Night terrors are not nightmares. They occur during a phase of deep non REM sleep.
There are more than 80 defined sleep disorders. The Sleep Wellness Institute has sleep experts ready to help you get a better life through better sleep.
What does it look like? Children may suddenly bolt upright in bed, crying, screaming, moaning, mumbling, and thrashing about with their eyes wide open, but without being truly awake. They are unaware of your presence and are not likely to respond to anything you say or do. An episode can last anywhere from two to forty minutes, and when it’s over your child falls back to sleep abruptly with no memory of the incident.
Why does it happen? Researchers think of night terrors as mysterious glitches in the usually smooth transitions we make each night between sleep stages.
What age range does this occur? Typically begins in the toddler and preschool years and continues up to age 7 or even adolescence. As many as 15 percent of children have night terrors at some point.
What is the criteria?
• Recurrent episodes of abrupt terror arousals from sleep, usually beginning with a panicked scream; intense fear and signs of autonomic arousal
• Relative unresponsiveness to efforts to comfort the individual during the episode
• Little or no recall of dream imagery
• Amnesia for the episode
• Significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning
• The symptoms cannot be explained by another mental disorder, medical condition, or the effects of a drug of abuse or medication.
My sales job requires me to drive all over the state. I used to get so tired around 2 or 3 in the afternoon that I’d have to pull over and take a nap. My work suffered, and I worried about falling asleep at the wheel. It turned out I had sleep apnea. Now I use a CPAP machine while I sleep, and it’s made all the difference. I don’t feel like I’m going to fall asleep while driving and I’m a lot more productive at my job.
I had to force myself to stay active at my job just so I wouldn’t fall asleep. After work, I’d fall asleep in front of the TV. I never had energy, no matter how much I slept. After my sleep study at the Sleep Wellness Institute, my doctor recommended I use a CPAP machine at night. The treatment turned my life around. I’m in bed less but feel more rested, my blood pressure is lower, and the problems with my ulcerative colitis went away.
I knew I snored a lot but I didn’t realize it was a big deal. I learned I stopped breathing 11 times in the night after I did a sleep study. Scary but at least they could help.