Talk:Night terror

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"Write sufferer, not victim" was posted in the article by an anon. Matt 00:38, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Changed to subject, a neutral term. Jclerman 07:08, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Re: Night Horror: Can you, please, indicate the origin of this paragraph? I.e., either give a reference or delete it. Also, explain or correct cariac: "In very rare cases an episodic series of Night Terrors may progress to a Night Horror, a distinctly different experience for the sufferer, during which they may be at a higher level of wakefulness, but rather than unidentifiable fear and anxiety, the Horror will often involve intense and extremely disturbing hallucinations. While occuring very rarely, medical attention is often required, due to high cariac stress brought on by overwhelming chemical response from the body during the episode. They are generally thought to be the by-product of high sleep deprivation, and pre-existing psychological conditions." Jclerman 07:08, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

For any technical death metal fans reading this article

Who feels like writing up an article for the tech-death band by the same name? Today, I am exhausted.


The following statements, "There is no situation or event, scary or otherwise, that is dreamt but rather the emotion of fear itself is felt, often coupled with tension, apprehension and so on, without any distinct sounds or visual imagery" and "One seemingly universal quality of night terrors is a strong sense of danger — there is always a being, tangible or otherwise, who wishes to hurt the sleeping person. Many sufferers of night terrors are reluctant to speak of them because of their violent, graphic, and often disturbing nature." Seem to conflict with eachother. I don't see how the nighterrors could have no visual imagery, but also have violent be violent and graphic.

I think the wording needs to be changed. "There is no situation or event... that is dreamt" is far too definite because sometimes people have been able to recall images or sometimes entire scenes, and not in the same way as a nightmare. The subject may have seen some horrifying images but it is usually the case that he or she is unable to recall any of them. That's not the same thing as not having dreamt them at all. I suffered regular night terrors when I was very young, almost always burning with fever during most of them, such that my mother though I was going to die. I don't remember most of what was terrifying me but they tell me I'd stare at the walls, eyes wide, screaming about monsters coming at me. However, I do remember one or two that I had, again during very high fever. I suggest that the first sentance is changed to "Usually, what the subject experienced cannot be recalled, while the emotions of fear and panic, often coupled with tension and/or apprehension, remain." The second sentance can be altered a little so that it states "When able to remember their visions, many subjects are reluctant to speak of them... " etc. --Recurring 14:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
-- It definately needs to be fixed, as it's very contradictory. The article doesn't really cite its sources so I don't know where each of these assertions came from, or I'd try to fix it myself. -- 01:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In the same sort of vein, I have removed the following sentence from the "In Children" section: "Quite often the dream is manifest with a temporary paralysis with vivid recall of events leading up to, as well as the climax of the night terror." The author could be getting night terrors mixed up with sleep paralysis, or that could be an accurate description of what a night-terror-related dream is like. Either way, to go in the article it needs surrounding text describing whether, when, and how dreams happen during night terrors. - Urocyon 04:22, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Popular Culture?[edit]

Should there be a segment on night terrors in popular culture? For instance, Patrick from Spongebob appears to experience night terrors about spiders. Alx xlA 00:33, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Other ways to treat it?[edit]

My little brother suffers from night terrors, and it's really pitiful to watch. After having to help "wake him up" from most of these, I've found that reminding him of his surroundings and the people around him, then asking him about them, really helps. He "wakes up" (or calms down, rather) within a couple of minutes. Physical contact seems to also help. For example, when he experiences a night terror this is how I usually remedy it:

I place my hands on his shoulders gently and say his name. I then ask him if he knows who I am. He has yet to answer correctly (the closest he's gotten is "you're myself"), so I tell him my name and remind him that I'm his brother. I then identify others around him, and I ask him if he knows where he is. He always shakes his head no, so I tell him which room of the house he's in. If he's not awake by then I ask him again if he remembers who I am, where he is, etc. I've never had to go through that more than twice.

I hope this is helpful.

