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Sleep panic; The cause of screaming and sudden fear in sleep

Study guide

Sleep panic is a disorder that is often accompanied by screaming and sudden and intense fear in sleep. Sleep panic is also known as night terrors. This sleep disorder usually lasts from a few seconds to a minute. Sleep panic affects about 40% of children and a much smaller percentage of adults. Although this is scary, it is generally not a cause for concern. In this article, we will examine the symptoms of sleep apnea, its causes and ways of diagnosing and treating it. Stay with us until the end.

Is sleep horror the same as nightmares?

You may think at first that the horror of sleep is a nightmare; But no, sleep apnea is different from nightmare. When you have a nightmare, you usually wake up and may even remember details; But in a state of panic sleep, you scream and fear that you are still asleep. Children usually do not remember anything about the horror of their sleep after waking up; But adults may remember part of the dream they had in this situation.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep panic often occurs early in the night, in the first half of your sleep period. Normally, sleep apnea lasts only a few seconds to a minute, but may last 10 minutes or more. During a period of sleep apnea, the following symptoms may occur:

  • It starts with screams and terrible screams;
  • While the person is very scared, he sits in bed;
  • He stares at a point with his eyes open;
  • Has sweating in sleep and difficulty breathing;
  • His face is flushed and the pupils of his eyes widen;
  • Kicks and bangs his hands and feet against the wall;
  • It is difficult for him to wake up and he is still confused after waking up;
  • It is inconsolable and does not calm down in any way;
  • The next morning he remembers nothing of the events;
  • He may get out of bed and walk home;
  • He may behave aggressively if others try to control him.

Why does sleep panic occur?

Causes of sleep panic

Sleep panic is classified as a parasomnia (an undesirable behavior or experience during sleep). Sleep panic usually occurs during N3 sleep, the deepest stage of sleep (or NREM). Sleep panic occurs when you wake up to some NREM sleep. This happens during the transition between different stages of sleep; That is, when you are neither fully awake nor fully asleep!

The root cause of this partial awakening and its association with sleep apnea has not yet been determined; But experts have identified some factors that may play a role. These factors include:

  • Lack of sleep and extreme fatigue;
  • Stress;
  • Sleep disturbance (such as when traveling);
  • Fever.

Fear of sleep sometimes for some Background conditions They interfere with sleep. Some of these underlying conditions may include:

  • Respiratory sleep disordersA group of disorders include abnormal breathing patterns during sleep. The most common of these is sleep apnea or sleep apnea.
The results of a study show that people with sleep disorders, including night terrors, are more likely to have respiratory problems during sleep. Researchers in this study believe that the reason for the relationship between sleep panic and respiratory problems is that more effort to breathe can cause sleep panic or related conditions.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome;
  • Taking some medications;
  • Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety;
  • In adults, alcohol consumption.

What are the side effects of sleep apnea?

Some of the side effects of experiencing sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness;
  • Disturbed sleep;
  • Embarrassing the person in this regard or creating problems in relation to those around him;
  • Injury to oneself or to someone close to one.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Diagnosis of sleep panic with polysomnography

To diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms. Your assessment may include the following:

  • Physical examination: In this case, your doctor will examine you to identify possible triggers for sleep apnea.
  • Talking about symptoms: Your doctor will diagnose sleep apnea based on your description of events. He or she may even ask you about your family history of sleep disorders. If necessary, your spouse may ask you to fill out a questionnaire about your sleep behaviors.
  • Sleep test (polysomnography): In some cases, your doctor may recommend a night study in a sleep lab. Laboratory sensors on your body record and monitor brain waves, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, as well as eye and foot movements during sleep.

When should we see a doctor?

Sleep panic, if it occurs occasionally, is usually not a concern; But if your child or a family member has severe sleep apnea, you need to see a doctor.

Sleep panic needs treatment in the following cases:

  • Fear of sleep and its symptoms are repeated regularly;
  • Fear of sleeping one family member disturbs the peace and quiet sleep of others;
  • Causes excessive drowsiness or dysfunction;
  • It also passes through adolescence or begins in adulthood.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Normally, sleep apnea does not need treatment in cases that occur occasionally. If sleep apnea causes injury, causes problems for family members, or causes embarrassment or sleep disturbance for a person with sleep apnea, they may need treatment. Sleep panic therapy generally focuses on maintaining immunity and eliminating the causes or triggers.

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Treatment of underlying conditions: If sleep apnea is associated with an underlying medical or mental illness or other sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, the goal is to treat the underlying illness first.
  • Stress relief: If stress or anxiety play a role in causing sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend seeing a psychologist or counselor.
  • Preliminary awakening: In this method, the person is awakened about 15 minutes before reaching the stage of deep sleep and the experience of sleep panic. The person then stays awake for a few minutes before falling asleep again.
  • prescribe: Medication is rarely used to treat sleep apnea, especially in children. If necessary, the use of benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants may be effective.

What is the right lifestyle for people with sleep apnea?

Lifestyle has a huge impact on the quality of our sleep. Developing some good habits can cure many problems, including sleep apnea. In the following section, we will mention some useful solutions in this field:

1. Get enough sleep

As mentioned above, fatigue can be one of the causes of sleep apnea. If you have a lack of sleep, plan a regular sleep schedule and adjust your bedtime. Sometimes even a short nap can help.

Daily sleep has amazing benefits; Do not neglect after taking a nap during the day.

۲. Do relaxing activities before going to bed

Doing activities such as reading books, solving puzzles or meditating exercises before going to bed can improve the quality of your sleep. Before going to bed, try not to use electronic devices and do not do any stimulating activity. Avoiding caffeine late in the day and limiting alcohol consumption can also dramatically reduce sleep disorders.

3. Make the environment safe

Close and lock all external windows and doors at night to prevent damage caused by sleep apnea. Do not use the bunk bed and keep any sharp or brittle objects out of reach.

4. Stay away from stress

Identify the things that cause you stress and try out possible ways to manage stress. If the person experiencing sleep apnea is your child and he or she is often anxious or stressed, talk about what is bothering him or her. Seeing a psychologist can also be very helpful in this regard.

5. Keep calm

If your baby is having trouble sleeping and screaming, hug him gently and try to calm him down and get him back to bed. Shaking him or shouting will only make matters worse.

6. Follow a pattern

Find the pattern of sleep panic

Have a sleep diary for your child or any of your family members who occasionally have sleep apnea. Monitor the situation for several nights and see what happens a few minutes after sleep. If the timing is completely fixed, waking up early can be helpful.

And the final word

Good quality sleep is very important for mental and physical health. Fear of sleep can negatively affect you, your spouse, or the emotional relationship between the two of you, deprive you of peace of mind, and reduce your performance at work or during daily activities. To effectively treat sleep apnea or night terrors, it is important to know what causes it. Paying attention to these causes and eliminating them can reduce the period of sleep panic and may even stop it altogether.

If you, your child, or any of your family members regularly experience sleep disorders, you need to see a doctor in addition to your lifestyle guidelines. By seeing a doctor and identifying the factors involved in this event, the treatment process will begin and you will experience a sweet and fearless sleep again.

Finally, if you have any experience with sleep apnea and its symptoms, please share it with us in the “Submit a Comment” section.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information





Sleep panic; The cause of screaming and sudden fear in sleep

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