Understanding Night Terrors In Adults

Night Terrors are a relatively rare sleep disorder. However, more resources are becoming available for people suffering from this disorder. One of those resources is a new book, Banishing Night Terrors and Nightmares, by Christopher R. Carranza and Jane Dill, that provides an effective treatment plan. While most research has focused on children, the reality is that adults suffer from night terrors as well. The brainwaves that are responsible for these episodes are much different than those of children.

Night Terrors Are A Parasomnia

Night terrors are a common parasomnia that involves physical events in the middle of sleep and can be very distressing. They can last for 45 to 90 minutes and can be accompanied by feelings of panic or helplessness. These episodes are common in children and adolescents, but they also affect adults. They are related to trauma and chronic stress. Some studies suggest that certain mental health problems or medications can make an individual more likely to have these episodes.

Symptoms of night terrors include kicking, screaming, or thrashing in the middle of sleep. Some sufferers even bolt from bed. These episodes occur during the transition between the deepest sleep stage and REM sleep, the last stage in the sleep cycle. Those experiencing night terrors typically do not remember anything that happened during the episode, so it is important to seek medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms.

They Are Caused By Mismatched Brain Waves

There is no definite cause for Night Terrors, but mismatched brain waves are a known contributing factor. They can occur in adults as well as children. People with a genetic predisposition to parasomnias are more likely to experience the disorder than those without it. Researchers have found that night terrors can be linked to the thalamus (part of the brain responsible for dreaming), but the exact link is unclear. Night Terrors may also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as sleep deprivation or central nervous system medications. Again, too much oversleeping in the day can also cause night terrors.

Although night terrors are not as common as nightmares, they affect about 2% of the population. The risk of experiencing them increases with stress and tension, and they can also be triggered by a fever. Bipolar disorder and traumatic experiences can also increase the risk of experiencing night terrors.

They Are Common In Childhood

If your child has regular night terrors, you should consult a pediatrician. They can help you identify underlying issues that may be causing the episodes. However, most children don’t require treatment for these episodes. The doctor may recommend some sleep-disrupting techniques that will break the cycle of night terrors.

Night terrors are episodes of sudden arousal during sleep. They occur in children of all ages and can be very frightening. They make noises while they are asleep, and the child may scream and call out to people around them. The child may be unresponsive to attempts to comfort them, and may be unable to recognize the person trying to help them. A night terror typically lasts five to ten minutes.

They Are Rare After Puberty

Night terrors are common among children, but they are uncommon in adults. A child may experience one or two episodes a year, and 25% of all children have experienced them at some point. Although frightening for young children, night terrors are generally harmless, and they typically go away once the child reaches puberty.

Adult night terrors are associated with psychological disorders and life trauma. They often involve self-mutilation, aggression, and memory loss. The trauma and pain experienced during the episode may be so intense that the victim sustains physical injuries. During an episode, the unconscious mind can’t distinguish between reality and illusion.

Treatment Options

Treatment for night terrors in adults can vary depending on the underlying cause of the episodes. If the episodes are affecting your safety or your ability to function during the day, you may need medication to stop them. You may also need therapy or psychological help. Fortunately, there are many options to help you manage the symptoms. Since night terrors are also caused by extensive oversleeping, you need to look for ways to stop oversleeping.

Although these nightmares are common and harmless, they are often associated with other psychiatric conditions. They are usually caused by trauma, stress, or depression. People who experience frequent nightmares may be at a higher risk of self-harm and suicide attempts. However, the frequency and severity of nightmares can be reduced through the treatment of co-occurring disorders.


Night Terrors are episodes of intense fear that usually starts when you’re in bed at night. They may last for 45 to 90 minutes, and they can be very frightening. They may happen repeatedly or just a few times a year. During these episodes, you may be too shaken to remember what happened, and you may even become violent. It is important to get help and see a doctor as soon as possible.