With symptoms like these, I find the incidence figure of 15% preposterously high. All children have nightmares. Who is diagnosing 15% of them as night terrors? --Tysto 01:34, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

night terrors_defense mechanism?[edit]


evolution is predicated on survival of the fittest.a person is never more vulnerable than when they are asleep.It can take 6-12 minutes for a person to come out of deep-sleep and become fully makes sense that our primitive/proto-human ancestors would have developed a defense mechanism which allowed them to ward off attack in pitch blackness without becoming fully the diving reflex,an ability in some mammals to slow heartbeat and respiration in order to remain under water for longer periods of time,which is often blamed for certain sleep related disorders whereby a person awakes to feel a crushing sensation on their chest and difficulty breathing.night terrors may just be a genetic remnant.

Contradiction: REM or Non-REM?[edit]

In the introduction, the article states that night terrors generally occur during REM sleep -- this is in error. In the Nightmares vs. Night Terrors section, the article states that:

"...night terrors usually occur during the deepest phases (stage 4) of non-REM sleep."

This is correct.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders code for Night Terrors is DSM-IV AXIS I: 307.46.

DSM is not available to non-subscribers, but there is a sleep chart here:

Doonhamer 05:44, 13 January 2007 (UTC) Trillian1 12:33, 22 January 2007 (EST)

Thank you Trillian1. I'll change the bit in the introduction from REM to non-REM and remove the self-contradiction tag. Doonhamer 19:39, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

mental illness mystery[edit]

There is a mental problem with a person, but no one knows esentialy what it is. It isn't classified under schizopherenia, delosion, or hilusination. In fact it isn't any of those. It is characterized with some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder, but it isn't a for sure thing. It is a super exsesive version of one talking to themselves. It is an actual ingadging conversation with ones sefl. The conversations range around anything from telling themselves something they had just witnessed to arguing with ones self. Another thing I noticed was the acting out of a situation (fantacy) as if it was really happeneing. One with this seems to prefer baing alone, but in some cases that is not the case. It isn't multi-personality disorder because the person can recall what happens just fine. Also the person knows it is thme and not "someone else". Aroused by this I can't help but wonder what it is and why it's happening and why it is unnoticed. It may be unnoticed because the people with this do what they do alone when no one else is around and never speak of it. 18:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Pyro

What does this have to do with night terrors??? -- 07:37, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Why does night hag redirect here?[edit]

As far as I understand it, a night hag is a mythological or legendary being. See for example Lilith. Is there some other meaning that would make it appropriate to point here? If so, we need to diambiguate. Aleta 23:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Night Hag can be a reference to hypnogogic/hypnopompic paralysis in some cultures. I imagine that's why it directs here, because the sleep paralysis article also redirects here as a related condition. I'm not sure what the connection is apart from the fact that both involve sleep. sleep paralysis is clearly an REM phenomenon, whereas night terrors are not. 05:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)-RRRitalin 05:31, 22 January 2007 (GMT)


You're forgetting one thing. It has been identified that the brain "misfires" during these episodes.Here is the citation[1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:10, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

Request and anecdote[edit]

As someone that has these, and a very bad one in particular last week, I wish there was some more on treatment. I'm 28, and they happen irregularly for me. Usually, I wake up trying to speak or moan but can't because most of my muscles are paralyzed. Quite frustrating since normally, I am pretty conscious when I dream and been a lucid dreamer from a young age. But, the description of a nearby presence is dead on. That is the only physical thing I could tell you that is scary. This past week I actually sat up (or it felt like I did, it's hard to remember) and screamed loud, louder than I probably ever had. The screaming was uncontrollable, and actually made my throat sore. I saw a figure, but everything was blurry, as if I couldn't quite come to this time. Normally, I don't see anything. My wife manged to wake me. It's probably by far the scariest thing I've ever experienced - mfd (UTC) 00:00 Aug 15, 2007

It sounds like what you're experiencing is sleep paralysis and its related phenomena, rather than night terrors. I get that, too. -Sarah —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:13, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I get them![edit]

Sometimes I get night terrors and whe I wake up because my family woke me, I can't remember a thing and get very confused and frustrated. Could this condition be similar to sleep walking where the sleep walker gets confused and frustrated when disturbed? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:51, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

