Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to staying healthy. But for many Americans, it’s a daunting task.

We recently received this email from a viewer looking for some relief:

Hi Dr. Manny,
I have sleep terrors and have tried many different medications that have not worked. How can I get rid of this problem without more meds?

Sleep or night terrors are episodes of extreme fear often paired with sleep walking. Patients suffering from them may flail and scream in their sleep for a few seconds or minutes each night.

These terrors are more common in children, but they can occur in adults and tend to run in families.

Possible causes include:

  • Sleep deprivation and fatigue
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Breathing disorders like sleep apnea
  • A high fever
  • Environmental changes like light and noise
  • Migraines
  • Head injuries

Some adults who have sleep terrors may have a history of depression or anxiety, so it’s best to see a doctor to rule out any underlying causes.

But there are some things you can try to get some relief:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation

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