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Sleep Terror

 

Sleep terror or night terror is a sleep disorder where the person suddenly awakens with a sense of extreme fear. It is usually found in young children.

Causes

Its causes are not known but some possibilities are:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress
  • Fever

Symptoms

  • Sudden awakening with a scream
  • Extreme fear or panic
  • Rapid heart beat and breathing
  • Difficult to comfort
  • Sometimes, violent actions
  • Confusion on waking up
  • No memory of a nightmare
  • Inability to explain or understand the source of fear

Treatment

Children usually outgrow night terrors and treatment is not required. In case of adults or severe cases, treatment may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication like benzodiazepine

Prevention

There is no specific prevention for sleep terrors.