Night terrors are mostly seen in the children of age between three to five years but recent researches has shown that even six months child can also experience night terrors and some adults also goes through this experience at least once in a week. Night terrors can occur in preadolescent boys and sometimes girls can also go through this. Night terrors generally happen between stage 3 and stage 4 of the sleep because at this time person is in deep sleep or we can say that when we move through one level of sleep to another. While dreams occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep when the rate of breathing is fast and eyes are moving quickly during sleep. An expert of Parent Centre Sleep, Jodi A gives the simple difference between the two i.e. “if your child is more agitated, he had a nightmare. If youâ€™re the one whoâ€™s disturbed, he probably has a night terror.
Night terrors are caused because of the central nervous system (C.N.S) gets over aroused in the sleep. CNS is not properly matured that controls the walking and sleep of our body. Cause of night terror can be genetic that means the child has inherited this disorder from his family member. Night terrors almost vanish when the central nervous system matures. A child can experience a single night terror or many night terrors before his CNS gets mature.
If you awake a person or simply touch him during the 4th stage of sleep it is possible that he can experience night terror. Other cause of night terror is stress, tension, over eating before going to bed, over tiredness or if a person is having medicines for some illness. Researches show that a chemical triggers in brain causes brain to â€œmisfireâ€ and hence night terror occurs. Misfire can be because of stress, emotional disturbance. A person who has gone through night terror will wake up breathing quickly and his eyes wide open with terror in them. Screaming is more often than crying or moaning. The whole situation of screaming or crying can happen from 5 to 20 minutes.
People who remember something about the night terror says that they had seen animals or dark shadows coming towards them to hit them. Others see snakes, spiders. Only some people see the animals they are afraid of while others not at all remember the event that they had seen in their sleep.
The best way to control the person having night terror is to be with that person and reassure him that everything is fine nothing has gone wrong. And also move the things which can harm them.
Night terrors are not at all harmful for the children and they vanish when child grows. It can happen in children because of medications, not getting proper sleep, having caffeine. It can also happen to children who are healthy and much loved and cared by the parents. It almost vanishes in the adults but some retain this who are extraordinary creative and imaginative.