A night terror is a form of sleep disruption that appears to be the same as a nightmare but is far more intense.
Night terrors are typically not a cause for concern or an indication of a more serious medical issue Please read this article to learn how to treat night terrors and find out at what age night terrors are most common.
What Are Night Terrors?
Night terrors are a type of sleep disorder that can cause a person to wake up in a state of terror. Night terrors are most common in children, but they can also occur in adults.
Night terrors nightmares are different from nightmares, as they are usually not triggered by a specific event or dream.
Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are unexpected, partial awakenings from a deep sleep that are characterized by tremendous panic, screaming, and difficulties fully waking up. Night terrors can occur in both children and adults.
Nightmares happen during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep age or dream sleep, while night terrors happen during deep sleep and/or the transition period between sleep stages, and they are not associated with bad dream night nightmares.
These episodes are frequently confused with nightmares, but the difference can be explained by the fact that nightmares happen during a dream, while night terrors do not.
What Causes Night Terrors?
Some experts believe that night terror is caused by an over-stimulation of the nervous system, which can be brought on by sleep problems stress, fatigue, or even certain medications.
It is also believed that night terror causes runs in families, so if you have a family member who experiences them, you may be more likely to experience them as well.
- Waking up in a state of panic
- Sweating or having a racing heart
- Feeling disoriented or confused
- Having trouble breathing
- Feeling like you’re choking or suffocating
- Having a sense of impending doom
What Age Are Night Terrors Common?
Nightmares and night terrors are two distinct types of dreams that occur during distinct periods of sleep.
Although you may talk or move about during a night of terror, you are actually unconscious. It’s not often that people can recall having night terrors. Bad dreams that you wake up from and are able to recall are known as nightmares.
Both children and adults are susceptible to having nightmares, however, night terrors are more prevalent in youngsters between the ages of 3 and 8. Nightmares can also afflict adults.
Most children who have night terrors live in happy, healthy homes with no family history of mental health issues. Night terrors are not caused by anything the child is experiencing in their life but may be due to genetics or a sleep disorder.
If your child has night terrors, it is essential to stay calm and not try to wake them up. It is also essential to keep them safe by making sure they do not hurt themselves. Night terrors usually go away on their own and do not require treatment.
According to the findings of a study conducted in 2015, approximately one-third of 18-month-olds have night terrors on occasion.
In general, this phenomenon is most common in children under the age of 13, with about 56% of children in this age range claiming to have experienced at least one sleep terror at some point in their lives. (Source: JAMA Network)
There is some evidence that night terrors can run in families. Therefore, if you have ever suffered from them, your child is more likely to do so.
4 Ways To Prevent Night Terrors
1. Understand What Night Terrors Are
Night terrors are a type of sleep disorder that can cause a person to wake up in a state of panic. Night terrors are most common in children, but they can also occur in adults.
2. Follow A Bedtime Routine
One way to stop night terrors is to follow a bedtime routine and keep a regular sleep schedule. This will help your body and mind relax and prepare for sleep.
Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed can also help reduce the occurrence of night terrors. If you think you may be suffering from night terrors, talk to your doctor.
3. Create A Calm Environment
This can be done by ensuring the room is dark, quiet, and free of any potential sources of stimulation or anxiety.
If the child has any favorite stuffed animals or blankets, these can be placed in the room to provide a sense of comfort. A white noise machine can also be used to help drown out any external noise that may be disturbing the child.
4. Keep A Nightlight In Child’s Room
Many parents find that keeping a nightlight on in their child’s room helps to stop night terrors from occurring. Night terrors are a type of sleep disorder that can cause a child to wake up in a state of fear or terror.
Although night terrors can be frightening for both the child and the parents, they are not harmful and usually only last for a few minutes. If your child is experiencing night terrors, try keeping a nightlight on in their room to help prevent them from happening.
A better understanding of night terrors might assist put your mind at ease and make it easier for you to have a restful night’s sleep yourself.
However, if you experience night terrors on a regular basis, you should discuss the possibility of seeing a sleep expert with your primary care physician.