Sleep Terrors Questions & Answers

Updated: Mar 14, 2019
  • Author: Eve G Spratt, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What are sleep (night) terrors?

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep (night) terrors?

How are sleep (night) terrors diagnosed?

What are the AASM diagnostic criteria for sleep (night) terrors?

Which supportive measures may be helpful in alleviating sleep (night) terrors?

How are sleep (night) terrors characterized?

How do the DSM-5 and ICSD-3 diagnostic criteria for sleep (night) terrors compare?

What is the pathophysiology of sleep (night) terrors?

What causes sleep (night) terrors?

What is the prevalence of sleep terrors?

Which age groups have the highest prevalence of sleep terrors?

What is the prognosis of sleep (night) terrors?

What is included in patient education about sleep (night) terrors?

What are the AASM recommendations for the amount of sleep needed to promote optimal health?

Presentation

Which clinical history findings are characteristic of sleep (night) terrors?

Which physical findings are characteristic of sleep (night) terrors?

DDX

Which conditions are included in the differential diagnoses of sleep (night) terrors?

How are sleep (night) terrors differentiated from nightmares?

What are the differential diagnoses for Sleep Terrors?

Workup

What is the role of lab tests and imaging in the workup of sleep (night) terrors?

What is the role of a sleep diary in the workup of sleep (night) terrors?

What is the role of polysomnography in the workup of sleep (night) terrors?

What is the role of EEG in the workup of sleep (night) terrors?

Treatment

How are sleep (night) terrors treated?

What is included in the long-term monitoring of sleep (night) terrors?

Guidelines

What are the AASM healthy sleep guidelines?

Medications

What is the role of medications in the treatment of sleep (night) terrors?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used in the treatment of Sleep Terrors?

Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Sleep Terrors?

Which medications in the drug class Tricyclic Antidepressants are used in the treatment of Sleep Terrors?