Yes, apparently the two are similar afflictions. See Parasomnia. I've suffered from night terrors myself. In three separate incidents I saw a giant spider.. a giant snake.. and a ghost. In each case I was shocked awake and experienced an overwhelming sense of panic. Having heard of night terrors I realized shortly after they occurred that this is what I had experienced. Thankfully, after reviewing my air conditioning settings, they stopped and have yet to reoccur. --QuantumG 11:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I sometimes get them, and they suck badly. I usually wake up, and everything is blurry, movement is extremely difficult, and of course, the classic feeling of absolute terror. Once I saw a blurry figure next to me, it freaked me out badly. Another time I heard a voice, and it had the same effect. I've noticed they are more common when I have deprived myself of sleep for a time.--Metalhead94 (talk) 23:57, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I've gotten one before! I think...everything was black with dim lights flashing around me and I could sense that I was part of a choatic scene, as if there had just been a huge car crash or something, then realizing that I was unable to move and thinking I was paralyzed I began to panic madly before my sister and my mother (in the dream still) were suddenly standing over me saying: 'everything's going to be okay you're going to be fine' etc...thats when everything went black. slowly I regained consciousness and found I could move again but was very confused about what happened..that was my night terror experience. Interestingly I also had been derprived of sleep at the time Metalhead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Dubious statement[edit]

I find the statement “One of the most common qualities of night terrors is a strong sense of danger. For these people there is always a being (similar to a doppelgänger), tangible or otherwise, who wishes to hurt the sleeping person, or the sleeping person's loved ones” very unlikely. For one thing, I get night terrors and, although there is a very strong sense of danger, the terrors is always for a very abstract idea. I suggest this sentence needs to be modified and sourced. --S.dedalus 05:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Dedalus, I get night terrors and occassionaly do recall a concrete danger. However, even though most of the time they are "beings", sometimes they are other things such as fires.
To clarify: most of the time, no recall of what the danger was. Sometimes I do recall it. When recalled, sometimes it is not an animated being. -- PabloBM 14:43, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I have to disagree here. I have had frequent night terrors, and the common element in all of them has been an intense sense of danger. In fact, I feel as though I am dying and/or will die, if I do not wake immediately. It manifests as a sense that "Death (an intangible presence, not seen, but felt) is after me," as I've sometimes told my girlfriend when I wake screaming. In some cases I even physically get up and run while still asleep, trying to flee from Death chasing me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I have night terrors, too. I agree with what S.dedalus said. However, some people might somehow impersonalize or objectify such fears into more tangible, concrete ones. Personally, when I try to focus on what remains as an inexplicably immense catastrophic and imminent feeling of fear, It's totally abstract, and possibly can't be put into words. Besides, sometimes I can sense it before it happens, and when I am about to sleep, laying too long in a motionless state. It's like I lose my sense of distance (maybe dimensions), silence feels so loud and a hasty, with a rushing sense of confusion and fear. Neurosys (talk) 01:25, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

'In adults' section needs updating[edit]

The 'In Adults' section is contains dated and refuted information. I don't consider myself qualified to alter the section myself, but it is widely considered untrue that adult night terrors are usually "trauma-based rather than genetic ... [requiring] treatment in the form of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication"

In cases in which sleep terrors are successfully treated with psychotherapy and antidepressant medication, it may be fair to say that the disorder is due to underlying psychological problems, however a vast number of sufferers do not respond to these treatments. Incidentally, I must stress that antidepressants are not necessarily prescribed because depression is suspected as the cause of sleep terrors, and the article should not imply that those who opt for this treatment are depressed.

The article goes on to suggest that "some adult night terror sufferers have many of the characteristics of abused and depressed individuals including inhibition of aggression,[2] self-directed anger,[2] passivity,[3] anxiety, impaired memory,[4], and the ability to ignore pain.[5]" This is probably true of most groups of people, i.e. that "some" people in a group of people have many of these characteristics. This analysis is dismally Freudian and hopelessly outdated - can the article take into account the research into adult sleep terrors in the past 10 years, and at least balance archaic explanations with more recent findings?

