Glossary of Sleep-related terms

Night Terrors

Also known as sleep terrors, or pavor nocturnus. Usually a disorder of childhood, characterized by a piercing scream, signs of intense fear, and unresponsiveness to other people. It is not a REM stage nightmare, but an incomplete arousal from slow wave sleep. If awakened during a night terror, the individual is usually confused and does not remember details of the event. Night terrors are different from nightmares in that if an individual is awakened during a nightmare, he or she functions well and may have some recall of the nightmare.1