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Sleep Terror Disorder

April 24, 2012 940 No of hits
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Sleep Terror Disorder

Sleep terror disorder is a sleep disorder characterized by recurring episodes in which a sleeper abruptly awakens, usually within the first third of the sleep cycle (stage 3 or 4) and exhibits signs of terror or distress and autonomic arousal. These signs include screaming, rapid breathing, a rapid heart rate, sweating and dilated pupils. Sleep terror disorder is commonly called "night terrors" and also known by the ominous name "incubus attacks." Sleep terror disorder differs from nightmare disorder in that the sleeper awakens from a night terror with little memory, if any, of a dream or of cause for the distress and in the morning has no memory of the event. Nightmares also usually occur much later in the sleep cycle than night terrors. Nightmares and sleep terrors are both far more common in children than in adults; an estimated 1% to 6% of children in the U.S. experience night terrors. In children the occurrence of night terrors is rarely associated with a psychological disorder. In adults this sleep disorder is much rarer, and is sometimes associated with extreme anxiety or with a psychological disorder.

According to the 4^th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some factors must be present in order to diagnose sleep terror disorder. The sleeper must be unable to recall the dream or the abrupt awakening, the episodes must cause significant distress for the sleeper or impair normal social or occupational functioning for him or her, and the abrupt awakenings must not be related to substance abuse or to another medical condition. The night terrors can cause stress and over time sleep deprivation, which are also two things that may trigger the appearance of sleep terror disorder.

When someone experiences a night terror, they awake showing signs of extreme fear and dread, but they may not fully awake. This means that the sleeper may not recognize someone trying to comfort him or her, and may not respond to comforting. As the sleeper usually doesn't remember the episode in the morning, it has been suggested that the best thing to do it not try to fully awaken the sleeper in the middle of an episode. Children who experience sleep terror disorder will often outgrow the condition, especially by the time they reach adolescence.

Tags:   Sleep Terror Disorder   Night terrors   Sleep terror   Nightmares   Sleep disorder  

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Sleep terror disorder is a sleep disorder characterized by recurring episodes in which a sleeper abruptly awakens, usually within the first third of the sleep cycle (stage 3 or 4) and exhibits signs of terror or distress and autonomic arousal. These signs include screaming, rapid breathing, a rapid...

By: Richard Martine Created 74 months ago

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