I guess what I'm saying is that the article is archaic, one-sided and misleading. It can be damaging for an individual looking for further information regarding sleep terrors to feel that their sleep terrors are a symptom of a trauma or an underlying psychiatric condition, without taking into account the vast body of research into sleep disorders in adults, the possibility of minor neurological and other physiological causes. It also incorrectly categorises adults with sleep disorders as an insignificant minority.

Agreed. This information is outdated. I have sleep terrors, and I don't have an underlying psychological or psychiatric condition. I don't suffer from anxiety or depression, I have no phobias and I'm not aggressive. I tried SSRI's to no avail. When I first started having sleep terrors 18 years ago, the prevailing view was that it's rare in adults and usually a symptom of PTSD or something else. Even then I think that approach was outmoded, and psycotherapy would be pretty useless in most cases. I hope someone more knowledgeable than me can rewrite this.Sadiemonster (talk) 07:42, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] See also —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree - the article appears to 'hype up' the seriousness of night terrors, linking them in a potentially misleading manner to major psychiatric disorders. Although this is true in some cases, from my reading of the literature, for most people they are simply an unusual and very briefly distressing phenomenon, linked to short-term environmental, mental or biological triggers. Unfortunately identifying trustworthy info on this topic is difficult, so I'm not prepared to make major changes to the article myself just yet. Willardo (talk) 04:44, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree - I am a regular poster on a night terrors board and people posting there report the Wikipedia article as a little alarming. A review by Derry et al. (2006), in the section titled 'Psychiatric disturbance and the arousal disorders' (p. 1778), suggests that psychological disturbance is just one of several potential causes of night terrors.
Derry, CP. Duncan JS. and Berkovic (2006) Paroxysmal Motor Disorders of Sleep: The Clinical Spectrum and Differentiation from Epilepsy, Epilepsia, 47 (11): 1775-1791.

The statement "In addition to night terrors, some adult night terror sufferers have many of the characteristics of abused and depressed individuals including inhibition of aggression,[2] self-directed anger,[2] passivity,[3] anxiety, impaired memory,[4], and the ability to ignore pain[5]." is supported only by references from 1982 and prior, and by two more recent documents addressing post-traumatic stress and dissociative disorders. I suggest the opinion expressed in this statement is generalized and outdated, based on archaic research, and on information regarding psychiatric disorders which have may sleep terrors as a symptom, implying, misleadingly, that sleep terrors are generally accepted to be an indicator of trauma or mental illness. This statement should be updated or altogether removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Els437 (talkcontribs) 23:01, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Statement has been removed, as it had problems such as being repeated twice totally, and used differencedifferent sources both times which seemed a occurance of WP:SYN.Curb Chain (talk) 12:07, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Symptom or disorder[edit]

I have no idea how to phrase the title of my question, but are night terrors actually a problem other than that they indicate a deeper problem? If the patient doesn't remember them, are they actually bad? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaiacarra (talkcontribs) 18:37, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


I was thinking you can add that. Nightmares generally occur in the last half of the night, while sleep terrors occur in the first half of the night. here's the link [1]Tlharris1000 (talk) 03:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Thomas Harrison


Various factors can contribute to sleep terrors, such as:

Sleep deprivation and extreme tiredness Stress Fever (in children) Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings Lights or noise An overfull bladder Sleep terrors sometimes are associated with underlying conditions that affect sleep, such as:

Sleep-disordered breathing — a group of disorders characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea Restless legs syndrome Migraines Head injuries Some medications [2]Tlharris1000 (talk) 03:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Thomas Harrison


Under Diagnosis maybe you can have a subtitle "Sleep study" A sleep study (polysomnography) is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, that may trigger sleep terrors. During the test, sensors are placed on your head and body to record your brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements. A video camera records your sleep. Your doctor will review the information to determine whether you or your child has a sleep disorder. [3]Tlharris1000 (talk) 04:01, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Thomas Harrison

MultiVitamins may be causing your sleep propblems.[edit]

I don't see a lot of information on the subject of vitamins related to sleep problems but luckily my wife did a lot of research on this (in her own best interest -- she was afraid I might hurt her thrashing around in bed) and she mentioned it to me. I had been taking a multivitamin every day before we were married because I didn't feel that my bachelor diet was very complete. Thankfully my wife is an excellent cook using plenty of veggies so I stopped the vitamins and my night terrors stopped immediately. Just out of curiosity I even tried taking just a half vitamin in the morning instead of night and the problems returned same day.

