What are night terrors?
Night terrors in children are activities that happen in a child while it’s asleep. Often they dream about having their life threatened. On the outside, you see them looking half awake. It is common for a child to start walking around a room, scream, cry, ask for help and sometimes even have their eyes wide open while it happens. Some of these things also appear if a child is having a nightmare.
The difference between night terrors in children and nightmares is the following. With nightmares, the child can recall what the dream was. With night terrors there are no memories from the happenings before the following morning. Night terrors in children mostly happen in stages 3 and 4 from the sleep cycle. Nightmares happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – earlier stages.
Night Terrors in Babies
Many parents have the same problem – night terrors in babies. Here I will tell you everything you need to know about night terrors in babies, causes, symptoms and how to deal with it.
This is what a night terror in babies is: a sleeping disorder which happens in the 3rd or 4th stage of sleep (deep sleep also known as Non-REM sleep). When night terrors in babies occur they wake up in the middle of the night, confused, frightened and sometimes are crying. This is shown in the form of anxiety, screaming, crying and lack of interest in some things. Night terrors in babies and children may result in them becoming more violent or anxious.
Researchers have shown that night terror in babies and children is most common in the age range of 1-6 years. For more information on night terrors in children above the age of 6 read here. This kind of disorder mostly affects boys, and there are some beliefs that lack of sleep can trigger night terrors in babies.
You should note that night terrors in babies and nightmares are e different thing. Nightmares mostly occur during REM (rapid eye movement), and the baby might remember it the next day, whereas a night terror is forgotten. If your baby is experiencing a night terrors what you should do is try to peacefully put it back to sleep. Most of the time night terrors in babies trigger emotions such as fear, anxiety, and panic. This may present itself through screaming, waving, or crying. Put yourself in the positing of comforting the baby that everything is okay and that you are protecting it. It’s very important to pass this knowledge to every member of the family or help that might find the child or baby while it’s having a night terror. A baby or a young child should get 12-13 hours of sleep.
A few more Tips To Help You Out with Night Terrors in Children
If you are still having trouble with night terrors in babies, here are the tips:
- Remove all sleeping disturbances from the place the baby is sleeping
- Don’t include irritating (dark) lights
- Keep a routine for bedtime
- Have a daily routine for waking up, eating, etc
- Sprinkle orange oil and Chamomile on a tissue and put it under the pillow
- Get prescribed medications
- Pay the doctor a visit
What Causes Night Terrors In Babies
As stated earlier, unpredicted disturbances in the baby’s sleep during the 3rd and 4th phases of sleep trigger night terrors in babies. Other causes of night terrors in babies are stressful situations, memories of an accident, watching violence (TV, DVD), bad home growing environment and lack of sleep hours. Also, night terrors in babies might be caused as side effects from some medicine or it might be a genetic family inheritance.
Symptoms that suggest Night Terrors In Babies
These are the most common symptoms of night terrors in babies that you should watch out for:
- Fear in eyes, eyes wide open
- Increased HR (Heart rate)
- Seating, crying, screaming
- Increased breathing
- Losing the ability to talk or express feelings
- Not explaining the trauma experienced
Treatments of Night Terrors in Babies
These treatments have proved to be effective against night terrors in babies:
- My best advice would be for you to get an EMF Protection device, I have listed a few as my personal experience has shown best, listed in the shop of this site.
- Methods of relaxation and medicine prescribed by a doctor
- A good idea would be hypnotherapy
- Antidepressants prescribed by doctors
- Most of the time night terrors in babies end with time. Your doctor’s job is to make that recovery faster. And never forget to give your baby all the love and attention you can.
What are the causes of night terrors in children?
Over time it has been proven that most often than not, night terrors in children are caused by sleep deprivation. These cases are cases in which the sleep routine has been broken. For a healthy sleep routine, the most important rule is “Don’t break the routine”.
Other causes of night terrors in children are stressful situations (could be at home or school) and lack of sleep (different than breaking the sleep routine).
If there was an accident or other stressful situation in a recent period, that’s likely the cause of those night terrors in children.
What are the symptoms of night terrors in children?
Some of the symptoms of night terrors in children are quite similar to symptoms of nightmares. That’s the primary reason people mix or misjudge whether it is a night terror or a nightmare in question.
The most common symptoms are as follows:
– Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night à This happens during episodes of night terrors in children (about 2-3 after the child is asleep). It might appear as if it’s fully awake when it is in deep sleep.
– A child presents great fear, panic, and strange behavior à As night terrors in children happen, the children dream of having their life threatened, or someone trying to take them away. Sometimes they might even scream something similar to “Leave me alone”, “Don’t take me”, “Help me”, etc.
– Heartbeat increases dramatically à Fear = more adrenaline = higher heartbeat.
– Crying, screaming, weaving with their hands à As stated earlier, they are afraid of most things in their dream, this is their reaction.
– Sweating à As the heart rate gets faster, they start the get their temperature higher, which causes them to sweat.
– Difficult to wake up à it’s very hard to wake up children during night terrors in children.
– Not remembering the dream the following morning à As I told you in the previous section: Children have no recollection of the dream they were having during the night terror.
If you find two or more of these symptoms in your child’s sleep problem, you are dealing with night terrors in children.
What are the treatments for night terrors in children?
Treatments as medications and psychotherapy are only recommended for severe cases of night terrors in children. That’s very rare. However, there are a lot of tools and methods that can lower the occurrences of night terrors in children. To get the ones I would personally recommend, click here to go to the online store.
As there are medications that were proven to work against night terrors in children those are Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Benzodiazepine. However, before using any medication you are advised to consult a general doctor or a pediatrician.
How to prevent night terrors in children at home?
Having a bedtime routine is a great way to stop (or at least, make them occur less often) night terrors in children. Having a pre-bedtime routine is great.
A pre-bedtime routine might be a bedtime story or a nice bath. Anything that relaxes the child will do. Having a specified bedtime is also a great routine.
What are night terrors in adults?
About 2.2% of all adults at some point experience night terrors in adults. This is a sleep disorder that causes a person to have a terror-episode. During an episode of night terrors in adults, the adult appears to be awake, even though he’s not. During the night terror the adult is dreaming about death, losing someone loved or being chased by someone. Night terrors in adults happen in the 3rd and 4th stage of the sleeping cycle – deep sleep. This is different from nightmares. Nightmares happen during the 1st and 2nd stage – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The 3rd and 4th stages are somewhere between an hour and 3 hours after you are gone to sleep.
An episode can last from 5-15 minutes. Longer occurrences are rare.
What causes night terrors in adults?
This is where night terrors in adults differ from night terrors in children. Night terrors in adults can be caused by a genetic link. It is very uncommon for more than one members of the family to experience night terrors as children or adults. There is a connection between night terrors in adults and mental disorders, but this only applies to adults. However, sufferers from night terrors in adults also have a medical history of having problems such as depression, anxiety (with anxiety attacks), bipolar disorders etc.
In the cases where there isn’t a psychological problem there are some conditions that can explain night terrors in adults:
– sleep deprivation
– head injury
– bloated stomach
– Premenstrual period
Stress can be a cause of night terrors in adults as well.
What are the symptoms of night terrors in adults?
The most common for a person having a night terror is the following scenario:
A person waking up in the middle of the night, terrified, screaming that someone wants to kill them, that someone is chasing them. Having no recollection of the dream the following morning is expected the following morning.
Other symptoms are:
– Increased heart rate
– Trying to defend themselves