Sleep Terrors

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There is an unpleasant experience out in the world that plagues the unfortunate in the midst of the night. Not nightmares, something quite different in fact- sleep terrors. “Also known as night terrors, these are recurrent episodes of abrupt terror arousals from sleep, usually beginning with a panicked scream and may include sleepwalking” (American Psychiatric Association). Both being parasomnias, nobody wants to experience sleepwalking or sleep terrors (American Psychiatric Association). The possibility that someone could walk around, unaware of their actions could pose a problem. Unresponsive and vulnerable, people experiencing sleepwalking a side-affect are more susceptible to accidental self-harm or harming others. In the process of a …show more content…

However, episodes are seen less in adults and more in children. The prevalence of sleep terrors in the general population is unknown. The prevalence in sleep terror episodes – as opposed to sleep terror disorder, in which there is reassurance and distress or impairment – is approximately 36.9% at 18 months of age, 19.7% at 30 months of age, and 2.2% in adults (American Psychiatric Association). Four to twelve is the age that sleep terrors usually occur for children (Sleep Terrors [night terrors]). During adolescence however, the problem tends to disappear. Studies have found that boys, commonly pre-adolescent, are more inclined to be affected compared to girls, while both sexes are affected equally in adulthood (American Psychiatric Association). Though it’s possible for episodes to arise and carry on past childhood, adults tend to see episodes occur in their twenties or thirties (“Sleep Terror …show more content…

It’s possible to have other medical or mental health conditions that could persist during night terrors. One could be Sleep apnea—when breathing stops and starts back up continuously due to the throat relaxing and closing (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). If this is the case, the underlying issue should be treated to see if that affects the sleep terrors. Making sure the child is getting at least the minimum amount of sleep hours needed for their age may also help reduce the rate of terrors (Sleep Terrors [night terrors]). There is also the option of a therapist, counselor, “Cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and biofeedback,” if a doctor suggests it, if a major problem seems to be stress or anxiety related. (Sleep Terrors [night terrors]). For children and most cases, medications are rarely needed for sleep terrors (Sleep Terrors [night terrors]). If necessary, however, use of benzodiazepines – such as diazepam – may be effective (Night Terror). Benzodiazepines increase the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA] which decreases activity of nerves in the brain and spinal cord (Ogbru, Anette). The decrease in nerve activity relaxes the body and mind making it easier for people to sleep through the night. The intake of most drugs usually follows with side-affects. Most likely to occur after the consumption of benzodiazepines is dizziness/unsteadiness, weakness, and sedation (Ogbru, Anette). In

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