I used to always have a mild to extreme terror about 1.5 hours after going to sleep. I don't know exactly what vitamin/mineral was responsible for this but from what I've seen it could be Magnesium or maybe Vitamin B.

At any rate, if you suffer from Nightmares/Night Terrors do yourself a favor and stop all supplements for a few days and see if it helps.

Good Luck. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh my word. I occasionally suffer from night terrors. And it never occurred to me that it may be because of vitamins. I have started drinking vitamins again about a month ago and shortly after my night terrors started again. I will stop the vitamins now and see if the night terrors disappear with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Same here.--Metalhead94 (talk) 00:34, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

These articles seem to be presenting on the same subject and should probably be consolidated.--Spacez320 (talk) 16:01, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

They're completely different parasomnnias, symptomatically and physiologically. Wisdom89 (T / C) 17:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed these are different, as per Wisdom89. rkmlai (talk) 18:23, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Likewise - it'd be like merging apples with oranges. K2709 (talk) 19:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

After the episode the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking.[edit]

I get these 'night terrors' and this does seem to be the case, but sometimes I have a number of them in one night. Last night for example, I had 5, which is probably a record for me. Bathory (talk) 10:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

outside observation[edit]

for the last period of time i've been observing a lady who has asked me to help her with her problems she will remain anonymous but i wish to post my observations with hope of feedback.

she has "dreams" she recalls vividly they frighten her to the point she awakes in tears screaming sweating once she is asleep she is quite impossible to wake unless one of these "dreams" are occuring her dreams involve demons hurting her she sees these demons in her everyday life though they don't hurt her while concious if the dreams vary then its always a loved one creating gashes in her arms with a knife ,she sees these as well as feels them, she feels love for them as they do this she has stong pulsings she claims stop if she makes a small cut on her person she is admittedly depressed she undergoes extreme stress some of which is self inflicted by taking blame for things no one can change other just life is not kind to her shje admittedly doesn't eat as she should once daily if at all when she does eat she feels guilty this guilt builds til she feels sick so much so she throws it back up within an hour to six hours she speaks of a strong self loathing though she is an extremely successful individual she has had conversations she does not recall with me that have lasted in excess of two hours she complains of feeling tired do to her dreams keeping her up she beleives they take place in the first stage of sleep she speaks to these demons in my presence only but she reacts to them in the presence of others jumping closing her eyes she has "mental breakdowns" during which she repeats things to calm herself though they are very unhealthy to say to ones self such as:its my fault i'm perfectly fine i'm sorry these are from discussions with her i'm no psychologist but reading through he night terrors night horrors and hypoglycemia i find relations to her ailments in the effects listed for those problems if you agree or have other information you believe may help me to help this lady please post something adressing me on this site thank you. Insider1121 (talk) 22:32, 9 January 2010 (UTC)Insider1121

I formatted your paragraph so it is easier to read.Curb Chain (talk) 12:23, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

night terror are they acompanied by ceizers sometimes???[edit]

My daughter shes almost 11 years old and she had ceizers from the time she was bout 2 years old til she was 7 years old.Shes gotten up some times in the middle of the night and not known it.She's gotten up to go to the bathroom and to get something to drink.I try talking to her and shes just out of it sometimes she knows what shes saying but other times shes just to out of it to really talk.Shes done this for a long while now, but its not something that acures every night.She was dignosed having epilepsy but the ceizers have went away and we hurd that night terrors could be what shes having because its most comon when the child has had ceizers. If anyone knows anything were tring to figure out if i need to take her to the doctor or if this is something that cant be helped. If anyone knows anything about this please feel free to Email me at thank you...... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

