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SUNY Downstate Sleep Disorders Center
What Are Night Terrors?
A person experiencing night terrors awakens from sleep in a terrified state. Night terrors occur during deep sleep, usually during the first third of the night.
Night terrors are fairly common in children ages 3 to 7, especially boys. The sleep disorder, which may run in families, also can occur in adults. The cause is unknown but night terrors may be triggered by fever, lack of sleep, or periods of stress or conflict. Strong emotional tension and/or the use of alcohol can increase the incidence of night terrors among adults.