What Causes Night Terrors?


Quick Answer

Causes of night terrors include fever, stressful life experiences, certain medications, sleep deprivation and noise. Certain conditions that affect sleep, such as brain injuries, migraines, sleep-disordered breathing and restless legs syndrome, may also lead to night terrors. Night terrors are common in children between 3 and 12 years of age, as stated by WebMD, with both boys and girls being equally affected.

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Full Answer

Children experience recurrent episodes of terror during the night. This makes them fear sleeping in darkness or alone in the bedroom. Some also tend to cry during such situations. Children with sleep terrors may also experience increased heart rate, faster breathing and sweating during the episodes. Most children tend not to remember anything that they saw during the episodes of night terrors, as stated by WebMD.

Sleep terrors may also occur in adults who have a history of depression. Night terrors are not cause for alarm, as they are a common condition among teenagers. Most children get over sleep terrors as they grow older. Children with disrupted patterns of night terrors can visit a pediatrician for a checkup. The pediatrician may be able to identify several disorders that contribute to the terrors. Sleep terrors can sometimes be prevented by removing any sources of sleep disturbance in a child's room.

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