More References and Information[edit]

This article needs more references, especially in the "Children" section. Information could also be added about what stage of sleep night terrors usually occur. JSchaef (talk) 21:49, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. This article appears to be missing a lot of possible science information. --MTHarden (talk) 15:27, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

What are more ways of causing this in children and adults[edit]

I think there should be more research done on what causes night terrors. They did have a few but were not very specific on what or why this happens.--Mkhunt (talk) 16:00, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Psy 101 evaluation[edit]

I think you should be able to find alot of info on this topic but so far the article does not explain very well what it is in detail. I thnk you can improve this by telling more about how and why these happon. Do they mean anything other then just being overly tired? Jessierock4 (talk) 15:46, 9 July 2011 (UTC)jessierock4

I agree. How do night terrors affect a person's day-to-day life? Do they influence their physical and psychological health? Otherwise, great job on expanding! Kristinafreund (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:43, 28 July 2011 (UTC).

Goya Picture[edit]

Maybe I'm being nit-picky, but I think Goya's "The Sleep of Reason Engender's Monsters" dosn't belong with this article. People undergoing night terrors "appear to be awake", as the article states, but the man in the picture seems to be experiencing a nightmare rather then a night terror.Diesel Weasel 91 (talk) 21:30, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

It's also a metaphorical piece of art with really almost nothing to do with sleep at all. I don't think it should be here. (talk) 23:51, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

link between things?[edit]

you say..... "Special consideration must be used when the subject suffers from narcolepsy, as there may be a link." You could dwell on those types of links because im curious once you say that but there is nothing further than saying theres a link.

--Falconhockey26 (talk) 00:48, 27 July 2011 (UTC)


There's extensive information on nightmares in the article (2 or 3 distinct sections). This seems irrelevant, so I deleted them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Just Some Suggestions[edit]

The first paragraph is very bulky and could use some more references. It almost seems like some of it could be taken out and put in a Symptoms section. Also, there seems to be a contradiction in the information; the first paragraph says night terrors will affect "about fifteen percent of all children," however in the Children section it says "An estimated one to six percent of children experience night terrors." The article also seems to be lacking in information about what allows this to happen (are there certain brain processes that are (or are not) triggered that cause this?). Some information about studies that have been done with people with night terrors also might add to the article. Aside from that, all the information seems very useful, just needs a little bit more, some more references, and to be organized a little bit. --MGualdoni (talk) 23:42, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

I agree that the first paragraph was quite bulky in comaparison to the rest of the article. I feel like that another tab could have been added focusing mainly on the symptoms of night terrors. Overall I feel like the article is well written and informative but could be expanded in a few areas, mainly the topic on treating night terrors.

Cheers, B englert10 (talk) 02:59, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Recognize others[edit]

In your third paragraph you claim that children don't recognize others. From experience, i disagree with this. I have a 4 year old cousin that I babysit. He has sleep terrors. On a night I was babysitting we were laying in his bed, when I noticed he was restless and sweating. Then suddenly he woke up screaming. Within seconds after screaming, he was able to say my name and give me a hug. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lt176714 (talkcontribs) 05:44, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

It sounds like you are describing a Nightmare which is different. --MTHarden (talk) 02:48, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Please explain contradiction[edit]

Two sentences from this article: 1) An estimated 1-6% of children have at least one night terror in their life but have no memory of the occurrence. 2) They affect about fifteen percent of all children. I simply don't get it... How many children do they affect? 1 to 6%, or 15%? It's a big difference. Is it that 1-6% have them but don't remember them, while a further 9-14% have them and do remember, making 15% in total? Or is 1-6% a misprint for 16%? (talk) 19:16, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

From Web MD-

Web MD night terrors

they say 1-6% of children experience night terrors, but there is no attributed source for that fact.I suspect someone mistook 1-6 for 1 in 6 and rounded 1/6 to 15%.

