Definition – Night terrors are a sleep disorder in which a person quickly awakens from sleep in a terrified state.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors – Night terrors (sleep terrors) occur during deep sleep, usually during the first third of thenight. The cause is unknown but night terrors may be triggered by fever, lack of sleep, or periods of emotional tension, stress, or conflict. – In contrast, nightmares are more common in the early morning. They may occur after someone watches frightening movies/TV shows or has an emotional experience. A person may remember the details of a dream upon awakening, and will not be disoriented after the episode. – Night terrors are most common in boys ages 5 – 7, although they also can occur in girls. They are fairly common in children ages 3 – 7, and much less common after that. Night terrors may run in families. They can occur in adults, especially with emotional tension.
They come in waves… As stated above they are common when there is a lot of emotional tension… I have them almost nightly lately it seems… I bolt upright confused, and then immediately embarrassed…. I scream out sometimes…. I have been known to run out of bed… or run out into the living room before realizing I am awake…I am always confused by how I got from where I was when my eyes were closed to where I am upon opening them… I hate feeling weak, they leave me gripped in such terror that it can take a long time to unwind my muscles again, pull my shoulders down from my ears, work out the “Charlie Horses” in my calves… Uncurl my toes, Unfold my arms from around my stomach…. Breathe deeply instead of quick and Shallow…. There are times I go months without them, there are times I have actually normal nightmares where I am being chased, or drowned by a tidal wave…. But mostly, Mostly it is these terrors, repeats of things I have experienced in real life, in short flash like images, .. Being held down… Being hit… the car rolling… Lifeless baby… a fist at my face… a fist at someone elses face… Faces distorted by a noose, in a casket… Blood, Emergency rooms… Life light helicopters… Trying to break car windows… Screaming her name hoping to wake her up… Different Homes… Different beds… all the places I have slept… Him jumping through the glass on the ninth floor of Artec… My grandpa passing away… Other peoples nightmares that they have shared with me… Over and Over again…. Sometimes I reach out… Sometimes I try to run away… Sometimes I cry because its just sad… Sometimes I am so afraid I don’t sleep again… Sometimes I don’t fully wake up at all and hear about it the next morning… Sometimes I wish they would stop… But mostly, They just are…