Essay about History: Sleep and Night Terrors

Submitted By jessiepa1ge
Words: 1330
Pages: 6

DO YOU REMEMBER THE NIGHTMARES YOU WOULD HAVE AS A CHILD? DID YOU USED TO SLEEP WALK, OR DO YOU STILL? OR ARE YOU ONE OF THE LUCKY PARENTS THAT HAS A CHILD THAT DOES THESE THINGS? I AM ONE OF THE LUCKY PARENTS WHO HAS A DAUGHTER WHO DOES BOTH AND DOESN’T REMEMBER A THING ABOUT HER EPISODES. Every night around 10:30 p.m. MY DAUGHTER Kylei jumps out of bed and starts screaming uncontrollably. I often find her walking around talking and looking frantic. I try to hold her, but she just pushes me away. When this first started occurring I immediately found myself on the computer doing research. This is when I first read about night terrors. I found out that children of all sizes, shapes and forms are affected nightly by a often overlooked disorder. Sleep terror disorder. Sleep terrors are also known as night terrors. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 38 percent of all children will experience periods of night terrors. To understand this disorder I will explain how it is different from the more common nightmare.
On page 227 in A scientific perspective, written in 1988 I was informed that From the late 18th century, it was commonly thought that night terrors were caused by a demon pressing upon the chest of a person during a Nightmare. Night terrors were even considered to be signs of black magic or even possession. Nightmares occur during the dream phase of sleep known as the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Our sleep cycle occurs in a multi-stage format in which there are five stages altogether. The first four stages of sleep are that of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) while the fifth stage occurs in REM sleep. Nightmares are dream experiences of a frightening nature, occurring usually in the second half of the night, in a REM sleep stage, and ending with them waking up. Usually when a person wakes from this type of REM nightmare they are oriented and aware of their surroundings. This is because REM sleep is not as deep of a sleep as NREM sleep, therefore the person is not as drowsy and is more alert. What causes nightmares to occur? During childhood, apparently development conflicts and concerns during childhood cause nightmares. The general adult themes involve fears, such as being chased or attacked. Nightmares occur following significant real events in life that are psychologically painful, such as a death in the family. Nightmares are also involved with physical illness, which includes high fever. Sleep terror disorder is a condition that occurs during stages three or four of NREM (non- rapid eye movement) sleep. They are common in mostly young children typically between the ages of three and eight years old. They hardly ever occur in older children, adolescents, or adults. In both adults and children, night terrors may be caused by unresolved psychological conflicts, traumatic events, and fatigue. In children, these traumatic events could be losing their favorite toy, overhearing a loud argument with parents, watching violent scenes on television or listening to a frightening horror story. All of these events could trigger a night terror. On a 2006 web page titled Night Terrors I was informed that Among adults, prescription drugs as well as withdrawal from addictive drugs can bring sleep disturbances such as night terrors Stress plays a key role in night terrors. If a child goes to bed later, has an active and eventful evening, or doesn’t have a nap during the day, this could lead to night terrors. A night terror will occur 90 minutes after the child goes to sleep. Night terrors usually occur at the same time every night beginning with a piercing scream, followed by gasping or moaning. On a December 2009 web page titled Sleep disorder, night terrors; it informed me that Physical effects might include dilated pupils, rapid breathing and pulse, racing heart, sweating and a look of agitation The child will be awake enough to act out, but asleep enough not to be aware of what is going on. With nightmares,