This might be a place to start for getting more info (esp refs 1 and 2)

Jtsstl (talk) 16:27, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Psy 101 review[edit]

The phrase "typically occur in the first few hours of sleep during stage 3 or 4 NREM sleep" that was added is exactly the wording used in Hockenbury and Hockenbury. The statement should be reworded. As Hockenbury and Hockenbury is a psychology textbook, it is an acceptable reference.


A night terror, also known as a sleep terror, incubus attack, or pavor nocturnus, is a parasomnia disorder that predominantly affects children, causing feelings of terror or dread. Night terrors should not be confused with nightmares, which are bad dreams that cause the feeling of horror or fear. Nightmares usually occur during REM sleep, while night terrors occur during slow wave NREM sleep (stage 3 or 4).

Also- night terrors is covered on page 157, so the page number could be added. Dreams and NREM sleep are discussed on page 147 of Hockenbury and nightmares on page 150. I am pretty sure the reference is in the wrong place, so I moved it up to where the content was added.

Jtsstl (talk) 15:58, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

A little confusing[edit]

The first couple paragraphs are a bit confusing. At the end of the first paragraph it says 1-8% of children get them, then, at the beginning of the next paragraph it says it is estimated that fifteen percent of children get them. Is one of these incorrect or am I interpreting it incorrectly? Perhaps this could be reworded.

Jstndnlsn (talk) 21:07, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Personal Descriptions[edit]

  • Synesthetic hallucinations (mostly physical sensations such as fever projected as unintelligible visuals), spatiotemporal confusion, derealization as though everything appears utterly alien and thus extremely scary. Neurosys (talk) 00:27, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Sentence does not make sense[edit]

"An estimated 1%-6% of children and less than 1% of adults will experience a night terror episode within their lifetime."

When "in their lifetime" there obviously can not be any difference between childen and adults... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Quite right! The sentence is now rephrased, but it is a bit silly... Lova Falk talk 13:25, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

While you’re at it, consider disambiguating the follow-up sentence: "Half of all children develop a disrupted sleep pattern serious enough to warrant assistance of a physician.” Presumably this means half of all affected children, i.e., the 1 to 6%. Orthotox (talk) 21:40, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Mental illness contradiction[edit]

This article says both "there is no scientific evidence of a link between night terrors and mental illness" and "a study done about night terrors in adults showed that psychiatric symptoms were prevalent in most patients experiencing night terrors hinting at the comorbidity of the two." Both comments cannot be true. (I favour the former).


There is also this sentence: "There is a close association with psychopathology or mental disorders in adults that suffer from sleep terror disorder" which is a direct contradiction of "there is no scientific evidence of a link between night terrors and mental illness". Which is correct? (talk) 01:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for noticing this inconsistency. I checked a source and fixed this. Lova Falk talk 13:13, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
It is not fixed. I noticed that and another contradiction this week in this article on the mobile version. (talk) 08:43, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
(sub-heading associated)"However, in adults who suffer from sleep terror disorder there is a close association with psychopathology or mental disorders." and (sub-heading:Adults)""There is no scientific evidence of a link between night terrors and mental illness.A study done about night terrors in adults showed that psychiatric symptoms were prevalent in most patients experiencing night terrors hinting at the comorbidity of the two"-so which is it? (talk) 08:46, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not going to mark this fixed because I changed it but I am still open to a reference being provided that can explain the "no scientific evidence"-statement. I took that out after searching for it, and replaced it with the fact, and citation that Sleep Terrors are considered a Mental and behavioural disorder in the ICD-10. Maybe they were trying to say that although Sleep Terror is a diagnoses in itself, that there are not any known studies of other psychiatric illnesses occurring? But the following sentence seems to contradict that anyhow, so I think that waiting for a reliable source would be the best idea. I will not add my own original research to the article, but the patient that I was doing research for, was suffering from other diagnosed mental illnesses and conditions including combat-induced PTSD, so that sentence stuck-out for me as well. It is my opinion that in adults, night terrors is a pretty serious condition.-So it makes sense to me that a patient who suffers from the condition would have other (while they are awake)-diagnosable mental illnesses. (talk) 03:11, 10 July 2013 (UTC)


