The Episodes of Night Terror
When I first experienced night terror, it was after continuous episodes of bullying in school. I vividly remember the whole class laughing at something someone had said about it and *boom*, my first-night terror.
Night terrors are recurring nighttime episodes that happen while you’re asleep. They’re also commonly known as sleep terrors.
When a night terror begins, you’ll appear to wake up. You might call out, cry, move around, or show other signs of fear and agitation. The episode can last for up to several minutes, though you typically don’t wake up. Most people fall right back asleep after a night terror.
Sleep terrors generally occur in the first third to first half of the night, and rarely during naps. A sleep terror may also lead to sleepwalking.
Symptoms of Night Terror:
- scream or cry
- stare blankly
- flail or thrash in bed
- breathe rapidly
- have an increased heart rate
- be flushed and sweaty
- seem confused
- get up, jump on the bed, or run around the room
- become aggressive if a partner or family member tries to keep you from running or jumping
Night terrors are quite common in young children, but you can also experience it as an adult.
Related Article: My diary of Insomnia
If you’re experiencing night- terrors as an adult, it is most likely that you are developing mood-related conditions, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. It might also be happening if you are dealing with some sort of trauma or a long-term stress.
It can also happen if you have:
- Sleep deprivation and extreme tiredness
- Sleep schedule disruptions, travel or sleep interruptions
I’ve had a sleep disorder for a long time, as I kept tossing around between insomnia and parasomnia, with night terrors in between.
There are various reasons why night terrors can be triggered. Mine was generally triggered due to lack of sleep, stress and anxiety.
If night terrors become a regular episode and lead to sleepwalking or anxiety, you might want to start looking for options to help yourself.
Steps you can implement to bid farewell to night terrors are:
- Talk to someone who will listen.
- Try to adapt to healthier sleeping habits.
- Externalize your stress through sharing and/or physical exercise.
- If the episodes of night terror, become more frequent, opt for going to a therapist.
Helping yourself is always in your own hands. Sleep is one of the most important factors for both physical and mental health. Many of us suffer from sleep disorders, but very few of us ask for help. Asking for help can make your life easier. Especially, if you are having bad sleep episodes due to night terrors, and developing comorbid symptoms, you should definitely share and ask for help!
I’ve asked for help and healed. You should too!