How do night terrors happen?
The typical night terror episode usually begins approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The child sits up in bed and screams, appearing awake but is confused, disoriented, and unresponsive to stimuli. Although the child seems to be awake, the child does not seem to be aware of the parents’ presence and usually does not talk. The child may thrash around in bed and does not respond to comforting by the parents.
Most episodes last a couple of minutes, but they may last up to 30 minutes before the child relaxes and returns to normal sleep.
If the child does awake during a night terror, he or she may only recall small pieces of the episode. Usually, the child does not remember the episode upon waking in the morning.
From: Night Terrors WebMD Medical Reference
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