The same precautions to avoid injury in the sleeper must be observed as with sleepwalking. The room must be safe and predictable. Though night terror often do not cause the sleeper to leave the bed, it is possible for him or her to suddenly and violently leap out of the bed and move around the room, and the possibility for injury exists.
Though extremely frightening and disturbing to watch, we realize that night terrors in children are not associated with any specific medical or psychological problem. During the episode, in additional to protecting the sleeper, you may speak slowly and softly and sometimes this will allow the sleeping child to return to normal sleep.
Most often though, the child does not seem to respond to you and all that’s left is for you to simply wait until the episode is completed and help the child’s brain actually enters the twilight zone. So that the child may awaken, and may be surprised to find you looking so worried. As with sleepwalking, it’s important to reassure the child that all is well and that there is no cause for alarm.
Night terror is adults are more often associated with significant psychological disease or even illness. Psychological assessment and consultation with a physician are strongly advised. As with sleepwalking, a low dose benzodiapine or imipramine (an antidepressant) can decrease the frequency of the episodes.