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Night Terrors
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
"To sleep: perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub." ~Shakespeare's Hamlet

This is an open community for those who suffer from night terrors (NT). Loved ones (parents, children, friends, spouses, significant others, etc.) of night terror sufferers are also welcome to join.

What is a night terror?*
A difficult question, because night terrors are often mistakenly diagnosed as nightmares. In fact, the two are extremely different. Night terrors generally include a feeling of terror while sleeping, a sudden disruption of sleep, increased heart rate, sweating, screaming, inability to awaken, and vague, terrifying images. Unlike nightmares, the NT sufferer often does not remember specifics of the incident besides a feeling of fear. (However, some people remember parts or even all of the NT - each person is different.)

Night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, unlike nightmares, which occur during REM sleep. Stage 4 sleep is extremely deep and generally occurs within the first hour of sleep. NTs are thought to occur because of increased brain activity triggered by a chemical "misfire." The causes of this increased activity and misfires are many and varied.

Contrary to popular belief, NT is not a disorder that manifests itself only in childhood. While it may be more common for young children to experience night terrors, many adults suffer from NT as well. Night terrors are not something one "grows out of," even though the NTs may stop for a while, even years, or even completely.

* This information has been gleaned from numerous sources on night terrors.

Some sites and articles that might be helpful:
Night Terror Resource Center
DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Sleep Terror Disorder
Quick Facts and Tips About Sleep Terrors
Dreams That Terrify
Health Information Library: Nightmares and Sleep Terrors
Coping With Night Terrors
Night Terror Encyclopedia
What Are Night Terrors?
Insight for Parents: Nightmares and Night Terrors
Night Terrors: The Basics
International Night Terrors Meetup Day

This community...
...was started by kate2130 on April 21, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the community ownership was transferred to cabarethaze. Please direct any questions or concerns about the community to cabarethaze.

As in every community, we need a few guidelines to help it run smoothly:
~Absolutely no flames. If you have a problem with another member, please take it to personal email or other methods of contact. If I see personal attacks happening, I will ban the responsible members.
~There's not much I consider off-topic. NTs tend to affect many areas of life, so feel free to post. Let's try to keep it somewhat relevant to NT, but I'm not going to get all worried about off-topic posts.
~Introductions: While it certainly is not required, it would be nice if, when you joined, you made a short introduction post with information such as name, age, how long you've had NT (or your relationship to someone who suffers from NT), what strategies you've found to help, etc. We'd like to get to know everyone!