What triggers night terrors?
The cause of night terrors is not known, Dr Lee said. She explained: “There may be a genetic link as they tend to run in families. External stress may also be a causative factor.”
A night terror can be triggered by anything that increases their deep sleep such as tiredness, fever, or certain types of medication, or anything that makes them more likely to wake up from deep sleep such as excitement, anxiety, sudden noise or a full bladder.
Dr Lee added: “It’s very important children get plenty of sleep. Some specialists believe sleep deprivation can increase the risk of night terrors. Children should have a regular, relaxing, bedtime routine.
“Night terrors may be triggered by stress, or a disruption to routine, such as travel. They can also be triggered by a fever.
“Other factors that are sometimes associated with night terrors include medical conditions such as sleep apnoea, asthma, restless legs syndrome, gastro-oesophageal reflux, depression, and anxiety.”