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Night Terrors Specialist

Texas Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Austin, TX

If you or your child experience night terrors that are causing you to miss sleep and suffer during the day, make an appointment at Texas Sleep Medicine in Austin, Texas for assessment and advice on how to deal with this issue.

Night Terrors Q & A

What Are Night Terrors?

Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are episodes of fear, flailing, and screaming while asleep. A person who experiences a night terror might also have an elevated heart rate, sweat excessively, breathe heavily, sit up in bed, stare wide-eyed, or sleepwalk. It may be difficult to console the person experiencing the night terror, especially if they are a young child. In adults, symptoms of night terrors may also include parasomnias such as running out of the house or engaging in violent behavior.

What Causes Night Terrors?

Night terrors are caused by an over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS). It isn’t always possible to pinpoint the reason for this over-arousal, but this disorder may sometimes occur in young children because the CNS is still maturing. Night terrors may be more likely to occur when a child is overtired, starting a new medication, or sleeping in a new place. Night terror symptoms may be more likely to occur during periods of stress or fatigue in adults.

Is Treatment Required for Night Terrors?

In most cases, treatment for night terrors is unnecessary due to the relative infrequency of the episodes. If your child occasionally experiences night terrors, it is best not to wake them, as this can cause confusion and agitation. Instead, supervise them until the episode passes to make sure that they don’t injure themselves while thrashing around. If your child sleepwalks, make sure their sleeping environment is safe (for example, place a safety gate in front of stairs and keep windows locked).

If you or your child is experiencing night terrors so often that daytime tiredness is a regular issue, it’s time to seek treatment. Once we have diagnosed your condition, we can begin treatment. In rare cases, we may prescribe medications under close supervision. However, we usually start by trying other holistic treatment methods, such as educating our patients about behavioral changes they can make to sleep better or discussing relaxation techniques they can try before going to bed. We will schedule follow-up appointments as needed to determine how well the treatment is working and whether or not another course of treatment is necessary.

Accepted Insurance Providers

We accept plans from the following providers, please contact our office to determine whether your specific plan is accepted. This list may be subject to change.

Averde Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Galaxy Healthcare PPO
Interplan Health Group PPO