Night terror, recently I had a chance to observe this phenomenon, which I had never heard of or seen before. A friend’s ten month old son woke up from his sleep crying, there was this look of terror in his eyes, and there was nothing we could do to calm him down. Eventually he stopped, after a good 10 mintues of crying, but it was confusing and new to us. Later, we learned that what he had gone through was a night terror.
It seems, night terrors can occur in about 3% of children between ages of three and five, and sometimes in children as young as 9 months. There is not a lot of information out there on what really is scaring the children who experience night terror, other than information on what happens after the fact. From what I could find, a night terror occurs during deep sleep, which is different from a nightmare, which occurs during a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
What is puzzling to me is what does a ten month old child dream about or see, that causes them such terror and fear?, especially when an episode can last up to thirty minutes! Could they be seeing something from a past life? Or could it be images from a memory they inherited genetically from everyone who came before them? Or is it the creation of a mind still learning to paint a picture in the mind’s eye? We can only speculate on this, as there is no way to know what a ten month old child is dreaming when they experience a night terror.