What Sleep Experts Say About Night Terrors (and Why We Have Them)

By Amanda Capritto, Aug 25, 2022

Night terrors and nightmares both involve sleep and fear, but they differ in a couple of ways. One key difference is the time at which they happen, says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, psychiatrist and sleep physician at Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine.  Nightmares are scary dreams that usually occur during REM sleep, which is when dreams occur, Dimitriu says. This means nightmares commonly occur in the second half of the night, or early morning. 

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