

Dr Lereya, from the Department of Psychology, added that stress could be an important mechanism for the association between being bullied and parasomnias.

“Nightmares may occur when anxiety exceeds a threshold level and several studies have suggested that trait anxiety may be related to the frequency of parasomnias. However, even after controlling for pre-existing anxiety problems our results showed that being bullied may increase the risk for parasomnias.”

The authors suggest that: “If a child is experiencing frequent parasomnias, parents, teachers, school counsellors, and clinicians may consider asking about bullying. This would allow detecting bullied children and providing the help they need at an early time to reduce the negative effects of being bullied.” The bullying doesn’t have to be limited to a childhood experience, however. Many adults continue to suffer these terrors long into their lives, and some have found that nature’s aid natural products can help ease them back to sleep. Whether or not this is good to use for children is a highly debated matter, and the issue is best discussed with a doctor.