What Are the Symptoms of Night Terrors and Should I Be Concerned?

Night terrors are episodes from which children from the ages of about 18 months up to teenage years awaken very frightened and inconsolable. Children often sit up when having night terrors and they may cry out or thrash around. Witnessing night terrors can be disconcerting for parents. Night terrors are generally not cause for medical concern, however.

Difference Between Nightmares and Night Terrors

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Nightmares occur during REM sleep, while night terrors occur during non-REM sleep. Night terrors are often much more dramatic than nightmares and occur as a fear reaction outside of dreams that has to do with transition between sleep stages. Children will generally not remember night terrors at all, while they may or may not recall nightmares.

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