I confess. I love the movies—almost all movies. But, if you want a good night's sleep, skip those mad slasher movies. They're made to frighten adults, and they work. So, who sees these flicks? Children. And that's when the nightmares, bedtime fears, and other sleep problems in my patients commonly begin:
An 8-year-old girl begins to have nightly terrifying dreams after seeing Nightmare on Elm Street. The content of her dream is that Freddy Kruger catches her and tears her head off. She saw the movie with her 16-year-old brother, who rented it while he was babysitting.
A 5½-year-old girl has a 3-month history of nightmares in which she is pursued and killed by Jason. She saw Friday The 13th the day before the onset. She watched it on cable television while staying overnight with a friend. They got up and turned it on after the parents went to bed.