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Night Terrors & Nightmares

Night terrors are a type of disruptive sleep disorder that occur during the deepest phase of sleep. During an episode of night terrors, a person wakes in a terrified state. Although they are asleep, their eyes may be open. They feel unable to fully awake and can be difficult to comfort.  Once awake, they have no memory of the event but may have a sense of fear. Night terrors can last from 5 to 20 minutes. 
Night terrors are not nightmares. Nightmares occur during REM sleep like most dreams. After awakening, most people can recall the nightmare like a long, movie-like dream.
Night terrors are common in children, but can also occur in adulthood. If you or your child experiences night terrors, schedule an appointment with your SSM Health provider to discuss your concerns and determine the steps you can take to get better sleep.

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