Parasomnias are sleep disorders that involve movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams not normally associated with drowsiness or sleep. Examples include sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep talking, sleep terrors and nighttime (nocturnal) leg cramps. The result is sleep that is restless and unsatisfying.

Nightmares and Night Terrors

These can happen to both adults and children. Typically, a person experiences an intense episode of terror or fear and reacts to that episode accordingly, seeming to be awake. However, the person does not remember it happening by morning.

Treatments for Nightmares and Night Terrors

Consult a physician if you notice any of the following:

  • The nightmares become worse or happen more often
  • The fear interferes with daytime activities

See our Guide to Healthy Sleep for ideas to help alleviate symptoms.