Sleep terrors are episodes of fear, flailing and screaming while asleep. Also known as night terrors, sleep terrors often are paired with sleepwalking.

Although sleep terrors are more common in children, they can affect adults. A sleep terror episode usually lasts from seconds to a few minutes.

Sleep terrors are relatively rare, affecting only a small percentage of children — often between ages 4 and 12 — and a smaller percentage of adults. However frightening, sleep terrors aren't usually a cause for concern. Most children outgrow sleep terrors by adolescence.

Aug. 12, 2011