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I’m a doctor and THIS is what could be causing your child’s nightmares

Banish the monster under the bed with these six tips from a doctor and interior designer

Experts explain how to create the perfect bedroom to eliminate nightmares

Up to three-quarters of children between the age of two and ten are scared of the dark, and surprising hair-raising hotspots in their bedroom, including bedside tables, wardrobes, and mirrors, can intensify the problem.

Experts can now reveal that simple décor changes, such as swapping for a loft bed or furniture with rounded edges, could help eliminate bedtime nightmares.

Bed and sleep specialists at Happy Beds have worked with a doctor and an interior designer to reveal what might be causing bad dreams in children’s bedrooms. From common scary pieces of furniture to the best bedtime set-up, here are six top tips to banish the monsters under the bed.

Scary spot: Under the bed - Tip: Choose a loft bed

The most common childhood fear is monsters under the bed. However, did you know that creating more space under the bed could help? Po-Chang Hsu, Doctor of Medicine (MD), explains that a loft or cabin bed could be just the thing to battle nightmares: “The height of a loft bed can make a child feel protected and away from danger. A cabin bed is recommendable if the child is not yet old enough to climb a high bed on their own. Its playful aspect creates a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for driving away bad dreams.”

Scary spot: The wardrobe - Tip: Switch to a half-size wardrobe

Wardrobes are a common source of worry for children due to the fear of what could be lurking within. Moreover, interior designer and feng shui expert Deepika Adhikari explains they can also contribute to negative energy in a child’s bedroom: “Large furniture and tall armoires bring down the positive energy in small children. Replacing them with a smaller wardrobe, about half the size of an adult version, is ideal for promoting positive energy in a kid's room.”

Scary spot: Mirrors - Tip: Position mirrors carefully

Kids have overactive imaginations, so having a mirror in eyeline of their bed can increase the chance of them feeling like they’ve caught a glimpse of something scary. If there are mirrors in a child’s room, position them so they aren’t visible from the bed to allow their imagination to rest easy while they’re trying to drift off.

Scary spot: Curtains - Tip: Opt for blinds instead of curtains

Parents report that curtains are often a source of fear in their children’s rooms. Tall curtains allow little imaginations to run wild, conjuring up images of someone, or something, hiding behind them. Switching to shorter, half-size curtains can help, or better yet, get rid of the curtain fear altogether by replacing them with nonthreatening blinds.

Scary spot: Bedside table - Tip: Avoid ‘poison arrows’

In feng shui, sharp corners are called ‘poison arrows’, and give off negative energy, which can contribute to fear and nightmares in children. For positive energy, ensure no sharp corners are pointing in the direction of the bed. For example, a bedside table with softer, curved lines can feel much less aggressive, leading to a more restful and relaxed night’s sleep.

Scary spot: Wallpaper or décor - Tip: Avoid aggressive artwork

Your little one may adore superheroes, but did you know action-themed wallpaper, décor or artwork could actually be giving them bad dreams? Avoid anything with violent or hostile imagery showing weapons, fight scenes or aggressive action, such as superheroes battling, ninjas, or sharks. Calm artwork, family photos, or children’s own framed drawings are all much more tranquil options that will help children settle down to sleep peacefully.

Rex Isap, CEO at Happy Beds, commented:

“At Happy Beds, we’re all about encouraging better sleep. With nighttime fears keeping both children and their parents awake, we’ve worked with experts to identify what is causing problems and discovered some surprising switches you can make in a child’s room to encourage a peaceful night’s sleep. While we’re all familiar with the classic ‘monster under the bed’, who knew a rounded bedside table could make such a difference? With the help of these tips, we hope that children can sleep tight without the bedtime scaries – and parents can enjoy a more peaceful evening, too!”.

For more expert tips on how to set up a child’s room for a night of soothing sleep, visit the Happy Beds blog.