Overcoming Fear: Your Guide to Beating Sleep Terror

sleep terror

Sleeping patterns in adults are down more than an hour from a few decades ago. In 1942, 84% of adults received 7 or more hours of sleep per night. That’s compared to only 59% of adults who get more than 7 hours of sleep a night in 2020.  Sleep terror is a condition that often happens to people who don’t get enough sleep or poor quality sleep. It frequently affects children but adults are also known to experience sleep terrors at some point or another. 

If you’ve recently discovered that you suffer from sleep terror, you’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do about it. Luckily, something as simple as getting a better mattress and pillows can help.

Want to know why you’re experiencing sleep terrors and how a Beloit mattress can help? Then you better keep reading because this one’s for you.

What Are Adult Night Terrors?

Night terrors are also called sleep terrors because these events typically happen while you’re asleep. Night terrors in children are surprisingly common. Yet, you may not know those night terrors also occur in adulthood. 

The onset of a night terror is usually signified by a person appearing to wake up, though they aren’t actually. They may cry out or get up and walk around. Eventually, the night terror ends and the person falls asleep again.

We’re going more in-depth about adult sleep terror next, so check it out. 

The Causes of Sleep Terrors

Night terrors usually occur during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. You may partially wake up while transitioning from NREM sleep, which prompts the onset of a night terror.

Other than that, experts aren’t fully certain why some people experience sleep terrors while others don’t. Here are sleep researchers’ best hypotheses:

  • Mood-Related Mental Health Disorders Night terrors are more common in individuals with mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. 
  • Trauma or Stress Disorders People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience night terrors after severe traumas or chronic stress. 
  • Respiratory Conditions Studies have shown that breathing disorders like sleep apnea are correlated with a higher frequency of sleep terrors. 

Other factors that could influence night terrors are sleep deprivation and exhaustion like after traveling or a long night out drinking. Many people also report sleep terrors associated with restless leg syndrome, illness, and some medications. 

The Symptoms of Sleep TerrorsWoman with Sleep Terrors

The first sign of a night terror episode is sitting up in bed or crying out. Bed companions may report that you seem to be awake, even if you don’t remember the event. Other common signs of sleep terrors include:

  • Screaming
  • Blank staring
  • Flailing or thrashing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Confusion

In some cases, night terrors may lead you to get out of bed, jump on the mattress, or run around the room. These episodes can turn violent if someone tries to restrain you. 

These episodes typically occur towards the beginning of your sleep. They don’t usually occur when you’re deep asleep or dreaming. 

A typical sleep terror episode only lasts a few seconds or minutes, but usually no longer than 5 minutes. It’s extremely uncommon to experience more than one night terror per night.

While some people experience them regularly, many people report only a few night terrors per year. However, these numbers could be under-reported considering that most adults don’t remember having sleep terrors. 

This is where night terrors differ from nightmares: most people remember at least a little bit of their nightmare. Meanwhile, people who suffer from sleep terrors more frequently don’t remember their episodes.

How Do You Treat Sleep Terror?

Night terrors can be difficult to diagnose. The reason for this is two-fold: sleep terrors are relatively infrequent and most people don’t remember when they happen. Still, researchers and physicians have learned some ways to help people with sleep terrors.

Once you are diagnosed with sleep terrors, your physician may not prescribe treatment. If you’re experiencing lifestyle or interpersonal issues because of your sleep terrors, though, here’s what you can expect. 


Most people don’t require medication to treat night terrors. Lifestyle changes and therapy are usually sufficient. 

However, if you have an underlying condition that’s causing your sleep terrors, your physician may prescribe medication to treat it. 

Similarly, you could be experiencing night terrors because of a lack of or poor sleep. In that case, your doctor may recommend a sleeping medication to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. 


Some people experience night terrors because of unaddressed trauma, stress, or an untreated mental health disorder. A therapist can help you deal with traumatic or stressful memories from your past in the hopes of alleviating your sleep terrors. 

Therapists may use techniques like eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to help you deal with the traumatic memories and get back to a good night’s sleep.

Lifestyle Changes

More often than not, a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle are more than sufficient for stopping your night terrors once and for all. 

First, try to find a pattern in your sleep terrors. Set an alarm or ask your partner to wake you up before your night terrors typically occur. Stay awake for a few minutes before going back to sleep.

If that doesn’t work, you should secondly try to improve your sleep habits. Get on a more regular sleeping schedule and ensure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Avoid using blue lights or working out before bed to encourage relaxation. 

Do read, take a bath, or meditate before bed. Don’t use caffeine after 5 PM and try to reduce your alcohol intake before bed.

Have you tried all of these techniques and still can’t find relief? Then you might need to do something as simple as upgrading your mattress and pillows. 

How Upgrading Your Mattress and Pillows Can Help With Sleep Terrors

There may not be a cure for sleep terrors but with a new mattress and pillows from Beloit, you won’t know the difference. That’s because our products are designed to help alleviate some of the worst sleep disorders and disturbances.

Sleep terror is no exception.

What’s the secret to choosing the right mattress for your condition? We’re about to tell you, so check it out. 

Get the Right Mattress

Hybrid Rejuvenate 90th AnniversaryHave trouble getting comfortable before bed or feel like you’re sinking while you sleep? These issues could be contributing to your sleep disturbances. 

Your body and sleeping style is completely unique. Make sure you get a mattress with the perfect thickness and firmness to ensure ultimate comfort and support. 

If you aren’t sure what your sleep style is, check out our hybrid mattresses. These cutting-edge mattresses offer the comfort of memory foam and the support of an innerspring core. This is the ideal in-between mattress and is Goldilocks-approved: it’s not too hard, not too soft, but just right. 

For those who need a mattress suited to more specific sleeping needs, we’ve got you covered. Save now with one of our deals

Find the Perfect Pillow

Another simple hack to start sleeping better with night terrors is to get new pillows. 

Do you often find yourself grabbing for another pillow or scrunching up your favorite one while you sleep? This could be a sign that your pillows are worn out and negatively affecting your sleep quality.

For people with respiratory conditions, a good pillow will encourage proper sleep posture. That will, in turn, promote healthy breathing while you snooze, which should help with sleep apnea related night terrors.

Similarly, conditions like restless leg syndrome and anxiety may find relief from a more comfortable resting position. Your pillows should support your neck and shoulders while allowing enough room to keep your body from feeling strained. 

Experts recommend that you should change your pillows every 18 months. Memory foam pillows will sometimes last longer, depending on their quality. We recommend changing out your pillows even more frequently if you suffer from night terrors.

The Mattress You Need for a Better Night’s Sleep

Is sleep terror terrorizing your good night’s sleep? Then it’s about time you found out how a brand new mattress and pillows from The Beloit Mattress Company can banish them for good. 

Speak with one of our expert advisors right now to find the perfect mattress for your body type and sleeping tendencies!



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