A group disorders characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Diagnosis of sleep terrors starts with physical examination and asking about symptoms.
Psychological exam is also done to assess mental stability. A sleep study may be recommended when doctor suspects sleep-disordered breathing.
A sleep study test used to diagnose underlying sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, that may trigger sleep terrors. During the test sensors are placed on head and body to record brain waves, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing. A video camera records sleep. Doctor will review the information to determine the sleep disorder.
Treatment for casual sleep terrors is not necessary. Although severe cases of sleep terrors might need medical attention.
Treatment generally includes:
Treating underlying condition: If sleep terrors are associated with an underlying medical or mental health condition or any other sleep disorder treating them will cure sleep terrors.
Improving sleep habits: Maintaining a schedule of sleeping, going early to bed and waking up early.
Addressing stress: Stress or anxiety is the reason for development of sleep terrors. Medications which reduce stress are prescribed. Doctor may also recommend to meet a counsellor. A cognitive behavior therapy, biofeedback therapy and relaxation therapy will help.
Medication: Medications are never used to treat sleep terrors because of adverse effects caused by drugs is high. But in worst cause benzodiazepines are used to treat sleep terrors.
To prevent sleep terrors one must do the following:
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