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What is the difference between nightmares and night terrors?

And how is the way you handle each different? Or is it the same?

Answer Question

Asked by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 10:55 PM on Apr. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 37 (93,457 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • mare = can have some memory of, recalls bits and pieces. terror = wont remember or recall anything and has no idea what's going on

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:57 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • night terrors they do not wake up, i had one doc tell me that they are like having a night mare about being taken away or tied down.. they can hear you talking to them but they arent alert, it may look like they are lookng right at you but they cant see you. ..

    nightmares - they can wake up from it! and are alert.

    Answer by 3HappylKidds at 10:58 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • The way the Dr. told me, nightmares are bad dreams that may or may not wake a child. Stressful enough. But, night terrors are more extreme. These actually affect the child more emotionally, waking them up screaming and sometimes running aimlessly looking to get away from the dream. They are handled pretty much the same as far as comfort goes. But, the night terrors might take a little more cuddling and loving to get through.

    Answer by specialwingz at 10:58 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • my son has both from time to time but he seems to be outgrowing them (he's 6, 6 1/2 in two weeks) also has including 3 or 4 incidents of sleepwalking. NOT fun. his night terrors and hallucinations were brought on by an allergic reaction to Singulair meds. He'd wake up screaming bloody murder like a horror film and in the ninety seconds or so it would take us to get to him, he'd be back sound asleep. craziness.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:59 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • Wow! Seems differetn doctors will say different things. My twins had night terrors (according to the doctor). We adopted them at 18mos of age. They had been abandoned and had incredible fear and separation anxiety. They would wake screaming bloody murder and run in any direction they could find to run looking for someone to save them.

    Answer by specialwingz at 11:01 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • I can tell you on MY experience. My kids don't have night terrors, I do. I am narcoleptic, and dreams to me are just that. Dream like. Terrors are when the room comes alive, and it's all very, very real. I see people standing at the edge of my bed every night....and I can actually SMELL them. I can feel the bed move or covers pull back. I know it's not real, but when I am sleeping it sure as heck seems that way.

    Answer by 3gals at 11:04 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • here is the medically correct answer from my college psychology class. a nightmare is just a bad dream. everyone gets them sometimes. you remember them. it's just a dream that happens in a stage 4 rem sleep. in rem your body is paralyzed because if it were not you would act out your dreams.
    now a night terror is a hallucination that happens in a stage 4 non rem sleep. the person acts it out completely and has no memory of it when they wake up. a night terror is in the simplest terms, terrified sleepwalking

    Answer by momofone725 at 11:33 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

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