Sleep Disorder-Night Terrors Disorder

Sleep terrors are classified as a parasomnia — an undesirable behavior or experience during sleep. Sleep terrors are a disorder of arousal, meaning they occur during N3 sleep, the deepest stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Another NREM disorder is sleepwalking, which can occur together with sleep terrors.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW205
Diagnosis: Sleep Terror Disorder
US Patients: 36.9% at 18 months but 19.7% at 30 months; in adults, 2.2%
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: B+; G; adults, no difference
Age Onset: at age 3½, one per week; frequency tapers off
Brain Area: high voltages in electroencephalography, higher heart rate and muscle tone; frontal lobe epilepsy, thalamic lesions,
Symptoms: 1-10 minutes in the first 3-4 hours of non-REM (early) sleep; usually happen in delta (slow-wave) sleep.
Progression: sit up and yell, time of autonomic arousal (speed-up)seem awake but are confused, sleepwalking, low blood sugar
Causes: PTSD, mental disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, higher frequency among relatives, asthma, constricted nasal passages
Medications: tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines
Therapies: Children usually do not need treatment, diminish with age. Hypnosis may help. Better sleep habits.


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Tourette Disorder and Sleep
    by Justin L Blaty on January 15, 2022

    Healthy sleep is of utmost importance for growth, development, and overall health. Strong evidence shows that sleep is affected negatively in patients and particularly children with Tourette Disorder (TD). There is also a frequent association of TD with ADHD which alone has negative effects on sleep and cumulatively worsens the associated sleep findings. The most consistent polysomnographic findings in patients with TD is decreased total sleep time, lower sleep efficiency and an elevated arousal...

  • Night Terrors
    by Ngoc L. Van Horn on January 1, 2022

    Night terrors are a common preschool-aged sleep disorder in which a child quickly wakes up from sleep in a terrified state. For the majority of these episodes, the child will not have any recollection of this event ever happening.

  • A 16-Year-Old Male With Frequent Nocturnal Events During Slow Wave Sleep on a Polysomnogram
    by Sameh S Morkous on October 25, 2021

    A 16-year-old male was referred by the primary care physician (PCP) for a second opinion. An initial evaluation in another sleep center suggested a working diagnosis of night terrors for the last two years. The child would wake up frequently screaming for few minutes before going back to sleep with no recollection of these events later. A video during the polysomnography (PSG) showed the patient having one of his typical events. He was eventually diagnosed with Sleep-related Hypermotor Epilepsy...

  • From burlesque to horror: a century of sleepwalking on the silver screen
    by Marie-Amelie Dalloz on August 3, 2021

    BACKGROUND: Long before being described as a disorder, sleepwalking was considered as a mysterious phenomenon inspiring artwork. From the early beginning of cinema, sleepwalkers were shown to populations, playing a crucial role in storytelling and collective knowledge.