Night Terrors? - healthandsymptoms

Night Terrors?


Advertisement

Night terrors, or sleep terrors, are a parasomnia, or undesired and abnormal behavior that occurs during sleep. Night terrors are distinctly different from nightmares, although they are such a rare issue that they aren’t well understood and are therefore often mistaken for bad dreams. Here’s a look at how night terrors happen and what some of the potential causes may be.

Exactly what instigates sleep terrors is difficult to pinpoint. There does, however, seem to be a significant genetic link to night terrors — a family history of sleep terrors means you are more likely to experience them. Additionally, a variety of medical conditions may impact the presence of night terrors. Hyperthyroidism, migraines, restless leg syndrome, sleep-disordered breathing (such as obstructive sleep apnea), fevers in childhood, encephalitis, and head injuries may all be causes of night terrors. Being extremely tired or not getting enough sleep may cause night terrors, as can sleeping in a new environment or with excessive lights and noise.

Stress can be a major cause of night terrors. While less than 2% of adults experience this particular parasomnia, it can develop in those who have a history of some mental illnesses. Sleepwalking and other parasomnias are often paired with night terrors, in fact, some people sleepwalk during periods of night terror. In large part, things that disrupt the way the brain functions or a predisposition for parasomnias seem to be the most common culprits for sleep terrors.

Featured Image SourceThinkstock / klebercordeiro


Advertisement

RELATED BY

  • Food Allergy Symptoms

    If you find yourself experiencing uncomfortable symptoms after eating a specific food, then you might be dealing with a food allergy. Foods can trigger immune-system reactions that involve the...
  • Gluten-Free Snacks

    Gluten-free foods are swarming the shelves at the grocery store, but they aren’t all as good for you as you think. You still have to considered calorie, sugar, carbohydrate,...
  • Neck Pain and Dizziness

    Neck pain can be a simple, uninhibiting issue with few repercussions once the pain has been managed. Likewise, feeling dizzy can be a result of simply standing up too...
  • Neck Pain Causes

    Neck pain is extremely common, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to live with. Neck pain can be chronic, occasional, or—for a lucky few—once in a blue moon. Frequency...