It's Not a Nightmare: Understanding Sleep Terrors

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2018 Aug 1;56(8):11-14. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20180723-03.


Sleep terrors, one of the non-rapid eye movement parasomnias, are interesting nighttime phenomena that can be distressing for parents. For most children, this behavior is temporary and does not cause significant problems. However, some psychiatric conditions may have a higher prevalence of parasomnias, including sleep terrors. Although sleep terrors may be a benign and common event in children, a basic mental health examination should include a sleep-related screening to possibly identify underlying issues. Nurses must be knowledgeable about sleep terrors and able to provide education and support when parents share their concerns. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 56(8), 11-14.].

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Child
  • Dreams / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Night Terrors / epidemiology*
  • Night Terrors / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Nursing