Essay on Night Terrors

2298 Words Nov 16th, 2005 10 Pages
Night Terrors "Every night around 10:30 Billy Bolts out of bed and starts screaming uncontrollably. I often find him running around his room looking frantic. I try to hold him, but he just pushes me away. I don't understand what is happening. He looks terrified, and it frightens me" (Mindell 257). The above quote represents a classic episode of night terrors, or sleep terrors (the terms are interchangeable). Night terrors – called incubus in adults and pavor nocturnus in children (Durand 31) – fall into a larger category of sleep disorders called parasomnias, which are sleep disorders that are classified by abnormal or paranormal brain activity (psychnet). It's also considered a disorder of "partial arousal", where the child is …show more content…
There were small discrepancies as to the percentage of young children that experience night terrors: Mindell stated that 3% of children experience them, usually between the ages of 5-7, while Durand's percentage fell slightly higher at 5%. These children will be normal, healthy children. Mindell did mention that younger children may experience night terrors as well; sometimes night terrors can occur in toddlers, but if they occur in a child before the age of one, they should bee seen by a pediatrician. A study was performed in Quebec to examine the prevalence and developmental changes of parasomnias and also to evaluate gender differences, how the parasomnias are related to each other, and how anxiety and family issues relate to the occurrences (Laberge, et al 1). The study involved 664 boys and 689 girls. The study found that night terrors decreased during childhood; basically, as the children got older, the occurrences decreased and virtually disappeared by adolescence. Also, parasomnias are common in children, night terrors being one of the most common, along with sleep walking, enuresis, body rocking, somniloquy (sleep talking) and sleep bruxism (grinding teeth in sleep) (Laberge, et al 1). During the study, the mothers of the subjects were questioned as to the age of the onset and the age of the

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