Various factors can contribute to sleep terrors, including:
- Sleep deprivation
- Fever (in children)
- Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings
- Lights or noise
Sleep terrors sometimes are associated with underlying conditions that affect sleep, such as:
- Sleep-disordered breathing — a group of disorders characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea
- Head injuries
In other cases, use of alcohol, illegal drugs or certain medications — including some antihistamines, sedatives and sleeping pills — can trigger sleep terror episodes.
Aug. 12, 2011
- Parasomnias. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec16/ch215/ch215f.html. Accessed June 16, 2011.
- Overnight sleep study. Sleepeducation.com. http://yoursleep.aasmnet.org/Topic.aspx?id=12. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Sleep terrors. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://yoursleep.aasmnet.org/Disorder.aspx?id=13. Accessed June 16, 2011.
- National sleep disorders research plan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/sleep/res_plan/section5/section5a.html. Accessed June 7, 2011.
- Matwiyoff J, et al. Parasomnias: An overview. Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2010;131:333.
- Avidan AY, et al. The parasomnias: Epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnostic approach. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2010;31:353.
- Attarian H. Treatment options for parasomnias. Neurological Clinics. 2010;28:1089.
- Stores G. Aspects of parasomnias in childhood and adolescents. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2009;94:63.
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