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Sleep Terrors | Disconcerting For Parents To Witness

Night terror or sleep terror is the most dramatic of all sleep disorders in children. Though a night terror has a presentation similar to nightmare like the wide open eyes, the panting, the scream and the sweaty brow, but night terror is a completely different phenomenon.  You may see your child’s eyes are wide open staring at you but actually he is sound asleep. He may be screaming and shouting for you only when you are standing just beside him or comforting him just because he can’t sense your presence. Night terror typically strikes at first or second hour after the child hits the hay, during the sleep and unlike the nightmare the child will have no memories of his night terror the next day.

Don’t Attempt To Wake Him During A Sleep Terror

Night Terrors Make Sleeping Kids Scream

Sleep terror has a generic component, researches show that more than 96 percent of the children with night terror  belongs to a family with a history of similar this sleeping disorder. The terror may occur three to four times a week or several times a day and last for one to ten minutes. Parents get worried not only for the lack of sleep of the child but also for his safety. However, sleep terror is not a thing to worry a lot; parents should keep in mind that condition is benign and would not cause psychological harm to the child. The best thing they can do to help the child at the time of sleep terror is to lay the child back down and calm him by patting his back gently. Do not try to wake the child up and force him to recall things, happened during a night terror.

What Causes Sleep Terror In Children?

It is believed that over tiredness, stress and anxiety causes the night terrors in children but medical researches are continue to find out exact reason behind the sleep disorder. The early Christian and medieval society had connected such sleep disorders to demon attack or similar influences. Incubi and succubi were the two names commonly associated with such attacks. Some people actually believe that there is sure an evil entity that terrorizes people during sleep. The most interesting thing is, in almost every culture the kind of stories have been documented which depict pretty much the same thing about the sleep terror.

Development of Fanciful Imaginations

Many children have a shilly-shally going into bed all alone as they have fear of the dark. Although, the age is believed to be the one when the child starts to live in own space or actually understands the need of independency. This is also the time when they start to develop fanciful imaginations. The images of demons and monsters start capturing their mind once the lights are off.

How To Deal With This Night Terror?

The best remedy for the situation is to keep the light on. Do not allow children to watch television, specially the scary programs, just before going to bed.  If it helps, let him do the room checking for monster before going to bed and much better would be to stop telling stories about the monster or demons to the child. It is generally not advisable to reason the kid that things like boogie man or monster have no existence in reality as these discussion may further raise his curiosity about the monster. For sleep terror there is no need for medical intervention but you may consult it with sleep specialist for better care of the child.