Night Terrors

6.5% of Children / 2.2% of Adults

Definition: Intense nightmares accompanied by screaming, crying, overwhelming fear, flailing limbs, and possibly sleepwalking.

You’ve finally got the kids to sleep after an exhausting day, and you’re lounging on the couch ready to relax. Right when you get comfortable, you hear hysterical screaming coming from your child’s room, but when you go to check on them, they are inconsolable but fast asleep.

This is one of the differences between nightmares and night terrors; those who experience nightmares wake up and many times remember some details, whereas people generally don’t remember night terrors at all and sleep through them.

Although they occur more to kids, adults can have them as well. Kicking, thrashing, and screaming are all signs of a night terror. Sleepwalking paired with aggressiveness is common as well.

Night terrors that are infrequent do not pose a threat – they can be caused by stress, overtiredness, sickness, medications, and other disorders. Luckily, children often grow out of them. If they are recurring, chat with our Sleep Doctor about ways to treat them; terrors can interfere with a good night’s rest and can potentially hurt you or someone around you.