What's the difference between Night Terrors and Nightmares?

Nightmares wake the sleeper, and the sleeper is able to remember the contents of the dream.

Night terrors occur during deep sleep early in the night. This means that the brain is unable to record memories and the child doesn't wake. As a result, children usually don't remember the night terror and wake rested after a night with night terrors.

Night terrors, however, can be disruptive to the entire family’s sleep if they are frequent and create undue stress if the child’s safety is put at risk by their activity during a night terror. While nightmares can often be managed by controlling the stress that a child faces, night terrors are improved by focusing on the night terrors themselves.

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