Night terrors are episodes of screaming, intense fear, and flailing while still asleep. They’re also known as “night terror” or sleepwalkers because they often happen in association with this other parasomnia-paralyzed behavior pattern that occurs during the REM (dream) phase when you ought to be dreaming but instead feels like your body is paralyzed yet move around jerkily without control or awareness until awakened by another person who has had their own nightmare just moments before.
Night Terror Signs and Symptoms
Night terrors can be a frightening and confusing experience for both children and parents. Children may also have: Panting or rapid breathing because their heart rate is so fast, dilated pupils (widely spaced eyes) as if they were staring at something really far off in the distance which makes it difficult to focus on anything close up; sweating due to hypervigilance about what’s happening around them- all these symptoms could mean that your child needs medical attention.
Children often have night terrors when they sleep, but unlike nightmares which the kid may remember in detail the next day because it’s during the REM stage of sleep where you’re dreaming. Night terror happens at deeper levels and there are no mental images that can be recalled so no memories will form about what happened during one of these episodes
It takes time for them to calm down after calming an episode has begun – sometimes only minutes, other times longer than an hour depending on how severe or prolonged this disturbance becomes.
What Causes Night Terrors?
There is evidence that night terrors have a genetic component and are more likely to occur in individuals who have family members with parasomnia, specifically those whose parents or siblings also suffer from it. In addition to this connection between genetics and the occurrence of sleep disorders such as OSA (obstructive slept apnea), people suffering from restless leg syndrome often experience night-time violent shaking attacks too.
Night terrors in adults are sometimes hard to diagnose because they don’t occur regularly, and people often don’t remember having them. If you think that a night terror might be happening now or have happened recently, make an appointment with your healthcare professional for further evaluation of sleep quality as well as possible treatments such as counseling services which may help alleviate symptoms associated with these terrifying episodes.