Sleep disorders

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources

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Bizarre Sleep Disorders

Night Terrors

Night Terrors

Has your child woken up in a sweat, frightened from a bad dream or the thought of a monster hiding under her bed? Your little one may be experiencing a night terror — an episode that’s worse than your average nightmare, involving rapid heartbeat, fast breathing, screaming, and thrashing around the bed.

Night terrors tend to be a problem for young children, often between the ages of three and seven, though sometimes they can strike middle school-aged kids and even adults. These terrors typically happen soon after the child falls asleep and can last for 10 to 20 minutes, unlike your average nightmare, which usually occurs in the second half of a night’s sleep.

The strangest part? After such a big scare, sufferers of night terrors often remember nothing about them the next day.

By Erin Golden. Published October 29, 2013. Erin Golden is a writer based in Nebraska. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.