Night terrors



Night terrors

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders


Night terrors


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

5 pages


Night terrors

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 39-year-old man comes with his partner to the physician’s office for evaluation of abnormal behavior during sleep. According to his partner, the patient often “gets out of bed in the middle of the night and roams the house.” During these episodes, the patient’s eyes are open. However, when the partner attempts to talk to the patient, he only mumbles in response. The patient has no recollection of these events. Vitals are within normal limits. A complete physical examination is noncontributory. The physician prescribes low-dose clonazepam. Which of the following best explains the beneficial effects of this medication on the patient’s condition?  

Memory Anchors and Partner Content

External References

First Aid








Night terrors p. 566

benzodiazepines for p. 512

Pediatric patients

sleep terror disorder in p. 590

Sleep disturbances

sleep terror disorder p. 590

Sleep terror disorder p. 591


Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are a type of sleep disorder that is characterized by episodes of intense fear, screaming, and thrashing during sleep. Night terrors typically occur during the first hours of stage 3-4 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

During a night terror, a person may sit up in bed and scream, shout, or thrash around, but they are usually not fully awake and are not able to remember the episode afterward. Night terrors are different from nightmares, which occur during the later stages of sleep and are typically more vivid and easier to remember.

Treatment of night terrors may include identifying and addressing any underlying causes, such as sleep deprivation or stress, and implementing good sleep hygiene practices, such as establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment.


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