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Severe Sleep Terrors At Irregular Intervals And Increasing Intensity

by Simon
(Limerick, Ireland)

Hi I am Simon,

My first night terror occurred in my early teens. The previous night I was sharing a bunk bed with my brothers and they all decided to jump up and down on the top bunk. When the top bunk collapsed on me I was trapped beneath them and the debris for some time.

Since that day I have had at various times night terrors. The 'events' range from sitting up screaming to searching for something in the bed to jumping out of bed to running around the room to trying to climb out of a second story window to jumping down a single flight of stairs in one go to jumping down three flights of stairs and running a half a mile along a road to beating up my wife twice to smashing a light fitting and my hand to jumping through a double glazed (plate glass) window and nearly bleeding to death while my kids slept in the next bedroom. What next?

I thought of uploading the photos my mother took of the blood soaked scene and my forearm, wrist and lower leg wounds but I do no wish to traumatize anyone else. Thankfully my kids stayed asleep during this time and the ambulance silenced their sirens approaching our home.

Especially after the last near fatal event I cannot stay over at friends houses or stay there until late. Even with the strongest sedation in the world there is still a possibility that I can have a night terror and would not put any spectator through that trauma. Besides, in Ireland night terrors are seen by the public and medical profession as being psychological disorders.

My sleep doctor (the most experienced in Southern Ireland) has no answer and she has prescribed me a stronger dosage of Rivotril. However, after taking a triple dose of Rivotril I still had a night
terror last night. My poor wife is struggling on our one income and is increasingly becoming sleep deprived and despondent. Because it is Saturday my sleep doctor and GP are unavailable; there is no out-of-hours service.

I sleep in a little room on my own with the window boarded up, my front door is barricaded every night. My only hope is that the barricade gives my wife time to switch on all the lights and steer me back to bed.

Once I had a high flying career and was highly regarded as an expert; now that is all gone. I do not enjoy sleep as its consequences are horrific; very rarely do I remember a dream.

P.S. Five years ago after a sleep study I was informed I had sleep apnea; one option was to have an operation on my airways, I jumped at that hope. I was warned that my airways could again be blocked with five to six years. My latest sleep study has eliminated sleep apnea from the triggers. I weigh 84 kg, sport most days, eat a lactose and gluten free diet, do not drink or smoke and do sleep regularly and for at least eight hours a day.

The latest sleep study confirmed that I still suffer from night terrors (they were actually openly delighted that they had their first video of a patient having an animated night terror; I screamed very loudly, jumped out of my bed and ran for the door. Luckily a nurse stopped my progress).

Rivotril is numbing my mind and when I sleep it is like switching off a light bulb. Also during the day I am drowsy, forgetful and unfocused. I love my wife, my kids and the utter improbability of the universe and reality itself. I'm afraid that my next night terror will be my last. Please help me.

Many Thanks,

Stay Positive,


Comments for Severe Sleep Terrors At Irregular Intervals And Increasing Intensity

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Jul 17, 2010
by: Kath

Oh, Simon - I'm nearly crying here at your desperate plea and I wish I could help you. You have an amazing wife and for that I'm sure you're grateful. She obviously realizes this is not your fault and out of your control. The fact that you've posted this shows what a decent bloke you are and how desperate you are for help. Plus, the fact that you're trying to hide it from your children. I hope that someone here with more experience than me can help you. I've had my share of weird night experiences, but mine's due to sleep apnoea. You can have a look at my story at but I'm not sure if that will help you. Have you done some googling for night terrors? Am sure you have. There will be an answer for you and it's obvious that they're doing they're best in Ireland for you. Hang in there. There will be an answer. Feel free to email me and I'll do my best to research your problem I truly feel for you. Please, please don't give up. There's an answer somewhere for you. I'm thinking about you, and am sure others will be who have read your story. Bless You!

P.S. Please email me as I've been thinking of ideas.
Kath @

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