Night terrors in adults are no laughing matter. They are a difficult episode for someone to experience and tons of people around the world suffer from them. Waking up in the middle of the night after a night terror is certainly one of the most difficult ways to wake up.
Sleep terrors can be even worse than just waking up with a start, you can even find yourself walking or running around your house. These aren’t just regular nightmares, instead, they can really have a serious impact on you. Before getting to far ahead of ourselves, let’s look into why we get night terrors in adults and what they actually are.
What are Night Terrors?
Night terrors often referred to as sleep terrors, are a parasomnia condition, which in essence means it’s a sleep disorder. The problem occurs while you’re sleeping and you, in turn, get an overwhelming sense of dread or fear. This results in either a visceral reaction like screaming, thrashing around in your sleep, or crying. Others, in response to this fear, will even get up out of bed and walk or run around.
There’s often a comparison of night terrors vs nightmares, but the night terror is a totally different experience. Often times a night terror episode will not even be recognized by the person because they often go back into deep sleep. Other times the person will wake up to an extreme bout of confusion. There are even some concerns over people waking up with short-term amnesia, where they can’t figure out who they are or where they are for a very brief period.
Who is Most Prone to Sleep Terrors?
Children are the leading sufferers of sleep terrors. Often times, the problem arises most severely in children under the age of seven. The problems are often also associated with sleepwalking or talking loudly in their sleep. It’s estimated more than 10% of children will experience sleep terrors, so it’s quite common.
Even though it’s most common in children, night terrors in adults happen quite often as well. There isn’t an obvious link between suffering from night terrors as a child and an adult. It’s not as prevalent in adults as children, but there are still many people who will suffer from the problem.
Do Night Terrors in Adults Require Treatment?
In general, night terrors in adults should pass shortly after they start and shouldn’t be occurring often enough to be an overwhelming problem. But, if they are occurring repeatedly and not going away, you should consult someone. Certainly, the best place to start would be your doctor, who may, in turn, refer you to a sleep specialist.
If the night terrors are severe and consistent enough you might even be advised to take a polysomnogram. This is an overnight sleep study that will help to better diagnose any sleep disorders. The test analyzes your brain waves, oxygen level, heart rate, and breathing to determine what is the true cause of the problem.
Night terrors can certainly be a serious problem. If you’re consistently suffering from them, then it’s something that should be taken care of. You should ensure you go talk to a doctor before it affects your sleep to a point that you’re suffering from sleep deprivation.