Night Terrors

Night terrors are experienced by around 10% of children between 4 and 6 years of age. A Night terror is believed to be caused by a semi-awakening from non-dream sleep. The child is unaware of their actions and will have no memory of the terror come the morning. It is widely believed that they run in families and are therefore genetic. They become less frequent with age but some adults can suffer from them occasionally. Night Terrors tend to occur during the early stages of the sleep cycle.

How do I recognise a Night terror?

Your child will be crying or screaming with their eyes open, they will not respond to you when you try and comfort them. They may appear scared and frightened but they in fact do not know what is happening.

How do they differ from Nightmares?

Nightmares occur during REM sleep which is the period of sleep towards the end of the sleep cycle. A nightmare may wake a child and the child will generally remember the bad dream.

How long do they last?

A Night terror can last from a couple of minutes to half an hour.

What should I do?

There is not much you can do when your child is experiencing a Night terror, gently comfort them by stroking them and stay with them until the terror has ended.

What Can I do to prevent them for my child?

Most Night terrors occur in the early stages of sleep, if you notice a pattern to your child's terrors e.g. they have one after approximately 2 hours of sleeping then try to change their sleep routine by waking them gently after 1 and a half hours. This will break their sleep cycle and hopefully prevent the terror happening.

Your Views

Posted by:

Posts: 2



Night Terrors

You can help your baby if you stay with him until he falls asleep. Also, you should change the bedding covers with a few quality baby bedding sets for boys. Maybe he doesn't like the bed sheets that you use daily.

complain about this post

Posted: 28/Dec/14 at 10:03:07

What do you think?
Login or Register to add a comment or ask a question.

Advertise on


If you run a business and would like to get your message across to families and parents then is a good place for you to advertise.


parenting competitions

Win English Heritage Memberships

Win 3 x English Heritage Family Annual Memberships

Top 40 Advice Articles

parenting articles


parenting newsletter

Would you like to receive details of: Parenting Tips, Money Savings ideas and Competitions?


follow parenting

facebook    twitter    rss-feed