What is night terror?
Night terror, also known as sleep terror, is a sleep disorder causing feelings of panic or dread typically occurring during the first hours of stage 3–4 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and lasting for 1 to 10 minutes. They can last longer, especially in children.
Sleep terrors usually begin in childhood and usually decrease with age. Factors which may lead to sleep terrors are young age, sleep deprivation, medications, stress, fever, and intrinsic sleep disorders. Though the frequency and severity differ between individuals, the episodes can occur in intervals of days or weeks, but can also occur over consecutive nights or multiple times in one night. This has created a situation in which any type of nocturnal attack or nightmare may be confused with and reported as a night terror.