Overall, this article is great. I just happened to notice a few things that need clarification. With regards to children and night terrors, it is stated in the article that male children are affected more by night terrors than female children. But in another section, it is stated that boys and girls of all backgrounds are affected equally. So in this instance, it might be best to add to the second statement that, again, male children are affected more than female children. Also, in the last sentence under the heading of Adult, instead of "night terrors... can further investigate..." I believe it should be "night terrors... can be further investigated..." Evlange (talk) 21:59, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

General impressions[edit]


- Other links checked are working and lead to reliable Pubmed/peer reviewed journal articles

- Good number of internal links, but some are missing:

- “Sleepwalking and night terrors are different manifestations of the same parasomnia.[4]” <- Link to parasomnia. This is the first time the word is used and could be confusing for a layperson

- "Most people who experience this are amnesic, or partially amnesic from the incident the next day.[2]" <- Reference here is not immediately; would be helpful to add link to amnesia (

Sentences/topics that are likely confusing for non-experts; distracting:

- "Night terrors tend to happen during periods of arousal from delta sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep.[2][3][4]"

- "The prevalence of sleep terror episodes has been estimated at 1%-6% among children and at less than 1% of adults.[7] Night terrors can often be mistaken for confusional arousal.[2]"

- “Brain activities during a typical episode show theta and alpha activity when using an EEG. It is also common to see abrupt arousal from NREM sleep that does not progress into a full episode of a night terror.”

- Overall, the page wouldn’t have been that helpful for parents who are concerned their child is having night terrors, nor people experiencing night terrors themselves because of how technical it was.


- Article presents as neutral as do the sources it draws from

- I wish this article focused more on common presenting symptoms and less on the technical biological underpinnings. The people looking at this page are likely worried that they or a loved one is experiencing night terrors--the biological detail could be hard for people to understand and is heavily weighted over other material.

Up-to-date info?

-”The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for sleep terror disorder requires:[7]” <-- Should change to DSM-5 criteria

- The rest of the studies this article references and information seem up-to-date, but new information could be added (see suggestions below)

Other comments/concerns:

- Structure of paragraphs often confusing, see suggestions for improvement below.


- This sentence is confusing where it is and I don’t think much would be lost if it were removed/moved to Causes: “During the first half of a sleep cycle, delta sleep occurs most often, which indicates that people with more delta sleep activity are more prone to night terrors.[3]However, they can also occur during daytime naps.[5]”

- This sentence is really confusing as well--what other nocturnal attacks are they? How are they different than night terrors? Etc. “Night terrors are largely unknown to most people, creating the notion that any type of nocturnal attack or nightmare can be confused with and reported as a night terror.[4]”


- It would be great to have a short paragraph explaining in more detail that night terrors are a subset of sleep disorders in children and how they differ from others (

- Include new information about gender differences: ( (


- Add information about possible triggers in adolescence (

A new “Side-effects/Complications” section:

- More details on how sleep terrors affect day to day life and issues that commonly arise because of them ( (

- Info on anxiety and parasomnias:


- Add information about lifestyle changes (

Etschroe (talk) 02:42, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Confusing article, confusing sentence[edit]

This article is still (forgive the pun) an absolute nightmare. It bombards the reader with a lot of information, much of it contradictory, too general, or too speculative. The sentence "There have been some symptoms of depression and anxiety that have increased in individuals that have suffered from frequent night terrors" is poorly-worded and totally meaningless. How do you quantify an "increase" in "some symptoms?" Why would it be statistically significant that unnamed, unnumbered "individuals" with night terrors have experienced "some symptoms of depression and anxiety?" Were they depressed and anxious before onset of sleep terrors, or was it the other way around? As it stands, it would be just as true to say "there have been some symptoms of depression and anxiety that have increased in individuals that have frequently eaten cheesecake" or "there have been some symptoms of vertigo and unquenchable thirst that have increased in individuals who buy hamsters on Thursdays." Sadiemonster (talk) 16:46, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Sateia M. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, III. American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014.
  2. ^ Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Sateia M. International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. Accessed May 20, 2014.