UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Night Terrors

Posted: 9/15/2012 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 2/23/2024)
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  • sleep disruption silimar to a nightmare, but much more dramatic most often between 4-12 years
  • sudden fear reaction which occurs during the transition to and from deep non-REM sleep while nightmares occur during REM sleep
  • occurs 2-3 hours after falling asleep when the child suddenly awakens in distress and may thrash about, scream, cry
  • child returns to sleep with no memory of the event the following morning
  • often occurs when a child is stressed, overtired, on new medication, or sleeping in a new environment
  • do not awaken the child during the event but rather allow them to calm on their own