Sweet dreams are most coveted after a long day at the office. But the night terrors can totally destroy a good night’s sleep for you. These terrors were known as “pavor noctumus” previously and is said to be a type of parasomnia sleep disorder. It is distinguished by massive fear and the worst part is that it is accompanied with an impaired ability to retrieve full consciousness.
The person who suffers from night terror can wake up suddenly sweating, screaming or gasping for air. It can get quite challenging to rouse someone who is experiencing a disorder like that. Moreover, such patients can also return to their normal sleep even without fully waking up.
Since the night terrors, do not appear during the REM sleep, a person who is affected with such a disorder often cannot remember the attack. The night terrors are not dangerous but if you move around at the time of the sleep then that can pose as threats.
Nevertheless, there are a variety of ways to cope up with the night terrors. The night terrors are not usually dangerous but can pose a threat if you actually move in sleep. A quality sleep can cut back the night terrors.
You should try to reduce the stress in the life. The high stress levels can make the night terrors dangerous. If you are suffering from that, here are some of the tips that can help you to cope with the night terrors.
- Avoid Nicotine, Caffeine and Alcohol for 6 Hours before Bedtime – The stimulants like alcohol, coffee and nicotine should be avoided as these can prevent the restful sleep. You should remember that the caffeine is found in chocolate, sodas, certain pain relievers and many other types of teas. Alcohol though can help you to fall asleep, but it is not quality sleep that it provides. You can wake up several times at night if you have alcohol.
- Ensure Your Environment is Safe – This is vital for your wellbeing. If you loiter around a lot during night-terror, you can also fall and get hurt. Prior to going to bed, you should see to it that your bedroom harbours a safe ambience. So you should check that –
- All the doors and windows are closed and remain locked before bedtime so that you do not go out
- Re-position everything that can come in your way as you wander around during the night
- You should block off the stairways as well
- Work Out – You should exercise daily in order to get a good night’s sleep. This is true for both the adults and the kids. Working out assists in reducing anxiety and stress and tires you up physically. It is vital to avoid both mental and physical activities in the 3 hours prior to retiring to bed as it promotes alertness. The aerobic exercises including tennis, jogging, dance classes, martial arts and bike riding are quite beneficial for the children and the adults alike. Yoga is said to be a great activity for the adults and the kids. Research has shown that yoga helps in controlling anxiety, stress and insomnia.
- Stick to Sleep Relaxation Techniques – This will assist in unwinding before going to bed. Your body will know when to sleep at night if you have a routine. You will start to feel asleep faster and your quality of sleep will also improve. Your sleep can also be triggered by doing something relaxing. So you should try to read a book, have a cup of tea or take a warm bath. Try to stay away from television, computer, tablet or mobile screens. You should also try to avoid anything that can scare you like a disturbing show or a scary book.
- Identify the Triggers – This will help you to know what to avoid prior to going to bed. You should keep a sleep journal that will help you track the triggers leading to night terrors. You should figure out any potential cause that is external and must be dealt with. For example, you may notice that when you don’t get sufficient sleep, you are more prone to night terrors. Secondly, stressors can also lead to night terrors. If you have a stressful day at work, then that can lead to night terrors. Once you identify the triggers of your night terrors, you can learn to deal with them. If it is happening because of a lack in sleep, you should try getting more sleep. You should also deal with the stressors that are contributing to exacerbate your night terrors.
- Go for Anticipatory Awakening and Medications – This implies waking the person up who has sleep terrors about 10-15 minutes prior to his or her experiencing the event. Then the person stays woken up before going to sleep again. Sleep terrors cannot be handled with medication mostly. However, just like snoring and sleep apnea, your doctor can help you in this regard with certain antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Consult with her regarding this.
The above are some of the tips that you should keep in mind in order to deal with night terrors. You should, however, take the assistance of your doctor further to control this.