Night terrors, also known as "Pavor Nocturnus," are extremely
different from a nightmare. Not only are night terrors more terrifying, but they also occur at different times than a nightmare.
A nightmare occurs during REM sleep, but a night terror occurs during non-REM sleep. When a night terror occurs, it is caused
by the child getting caught between sleep stages. This has been found to mainly occur in children with any type of breathing
disorder. During a night terror, the child's heart rate and blood pressure increase a great deal. Also, their eye's will be
completely open and they will scream and flail their arms. Some children will even get out of bed and run around during a
night terror. If a child is prone to night terrors, they occur around the same time every night. This means that the child
can be woken up at the typical time of a night terror and prevent it from happening. After the age of five children will have
less and less night terrors untill they eventually stop all together(schulze).
Sleepwalking is also known as "Somnambulism." Research has shown
that sleepwalking occurs during stages three and four. For this reason, the person doing the sleepwalking will have no recollection
of it later on. Although most people think sleepwalking is when someone who is sleeping gets up and walks around, it is much
more than that. Sleepwalking is a form of a sleep disorder. When we dream our bodies produce a chemical that paralyzes us.
People who sleepwalk have a deficiency of this chemical which causes them to move around while they are dreaming and act out
the dream that is occuring in their minds. Also, there are different types of sleepwalking episodes. Some people will sit
up and talk in their sleep. This is considered a mild form of sleepwalking. Other symptoms include; talking, muttering unrecognizable
words, and speaking in made-up words. When children sleepwalk they tend to get out of bed and urinate in strange places.
When someone is sleepwalking they can point, move their feet, and get up and walk around. They can also open windows and doors.
Generally, sleepwalking occurs towards the begging of the night or at early hours of the morning. It is often present in young
children and stops around the age of twelve or thirteen. However, if a child doesn't start sleepwalking untill they are around
the age of nine, they will likely continue to do so into their adulthood. Studies have shown that approximately 18% of the
population sleepwalks. It has also been discovered that sleepwalking is more common in boys than in girls. Sleepwalking is
often genetic and can also be dangerous. Because the person doing the sleepwalking isn't aware of what's going on, they could
trip over things, fall down stairs, and even travel long distances outside their house. (Standford.edu).
Information obtained and presented by Nicki McFarlane