I started having sleep terror events when I was just a kid. The first time I woke up screaming and kicking was when I was 5 years old. I could not remember any part of a dream and did not at that time have a reason why I woke up sweating and in a panic. Sometimes I would do this for a week or more at a time and sometimes I
would not have any problems for a month.
At times I was so afraid of going to sleep in fear of waking up screaming scared that I secretly tried to stay awake all night long just to avoid the terrors in the night.
As I got to be a teen the pounding heart awakening in a sweat screaming with no idea what I was afraid of seemed to have all but vanished. I had maybe two or three episodes in a year when I was 17 and so I thought things had just get better naturally.
When I got married I really did not have any problems with sleep terrors but during the first year of our marriage I began to wake up sweating and screaming with my heart pounding. My wife told me that I acted like I did not know where I was or know who she was.
I just had no conscious recollection of any dream or any reason in my life that would make me afraid of anything. I had a great job, was making good money, had a new home, and a loving beautiful wife.
The sleep terrors got to be so frequent and so severe that my wife began sleeping in the guest bedroom to avoid being thrashed by my unconscious arm swinging and kicking when I woke up screaming and in a dazed panic.
The problem got to be so bad that I began to fear sleep again and when I did sleep and woke up with the sleep terrors I could not go back to sleep. My work performance began to deteriorate from lack of sleep and my love life and relationship with my wife went downhill rapidly.
My loving spouse insisted with threats of leaving me that I get help after I literally ran out of the house in a sleep terror awakened panic one night and she caught me in a daze in the front yard. My physician recommended a well-known and respected psychotherapist. At first I was sceptical and a little afraid but the
doctor and I talked about what was going on with my sleep problems. This night terror problem was something he had seen before.
I learned that the problem I was having does not just go away with time. There is a physical and a psychological cause for the night terrors that is treatable. In my case, my night terrors were the result of anxiety. I did not feel particularly anxious but the psychotherapist showed me how my night terrors were the result of unaddressed anxiety.
I found out that night terrors happen to a lot of people for various reasons. I was not crazy. I did not have a mental disease. I just reacted to anxiety by waking up screaming, sweating, heart pounding, and in a daze from unresolved anxiety.
With the help of several sessions discussing how to express my anxiety and how to deal with it positively along with drug therapy the psychotherapist was able to let me and my wife both get a good night’s sleep together with no fear of the night terrors again.
Author Bio – Jonny Webber lives in Manchester, where he works as a freelance writer; the main topics he writes about are health, eco living, and cosmetic surgery. If you are having problems sleeping, I would recommend visiting a sleep disorder specialist.