Many people are familiar with the nightmares that children experience, but are less familiar with night terrors in adults. If you, or someone you know, experiences night terrors, you know how frightening they can be. Like nightmares and sleepwalking, night terrors are a disturbance in sleep. Unlike nightmares, night terrors are usually not remembered by the person who experiences them, and may cause a variety of strange, and sometimes scary symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms that many adults who experience night terrors have.
- Screaming. Night terrors are such vivid, bad dreams, that individuals experiencing them may scream during the night. Sometimes the scream will wake up the person, and sometimes not. Typically if the scream does wake the dreamer, he will not remember screaming and will not remember the night terror he was having.
- Sitting up or getting out of bed. Persons experiencing night terrors may sit up, or get out of bed during the night terror. She might walk around the room in a sleeping state, or move to a different part of the house without knowing that she is doing so.
- Kicking and thrashing. Another symptom of night terrors is kicking or trashing in bed. More then normal, “tossing and turning”, individuals experiencing a night terror may actively kick or trash in bed. It may look like they are trying to push someone away from them.
- Increased heartrate and heavy breathing. Increased heartrate, sweating and heavy breathing are common symptoms during a night terror. If you’re sleeping in a bed with someone who experiences a night terror, you may notice that their heartrate increases, they become red and overheated, and they sweat through their nightclothes. If your partner doesn’t have a history of night terrors and experiences these symptoms, it can be very concerning. If it doubt, about your partner’s condition, call 911.
- Difficultly awakening. Persons experiencing a night terror may be very difficult to awaken. They may appear to be in an altered state, and do not usually wake up with a gentle shake. Be careful when waking someone up from a night terror, as they may unknowingly become violent or lash out at you before they wake up completely. Persons waking from a night terror may not immediately know where they are. Explain to her that she was having a night terror and she is safe. If you experience severe night terrors on a regular basis, or become a danger to yourself or others while you’re sleeping, you should see your Medical Doctor to rule out physical and emotional health concerns that might be impacting your sleep.