Is There A Treatment For Sleep Terror Disorder?

August 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Sleep Terror Disorder

If your child suffers from sleep terror disorder, you want a treatment to deal with the scary episodes the sleep terror disorder causes. Is there such a thing? What can help?

Who Gets Sleep Terror Disorder?

Sleep Terror Disorder is most common among children from ages two to six. However, they can actually happen at any age. Adult who have sleep terror disorder are in the category of “unusual.” About three percent of children get them. They are most apt to happen during the fires few hours of sleep at night, and they can happen again any night over the course of a few weeks. Fortunately, after that time, they generally disappear entirely, and never recur. After age ten, they are unlikely to occur at all.

What About A Treatment?

Sleep Terror Disorder is different from nightmares. Nightmares are easy to awake a child from, and after they forget about the nightmare, they can go back to sleep. Sleep terror disorder treatment varies because with sleep terror disorder, there is no nightmare to wake from or forget. In fact, due to the complexity of what is going on in their brain at the time of the episode, no one should (or, usually, even can) awake someone from an episode. They usually are out of touch with reality, and unresponsive to outside influence. Instead, during a sleep terror disorder the best treatment is to hold the child or comfort it in another way, while reassuring the child that you are there by them. Rocking can also help. After a few minutes (usually – but it can be longer) the child will fall back into a deeper sleep and be through the sleep terror disorder episode. Treatment, for the moment, was successful, and Mom can go back to sleep.

Long Term Treatment Options

For almost all children, these subside as the child ages. There is usually no long-term medical treatment for the Sudden Terror Disorder needed. If you see a doctor, they will usually suggest that you help the child get more sleep, and lessen the stress that the child is subjected to.

Another option is for the parents to figure out which time period the episodes are most likely to occur and wake the child about 15 minutes prior to that time. After keeping the child fully awake for 4 or 5 minutes, the child can go back to sleep. This usually helps with persistent cases, and within a week can usually be discontinued.

In very severe cases, there are drugs that can be prescribed, but these are usually reserved for adults with ongoing conditions. Also, psychotherapy can be beneficial.

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