Night terrors are often thought of as a condition that only affects children, however, a surprising amount of adults also suffer from them, but this is rarely talked about and the problem can go undiagnosed. The condition results in aggravated sleep accompanied by violent physical movements and unaccountable fear, and the cause can be very difficult to pin down.
Some people believe there is a psychological cause, and night terrors arise from deep-seated anxieties and concerns that have not been uncovered and dealt with. If this is the case then sessions with a psychotherapist or counselor may help some individuals alleviate the problem. Unfortunately, many sufferers will tell you that they have tried various therapies and been to their doctor, but nothing seems to have helped them.
When night terrors are accompanied by physical movements it would seem that the sleeper is somewhere in a veiled half world between reality and another, much darker place. If you have ever witnessed night terrors then you will have noticed that the dreamer seems to be wrestling with an enemy and the affect is truly frightening to experience and witness.
This event tends to happen before a dreamer reaches the deepest, rapid eye movement stage of sleep. If they can be awakened before this time then the terrors can sometimes be prevented. This can be a very difficult process and hard to achieve as many dreamers do not follow a definite pattern. It also involves someone else staying awake to watch for signs and is not very practical.
As with sleepwalkers, it is not a good plan to try to forcibly wake someone who is experiencing night terrors. They will be difficult to awaken and may cause damage to themselves or the person attempting to help them.
Playing gentle brainwave music is a better alternative and it can, in some cases, alter brain chemicals being released to a certain extent. This idea is still being explored and may not be the absolute answer to the problem. Nevertheless, with the harshness of the condition in mind, anything is worth trying to alleviate this terrible condition.
Both adults and children need emotional support and comforting to reassure them when they finally wake up so that they know all is well.
If you have a sleeping partner who suffers from night terrors it is a good idea to slip out of bed and into another bedroom after the initial stages of the condition take place. Arms and legs hitting out can be painful for the sleeper lying next to the dreamer.
If you want to try brainwave music, it is available from music shops in CD form and the Internet to download to play on your personal computer or iPhone.