Night (Sleep) Terrors Treatment in Hawthorne, NJ
Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are sudden episodes of intense fear which provoke screaming and flailing during sleep. Night terror episodes typically occur within the first 2 hours of falling asleep, during the transition from one sleep phase to another (stage 3 non-REM sleep to stage 4 non-REM sleep). Most episodes will last between 1 and 2 minutes, but they may last as long as a half hour. Unlike nightmares, those experiencing a night terror often have no recollection of the content of their night terror upon waking. Common in children, night terrors usually occur between the ages of 4 and 12 - though they can persist in later age and even in adults - and are caused by a number of factors including:
- Sleep deprivation and fatigue
- Other underlying sleep conditions such as sleep apnea, in which the child's breathing is repeatedly interrupted
If you think your child is suffering from night terrors, request more information from a sleep medicine specialist in Hawthorne, call (201) 806-6099 or contact Dr. M.T. Shahab online.
Night Terror Symptoms
Unlike nightmares, night terrors can cause sufferers to experience uninterrupted terror, during which waking the sufferer is challenging. Sufferers of night terrors thus remain asleep for the entirety of the incident, and may be provoked by the night terror to:
- Sit up in bed
- Make noise, such as screaming and shouting
- Kick and thrash
- Sweat, breathe heavily (hyperventilating) and have an increased pulse
Night Terror Risks
If untreated, night terrors can cause their victims a wealth of potential issues, such as:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, which can affect school or work as well as other daytime tasks
- Disruptions to family members sleep
- Injury to oneself or to others
Night Terror Treatment
Night terrors usually run in families, thus a family member who’s had them in the past can indicate the possibility of your child experiencing them. Night terrors affecting children usually don’t extend beyond childhood.
Preventing night terrors from persisting can usually be as simple as comforting the person experiencing them, taking steps to reduce stress and establishing a consistent sleep schedule that will ensure the person gets enough sleep in the future. For children who experience night terrors, parents should ensure their child doesn’t become overtired, for instance, by staying up too late.
However, if night terrors become a regular occurrence, additional treatment - such as talk therapy or counseling - may be sought. Should you feel further treatment is necessary, it can be advised to prepare for your consultation by:
- Keeping a sleep diary for two weeks leading up to your appointment, giving your doctor the opportunity to understand what is causing yours or your child's night terrors. Record as much of your bedtime ritual as possible, including quality of sleep.
- Recording any symptoms you are experiencing
- Recording any and all medications you are currently taking
Night terrors can be grounds for concern in any household. Restore peaceful sleep in your household tonight by contacting a sleep medicine specialist today! Call (201) 806-6099 or contact Dr. M.T. Shahab online.
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