Night Terrors ~ By: Harini :)

Night terrors are a sleeping disorder that not many people wind up with, but when they do, it impacts your life.

When you sleep your eyes move all around, it is called REM sleep or rapid eye movement sleep.  And this is completely normal, so don’t worry.  REM sleep is when you have your mediocre nightmares.  NREM or non-rapid eye movement  sleep on the other hand, is where you witness night terrors.  There are four stages in NREM sleep, and night terrors occur in the transition from the third to the fourth stage.

Some problems that are attached to night terrors may include screaming, crying, sweating, paling, waking up frightened etc.  There is no medical treatment to night terrors but there are ways to cope with it.  For example, you and your parents can make your bedroom a safer place for the night terror episodes.  Take away any source of disturbance, and set a night time schedule, that including when you will get up and when its time to go to sleep.  Avoid staying up too late, and if you are a parent, reduce your child’s stress as much as possible.  Along with that consult a doctor.

Night terrors are very queer disorders.

Let me explain…

  • People who witness night terrors can’t remember a dream after they had it

  • They do not remember the night terror episode the next morning

  • The child will sit up in his/her bed and scream completely confused, and does not respond to stimuli given

  • Even though the victim is awake, they will not be aware of any other presence in the room

  • They usually thrash around, and will not respond to any comforting

  • The amount of how long the night terror is can vary.  A victim may have the episode for one to two minutes, or might be acquainted with it for 30 minutes before they calm down.

  • Sometimes, when a child is not awake during a night terror, some pieces of the episode may come back into memory

  • Mostly victims forget about it by the morning

  • Children MOSTLY overgrow this disorder in their adolescent stage

I chose night terrors, because they are different.  They are an enigma to figure out.  Nobody I know has this disorder, and only a small percentage of people get it.  But I feel like this is relevant and important to me, because we don’t notice small disorders that impact people’s lives greatly.  We focus on major problems like cancer, and yes I agree it is very big of a deal, but I feel like I forget how people face through smaller disorders.  Not to mention, I picked this topic because when I was surfing through the web, something about night terrors caught my eye.  And ever since, I’ve been fascinated by this.  It affects teenagers by sleep deprivation.  Most kids overgrow this disorder while they pass through their adolescence, but not all do.  And the one’s who don’t they  have problems sleeping, and that affects their daily lives.  For example, they might have their SAT exam the next day or maybe they might have a big football game tomorrow.  My thoughts have skyrocketed once I started to know more and more about this.  I started to think… there are nightmares, night terrors, dreams… what else is linked to sleep?  The human brain, is truly a puzzle.