Night terrors quiz

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Yu Shirai

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Yu Shirai, MD


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Learn more about Night terrors

Content updated on Jun 1, 2022

What is night terrors?

These are fearful episodes involving screaming, flailing and/or thrashing that occur when the person is asleep and don't have memory of upon awakening. They are common in children, who tend to outgrow it with age. This is generally not worrisome unless sleep is significantly disrupted (and hence insufficient).

Symptoms related to night terrors

  • Eyes open during seizure

  • Child cries at night

Questions your doctor may ask to check for night terrors

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose night terrors

  • Are you unable to recall abnormal behaviors or actions that you did while asleep?

  • Do your uncontrollable movements usually happen at night?

  • Does your child cry at night for no particular reason?

  • When sleeping, do you sometimes scream loudly and wake up?

  • Have you ever slept so deeply that others were unable to awaken you?

Treatment for night terrors

Medical treatment is generally not needed. Treatment may be helpful for particularly disruptive night terrors or night terrors that may compromise safety. Treatment options include treating underlying causes (sleep apnea, or stress and anxiety), or waking the person in anticipation of an episode before a night terror begins.

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Yu Shirai

Medically Reviewed By:

Yu Shirai, MD


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Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

Kawai Clinic, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

Bayshore Health Centre, India

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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