Night Terrors

Night terror is a kind of sleep disorder that develops in children in the age group of 3-10 years. It is largely seen occurring in children between 3-4 years of age for the first time. It is different from usual nightmares that occur during sleep even in adults. The episode of night terror is marked by deep crying and intense fear. It may disrupt normal sleeping pattern of the entire family, if it occurs repeatedly.

Again night terror is seen striking the child when he is on the transition stage from REM sleep to non-REM sleeping style. This disorder gets resolved on its own when the child enters adolescence period.

Causes :

There is no one concrete reason that can cause night terrors. Sometimes if the child is not able to sleep properly, it can develop. Lack of parental care and stressful events in life can trigger the episode. In some children, certain powerful drugs that affect the brain and nervous system can cause night terrors.

Symptoms :

The obvious symptoms of night terror are intense crying and deep fear from the child. The child will have difficulty in waking up from the sleep, if he has night terrors. In addition he may have increased palpitation, rapid heart rate and profuse sweating when he has the episode.

The child will sit up in bed but still he is not awake. He may be unresponsive to the call of his parents and disoriented. The episode of night terror may last up to few minutes after which the child gets back to sleep. Another interesting phenomenon about this disorder is the child will not remember anything about this episode if you ask him.

Tests :

Your doctor may talk to the child and if needed, he may do EEG (Electro Encephalo Gram) test for assessing any presence of seizure.

Treatment :

Firstly, the parents should provide comfortable atmosphere to the child to get peaceful sleep. There should not be any stressful events at home, quarreling among parents and any kind of disturbance that may affect his sleep. Ensure that he goes to sleep in proper time and does not stay back watching TV.

Medically, no treatment is available for treating night terrors. The child will be referred to psychologist for counseling the family as well and giving him assurance that the episode will do no harm to him or his family. In severe cases, the child will be given antidepressant medicines like imipramine (only for short term) to make him sleep peacefully.

Pictures of Night Terrors :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Night Terrors

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Prevention :

If you could find out the exact timing of the episodes of night terror, you can wake up the child during that time or even early and keep him awake for few minutes.

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